Surviving a cold winter

Back in November, I built an outdoor wood stove (I’ll post details of the design and construction, soon), because I had lots of wood to burn and my heat pump wasn’t working. Winter came early and it was harsh, as I’m sure most of you know. I burned through all of my firewood pretty quickly, so I spent a good deal of time searching for dead trees to cut up and split. I managed to get through most of January heating my house 100% with wood. Finally, we got some nice weather, so I went out and found the defective part in my heat pump and ordered a replacement. I’m still supplementing my heat with what little wood I have left, but the heat pump works well in this milder weather. I’ll be better prepared for next winter.

My electric bill for November-December was $30, December-January was $40, and January-February was $70 (because I relied on electric heat for part of the month). If I have a nice, dry stockpile of hardwood for next winter, I should be able to keep the electric bill around $40 a month for the entire winter.

Regarding the outdoor wood stove, I have photos of it’s construction, and I am planning some improvements to make it more efficient and easier to control. I’ll cover all of that in a future post.