daily stuffs

Another thing I can’t use. >_<


Picture of stove (with cat).

So, we have this big ol’ wood burning monstrosity sitting in our house that pretty much divides the living area in two. It’s basically a wood burning insert set into a “stone” wall with a vent that’s meant to warm the place up “efficiently” I guess. It looks like its been here a long time, but I’ve never trusted it enough to actually put a fire in it because, you know, I don’t want to burn my house down.  There’s all kinds of black gunk on the mantel and the surrounding stone facing so I had my doubts about whether this was a usable stove or not.

It’s not.

Darn it.

I had some chimney guys out here today to clean it and they said that the “soot” on the mantel isn’t soot but char. There’s been at least one fire there. There have also been fires (multiple) in the chimney and not only is the inner pipe shot, but the outer pipe is too. I kinda figured it was bad because if you notice in the picture there’s latticework there and I can see rusting on top of the insert. Seriously, I didn’t want to attempt a fire in this thing.  BTW, that little glowy thing in the picture is an electric space heater that’s in the shape of logs and has flame simulators which are turned off at the moment. We had it in our fireplace in New Mexico (also unusable). I think that’s funny.

wood burning cook stove

This would be great…

But that’s okay, because I’ve been itching to tear this thing down for a while now. because it’s kinda ugly. I’m sure it was meant to be rustic or something, but I think it’s pretty awful looking. The wood paneling in the middle of the chimney area has always driven me bonkers, and the way it divides the room makes decorating a pain in the ass. Right now, I have my television in front of where the wood goes, which would be a problem, if I could use the thing. But I can’t so it’s not that much of a problem.  I think having a simple wood burning stove up against the wall instead of in the middle of the room would be so much better. It wouldn’t be as intrusive and it would open the place up a bit. I’m not normally a fan of open concept, but the way they have this place divided is kinda weird… So anyway, as soon as we can afford to, we’re tearing this whole monstrosity out and replacing it with something else.

What would we replace it with? I dunno. I saw some nice wood stoves while browsing online.  Everything from pot bellied stoves to the one pictured here which has an oven. I’d like something I can cook on if the power goes out (like the one in the picture), not just something that looks nifty. I don’t want anything with an electric fan because that defeats the purpose of having a wood burning stove I think. I mean seriously…

cast iron stove

Pictured… not available in my state.

But I can drool all I want over the ones I want… I’m limited to what we can afford, what’s legal in our state, and what we can have in our manufactured home… something I found out today. I totally didn’t know that there were limits on what  we could have in manufactured homes, but surprise! there are. Also, there are certain stoves that simply are not legal in California and Washington — another thing I found out today.  Which is too bad because the style of stove I like is totally the style of stove that appears to be not legal to have here.  And while the previous homeowner appears to have thumbed his nose at what was legal and did what he pleased with a “devil may care” attitude.  I’d like for us to stay on the sunny side of legal because that stuff will bite us in the ass later if I don’t.

Anyway, it looks like we’ll be needing a new wood stove eventually. Probably not this year since we’re still a little strapped for cash, but definitely by next year.  We lucked out in that this is a warmer winter. But I’m not stupid enough to think that just because this year is warm that next year will be too. Nope. I’m taking this year to make preparations for what might happen next year. Who knows? we might get three feet of snow next year, then having a wood burning stove will come in damned handy.


6 thoughts on “Another thing I can’t use. >_<

  1. Our house came with a pellet stove which I really like because it doesn’t require chopping wood, although ironically, my hubby would happily chop wood to feed a regular woodstove. He’d like to do a switcheroo but I said “no way!” I much prefer loading 40 lbs of pellets into the hopper than having to worry about chopping wood if hubby’s not around or hauling wood in from the outside when it’s wet or snowy.(Okay, I’m a princess!) We would be in trouble if the power went out for any length of time as the pellet stove has an electric igniter and blower motor. I imagine if we decide to stay here for long, there will be an electric generator in our future.


    • The back area that we’re renting out has a pellet stove, which our tenants love. But I dislike pellet stoves because they have a tendency to clog up, and they require electricity. I want/need something I can use in all situations — including power outages.

      We’re also thinking of getting a generator since we don’t have natural gas, or some kind of propane set up.


  2. I have a faux ‘fireplace’ (with the log looking insert thingie), and they installed a switch for a blower, but there’s no blower. So it heats the area directly around it and not much else. Last year it was a lot warmer here, and I never even turned it on; but this year I’ve had it on several times. The chihuahua loves to lie on the hearth and bask. My neighbor installed a blower in his; and says if I’ll buy the part, he’ll put one in mine too. I’m thinking that over, because this year I’ve been cold more than warm. And it might save a few pennies in heating costs, but I don’t know how much. I’m on a budget plan anyway and pay equal shares all year. But it’s odd to me that they put the switch in without installing the part it goes to…who knows from contractors? Good luck with your adventure of the stove! I hope you find something that you like.


    • I’ve seen those and thought about getting one, but here in the PNW there’s an abundance of trees so wood burning isn’t all that bad. Plus I want something that works if the power goes out… I’m just weird that way. ^_^


  3. Sadly, that’s not an unusual story. We can’t use our upstairs woodstove either, not without substantial repair to the chimney and insert … and it’s not worth it. Ironically, it’s cheaper to NOT use it. It isn’t efficient. It just makes the living room into a sauna, makes the central heating turn off because the thermostat’s in the living room so that the rest of the house turns into a meat locker. Reheating the rest of the house costs a lot more than keeping the heat on all the time, just moderately low.


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