Alright here are some numbers from last winter. First though let me preface this with 2 things: This last winter was terribly cold and our house was much warmer than normal.
Here are a couple charts comparing our utility bills with the temperatures from the past few years.
There was not a huge monetary change in our first 2 months in October and November but December was when it was obvious how much better our utility bill was looking. Any ways the charts pretty much speak for themselves. The grand total this year was $183 not to bad. I was hoping for about $250 but I can live with that. I am hoping for a more normal winter this year so we can really compare apples to apples. At this rate it will take 2 more winters for the chimney to pay for itself but that's not to bad.
Monday, November 16, 2009
This is going to be a semi long post because I have not updated since the install. I sprayed some high temp stove paint on the liner so it is not so noticeable. This fall has been extremely mild. I fired it up several times In October but the first half of November I didn't have to touch it. The first 5-10 times I burned the smell/smoke from the new stove pain curring was terrible. Make sure your first 5 fires are when you can have all your windows open and not have to be in the same room as it. I don't know how toxic that is but it was terrible. My draft is sufficient with the 14-15ft chimney. It will blow smoke out a bit if you open the stove door fast but as long as it is done slowly no smoke will come in. When you get a good fire going I will still have coals left 7-8 hours later, there is not enough to get a fire going or anything but they are there. The stove will usually still be around 150-200 degrees also. I expected to have to build a new fire every day and it looks like I will have to. I could probably get something going with some really small kindling. I have played around with the upside down fire building method. It does work but it takes it a while to get going. I have just recently started using firestarters. I bought the big starters and then chop them up into roughly 1x1 inch chunks. I use 2 pieces about 6 inches apart and it works great. I can get the stove up to 400 degrees in about 25 minutes( that's the minimum temperature that the stove starts operating efficiently). To get it up to speed this quick I use lots of little chunk of wood, roughly 1x1x3-8 inches. I fill the stove 3/4 full of this kind of stuff with some smaller kindling right over the fire starters. Then I light it and leave the door cracked about 3/4 of an inch. When the door is cracked it is like putting a fan on it. I will try to get some video up in the next couple days as long as the weather stays cool.
Monday, August 3, 2009
My chimney came in on friday. I was actually out of town and did not expect it so soon so it sat on my front porch all weekend. I am glad no one tried to run off with my $700 chimney liner. I ordered it from rockford. I would recommend them. the shipping was amazingly fast. I tackled the project by myself. It definitely would have been easier with a second set of hands but I am in a hurry to get this wrapped up. The video on youtube makes this look a little easier than it is, but it all worked out in the end. Just unrolling the chimney liner by myself was a chore. I wanted to get it as straight as possible before installing the insulation kit on it. Once I got it mostly unrolled I had to get all the factory oil off of it. I was affraid the spray adhesive would not stick if I didn't. Then I cut the insulation to about 172 inches so it would stop right before I got the the damper opening. I knew there was no way the liner and the insulation would fit through the hole. I did not attach the bottom termination like the video (by the way I went the applaince connector not the T). shows until I had the liner pulled through. That just looked like a good way to ding up an expensive part. once I had the insulation installed, taped and the mesh wrap secure I cut down a 2x4 to fit inside the bottom end of the liner. I also driller a 1 inch hole through the board. then I ran a roap with a knot in the end through the hole and used 4 screws to attach the 2x4 in the bottom. This gave me a way to get the liner on the roof bymyself and pull down on the liner if it got stuck in the chimney. I lugged the liner to the back yard then through the rope onto the roof. Then I climbed up on the roof and used the rope to pull the liner up. The liner and insulation is not super heavy. I would guess around 50-75 pounds but its still pretty akward. I dragged it over the chimney Then through the rope down the chimney. Then I huffed and puffed and chiggled and shoved until I got it through the top portion of my chimney extension and started down the brick part of the chimney. I actually got it all the way down in about 5 minutes. It got stuck a couple times but I never had to go down and pull on the rope. I got it all the way to the damper opening with out having to go down. then is just needed a small tug down there and it was through. I stuck the insulation about 4 inches from the top of the liner so I could just pull it all the way down and cut off the excess from the bottom rather than the top. It actually worked well doing it this way. I hopped back on the roof and shoved it the rest of the way through. Then I got the top part of my chimney extension and attached it. and tightened the hose clamp around the liner. it all went pretty smooth. Then I climbed down and figured where I needed to cut the liner off. I used a grinder with the cutting wheel. It blasted right through it then I attached the appliance connector at the end. Then I went back up to the roof and smothered all the joints in roof tar/plastic stuff. I don't want to have to deal with a leak. I took me all day but I got it done. Now I can honestly say I am ready to burn in this if I had to. I still need to make a damper block off plate and trim around the hearth but I am not giong to get in a rush to do that.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I have been trying to figure out a free way to make my chimney taller. I was given some return air ducting a while back and it is going to get the job. I have been reworking it a bit. It wont be pretty but it should be fine for holding the liner up. The chimney is on the less traveled side of the house too so it won't get much attention. I also got the liner ordered today. I was torn between Running a T or just running the liner right into the back of the stove. I decided to go with out the T. I can always add one later and this will save me 200 bucks for now. It should also eliminate a few more places for the draft to suck air other than the stove, giving me more reliability hopefully.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
We had another work evening after work. We put in another 5-6 hours. We got all the front done except 2 little pieces on the the left. We will finish up the sides tonight. They should be pretty easy. There are no real small cuts to make and they should be the same all the way up. Then we may start the grout. It sounds like slate is a bit harder to grout than other tile...figures. We should be able to unload the stove tonight too.