Keeping the Home Fires Burning

For the past week or so, the other half has more or less cracked the holy grail of woodburning-stovedom, and kept it going day and night (although this works better when I’m not left in charge of the thing for too long while simultaneously being on twitter. Ahem. Turns out you still have to put some wood in it occasionally). By loading it up and turning it down at night it smoulders away and can still be revived from the embers the next morning – making getting up far less of a trial than it used to be. Although we use a bit more wood than we used to when we just lit the fire in the evening, it’s not three times as much because once the fire’s going (and the room is warm) you can just keep it ticking over rather than having it blazing away. The end result is not only that we still haven’t turned on the central heating but that I no longer have to go outside to ride my bike to get warm.* Admittedly, it’s been a lot milder than the last two years** but even so, it’s been a revelation how effective this can be

Which is all good, because more or less simultaneously the Rayburn has decided to play up. I don’t know if it’s inter-stove rivalry or some sort of conservation-of-chilliness law in operation, because up till now we thought we’d got the hang of the Rayburn and its needs. But normally it goes 5 or 6 months between services and this time it’s not even been lit three months. So far we’ve been following standard operating procedure and furiously ignoring the problem but it’s getting harder. Looks like Rayburn man is going to be paying us an early Christmas visit.

*In fact, with the form the weather gods have been on recently, it means it’s getting increasingly hard to persuade myself to leave the house at all…

** SO FAR! SO FAR! This is not, repeat not, a challenge to the Weather Gods. I am sure their awesome majesties can produce much worse winters without so much as breaking a sweat and I tremble before their mighty wrath. (will this do?)

6 Responses to Keeping the Home Fires Burning

  1. Jo says:

    So the rayburn is playing up, you’ve solved the woodburner and you’ve laid down a challenge to the Weather Gods. My, you like to live dangerously. I’m rather relieved about the hundreds of miles between mi casa and tu casa…

  2. Commuterjohn says:

    Any thoughts of boilers should be quickly put out of ones mind until July.
    I said last year during the winter that I would change our boiler after nearly 30 years of service during the summer, within the space of 2 weeks and still not out of February it set off the carbon monoxide alarm, caused a visit from Transco who turned off all our gas at 7 o’clock in the evening and left us with a fan heater.
    Before Easter we had to have a new boiler installed during the coldest winter known.
    Foolish talk about keeping it going for as long as you can………

  3. WOL says:

    It’s more fuel efficient to let a low fire burn all the time than it is to let the room grow cold, then have to build a big blaze to warm it back up again. That’s the idea behind thermostats. Sorry the Rayburn is acting up. (Being a bit of a Diva, perhaps?)

  4. emma c says:

    Yes, fires really are an art form, and worth mastering I reckon. We too have recently discovered the knack of keeping our main heating going with one log every half an hour. It takes a lot of air (and thus fuel) to get it going from cold, and once hot it can burn slowly and efficiently. All carefully tried and tested by t’other half, I must add.

  5. John Gibson says:

    In our house when I was very young, we had a coal fire. To keep it going all night my mum banked it up and covered it with soot, it worked a treat.
    John

  6. disgruntled says:

    hehe – I hope I’m not going to pay for this post as it’s getting a bit nippy tonight…

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