Low Tech solutions (wood insert)

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I had a Wood insert installed a few months ago. I have a gas furnace that has proved to be totally useless in a power outage (two years ago we lost power for five days).

The new wood inserts work a lot better than the old ones. After I get an ember pile going, I just dump a log in ever 1 1/2 hours. Very easy. New inserts are 70% efficient and clean burning. I also had 2.5 cords delivered. My stove is a Lopi 'Answer' (not affiliated in any way).

It cost about 1600 bucks, 850 for the insert, 500 to install (I didn't do a good job with the installer..) and a tile floor section to meet code.

I feel a lot better about Y2K knowing that my house wont freeze over like it did when we lost power a few years ago. It's a real big deal when you have small children, and everyone you know is in the dark as well.

What other LOW TECH solutions have you come up with for heating?

-- Bryce (Bryce@nospam.com), December 14, 1999


Karosene indoor approved heaters.

-- nothing (better@to.do), December 14, 1999.

Bryce, I just got a cord delivered Sunday and it is such a relief to just look at that pile, so I understand where you are coming form! In this part of VA I should be able to get by with one cord. May get a second, but figure in the long run it would be better for me to spend that chunk of change on a chainsaw.

-- Hokie (nn@va.com), December 14, 1999.

For those who cannot afford the cost of an insert, you might want to spend about $60-80 on a three-sided, reflective metal thingie from Plow and Hearth. The blurb says it reflects up to 80% of the heat back into the room--and it DOES! We're extremely happy with the results. Works for gas logs too.


-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), December 14, 1999.

Close off the room with the fireplace, and let the rest of the house freeze. Bring in cots, sleeping bags, water, etc, to one or two "warm rooms".

To close a doorway that has no door, cut a plastic tarp a bit oversize, or use one of those aluminized mylar blankets. Use yardsticks to wedge it into the doorway top and sides. If the door is wider than 36", use "binder" paperclips to splice the yardsticks as long as you need, or splice with several turns of string, or rubberbands. If the doorway is real narrow, cut the yardstick. You want just enough sticklength that it bows 2 or 3 inches in the center.

Stopping drafts makes a HUGE difference in the heat requirements. I can heat for the evening with 3 logs and no door closure, or 2 logs with the doors blocked. That's a 50% increase in the length of time I can heat the place. Not bad.

-- bw (home@puget.sound), December 14, 1999.


Did exact same thing, same price, same amount of wood. tested it yesterday (having been raised and lived w/ fireplace or woodburning stove all my life)~ bloody thing has an ash remover at bottom. Said remover was opened when flue was primed....instant smoke in entire basement.

An hour later my 45 degree rooms got to 70.

Glad I tested, glad I had fire extinguisher.....Stove works nicely once I read instructions....

-- RJ (LtPita@aol.com), December 14, 1999.

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