Home > Wood stoves, electricity, and mortgages.

Wood stoves, electricity, and mortgages.

July 6th, 2012 at 09:14 pm

Well, a week after the storm and everyone I know has power again. Finally! It's funny. New Orleans is very disorganized and has decaying infrastructure, but I never remember being without power for more than 24 hours after a Cat 1 hurricane, but here in Ohio, which is much more functional, it was 5 days! Oh well, Guess they aren't used to those kinds of winds in the midwest.

My mom finally has power which is the big thing. She is rural with a well and no power means no electricity and no water. It's really hard for her. I live an hour away. She stayed with me a couple of nights for the warm meals, showers and AC!

ANyway, all that time in the dark got me thinking about
A. how much electricity we use that isn't essential. I've been flipping a lot of switches off lately, and leaving the AC off as much as possible.

I've also been thinking more about a wood stove insert for the upstairs fireplace. It would allow us to use free (around here, plenty) firewood to heat our upstairs in winter. They new ones are very efficient and filter a lot of the particulates out of the smoke, so it's not like dumping ick into the air by burning wood.

If the power went out like this in winter, which it's only a matter of time, at least we'd have heat, too. I looked at our heating bills and for a $2500 stove installed it might take 6 or 7 years to pay for itself. We plan to be here for 18 at least. What do you think? Worth the money?

I've also been running more mortgage payoff calculations. If I pay $400 extra every month, it'll be paid off in Sept. 2016. If I pay $500 extra, it'll be paid off in April 2016. Four years! I'm going to be ambitious and START with $500/month consistently. It'll be easier next year once DS1 starts kindergarten and one preschool bill disappears, but this year will be hard. The money will come out of my freelance income, which has been growing.

Speaking of, it's a good problem, and I am blessed. But I'm up to my eyeballs in freelance. It's just hard now bc I'm still only part time, 12 hours a week of childcare to do all the work. I've been working every night and weekends, and I'm getting burned out.

My newest, biggest project is due July 25 and was supposed to pay $1500. Just found out they extended the scope, so it now will pay more (not sure how much, but at least $500). It's going to be a crazy two weeks, but I'm just going to put my nose down, plow through it, and keep my eyes on the check. It'll take a huge chunk out of the car loan!

I have one other extra article to finish after that, and then I am going to take it slow in August, until I get the kids settled into their new preschool routine (they are both finally old enough to go, so no little one at home while big brother is at school). I think it will be a game0changer work wise, so I will hopefully see how it goes then add projects back in based on how much more work time I have.

10 Responses to “Wood stoves, electricity, and mortgages.”

  1. snafu Says:

    Here in the icy north fireplace inserts save lives, keep heating costs down, look great and add to feelings of well being. We don't get many power outages but lots of friends have small, oil operated generators to give power when icy, frozen electric lines snap.

  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    That is what I was thinking... It could be a very useful purchase, and we love wood burning fireplaces. This house has gas, so we'd replace that.

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    We have a woodstove in our old house. It was very efficient at keeping the house warm. That area lost power at least three times almost every winter and it could be off for as long as a week. We would often be snowed in during these power failures so having a woodstove was imperative. Sometimes on really, really cold weeks when the furnace couldn't keep the house warm enough we'd use it, too. Usually in December, January, and February.

    We never had to buy wood, though one year I did buy a small amount of kindling. We always got it free from somewhere. People were always taking down trees and offering the wood free if you'd just come and haul it away. We rented a splitter once when someone across from my Mom's house took down a giant old fir tree. We ended up paying $78 to rent the splitter for a couple of days and had 3 years worth of firewood out of it.

    The one thing that I will say is firewood is a lot of work. A lot. So you need to be strong and healthy to do it, but it is so worth it. Just keep some close to the house for emergencies. We always tried to have a two week supply up close, and a three day supply in the house during winter. And also make sure some of the wood is really dry. You can't start a fire with with green wood, although you can mix green wood in with dry wood. Learn about wood and making fires ahead of time. There are books for everything and the last thing you want to be doing is trying to light a big, wet, green log during a power failure because you didn't know any better.

  4. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    I so want I wood stove, but don't know where we could put it and fear that DH could not tolerate it due to his asthma. Do modern ones put out absolutely no smoke into the house?

  5. ThriftoRama Says:

    We are getting a wood stove insert. It will fit into the existing fireplace and will be flush with the bricks. My hubby LOVES to split wood. He thinks it's mentally relaxing, so we're covered on that front.

  6. Jerry Says:

    I am looking forward to having a wood stove again, they offer some insurance against losing power and heat during the winter (I tend to live in places where the winter actually leads to cold weather). We had one when I was a kid, and it helped a lot.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Sounds great Smile You might want to practice cooking on it before you actually need it though ... cooking on a wood burning stove is lots different than a gas or electric stove. Smile

  8. ThriftoRama Says:

    There's no way we could cook on it. (it's an insert, flush with the fireplace surround.) It'd just be for heat and emergencies. I like wood stove heat. It's just the upfront cost that is a little worrying now.

  9. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Oh, sorry about that. Smile

  10. Gasshoppe Says:

    Wood stoves save you so much money on electricity, and with having all these power failures here in South Africa you dont need to worry about not being able to cook.

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