Wood Stove All-Nighter
January 23rd, 2014 · 2 Comments · Posted in rural life
With the thermometer stuck at -10 and wind chills dropping to around -30 degrees Fahrenheit, I decided to feed the wood stove overnight. That means sleeping on the couch in the living room with an alarm clock set to go off every hour and a half. For some reason, I didn’t need the alarm clock too much. I had a good fire burning, and regularly woke up just as logs were crumbling into embers, time enough to add more wood.
By the time morning rolled around, I’d managed to maintain an indoor temperature of 60 degrees. “I was so cozy in my bed,” said 14-year-old daughter. “Then I had to get out of bed. It’s depressing.”
Now the arctic blast seems to be locked in through next week. I’m hoping to put our basement oil furnace into service, even though it’s not really connected to the upstairs. I plan to leave the door to the basement open, and place a box fan there to circulate the warm air.
I haven’t been running the oil furnace at all because there are only a few gallons left in the tank, as measured by sticking a broom handle down into the fill hole. Yesterday I called the supplier to see about getting a delivery, but with our driveway covered with snow and ice, there’s a good chance the fuel truck wouldn’t make it up the hill. The driveway has to be “well sanded,” I was told, before the company will send a truck out.
I don’t want to suck the tank dry. Then we’d have to call a technician to bleed air out of the fuel lines. I stopped at the hardware store and bought a five-gallon plastic fuel tank. I’m told I can replenish the tank in the basement with kerosene or diesel. Only the nearest pump for that is in Greenwich, eight miles away.
How long will five gallons of heating oil last in our house? According to the information on our furnace, it burns around .75 gallons per hour. That means I’ll be making at least a couple of trips to Greenwich to get us through these cold, cold nights coming up.
The good news? Only a couple months of winter left….