Monday, October 05, 2009

Just Around The Bend

All this dark, damp, dreary -and cold, very wet, weather has brought about a nagging reminder to me that we are gonna have to order some fuel oil for the old furnace here -very shortly!

I really dread the coming months with the cold, ice, snow, sleet -all that "wonderful" winter stuff - mainly because of the price of fuel oil these days. And with that, we try to keep this old barn of a house reasonably comfortable without breaking the bank in the process.

We have a fireplace in the living room that many, upon coming in here for the first time, have remarked about how nice it must be to have a fireplace to be able to sit and enjoy the nice cozy warmth from that entity.

Sadly, that is not the case with this particular fireplace though. As it is one that because when it was built, it wasn't set up properly, so hasn't been used since sometime in the 30s -before the family discovered it is virtually a mega fire hazard if it were to be used consistently. Sometime about the cinder box being seated directly on one of the main timbers of the house if I recall the story behind why the fireplace should never be utilized.

However, it does often make me wish we could perhaps get an electric fireplace to use to at least take a lot of the chill off the downstairs in this house during those cold winter months ahead.

But then, I wonder how much an electric fireplace would jack up our electric bill too?

Son of a gun, but you can't seem to win no how, no way, sometimes, can you?

Because our hot water is heated off the furnace, the system here runs year-round so no getting away from the oil heat completely. But, I am wondering too which is the more expensive overall -running the furnace to heat the entire house or maybe investing in one of these electric things to keep the house warm but not totally at the expense of those high oil bills.

Anyone got a clue about how feasible that would be for a supplemental type of heat, perhaps?

Tell me your experience with things like thiis -and hurry, before I go into frozen mode here for the next several months!


terri said...

We have a gas furnace, and a gas fireplace. So the gas fireplace really doesn't save us any money. I hear a wood burning stove is the way to go. Of course, there's an expense to buy it and get it installed too. Either way, it's going to cost you.

TechnoBabe said...

This will be our second winter in NE so we are still adjusting to changes in seasons. I am already wearing sweats and have to have something on my feet in the house, this coming from a barefoot gal all my life. Our next door neighbors were advising me on how it would be better for me to back into the garage so it will be easier to get to work on the cold snowy icy mornings. Since I get up earlier than hubby and he is on such strong meds for his bipolar disorder I don't see him getting up and stumbling around early to try to shovel snow off the long driveway, so I plan on putting the pedal all the way down and flying down the driveway! Wheeee. We have the furnace on here and trying to keep warm but like I said, we are wearing warmer clothes now. We do have a couple space heaters that take the chill off like when we are sitting on the couch and reading. Do you have a space heater? I sure wish you good luck and hope you all are warm enough this winter.

Anonymous said...

I had to break down and turn the furnace on for a bit last Thursday evening. I couldn't take it! I don't know what I'll do when winter gets here. Ha!

Maggie May said...

I dread the winter too and after a lovely late spell of good weather it has now gone really cold. We are wearing extra layers at the moment.
Our house is heated by gas boiler & radiators but I can put a gas fire on independently as we have done this evening. Just to take the chill off the house.
Electrical things over here do tend to run up bills.
Have you thought of a mobile gas fire, run from gas canisters that you can renew when they get used up? Maybe you don't have them in USA.
(I know you say *gas * in USA for what we say *petrol*. I don't mean that. I mean gas as North Sea etc!

Dr.John said...

Perhaps you could convert to gas. The price of natural gas is supposed to be going down.

fermicat said...

It has been a cold and dreary day in the southeast as well. We turned on the heat for the first time this fall, and lit the pilot light on the gas fireplace in our den.

That stinks to have a fireplace you cannot use. I would think that an electric fireplace would be very expensive to use, but that is just a guess. You could check into a ventless gas fireplace. Not sure how much warmth they add, so you would need to do some research.

lattégirl said...

It's a shame not to be able to use that fireplace. I know nothing about them, but could the cinder box be moved off the beam? (I know... it sounds like a nice & easy suggestion but probably requires much destruction, mess, and rebuilding. Never mind.) Um... space heaters?

Travis said...

You should look into which is cheaper, just so you know.

Anonymous said...

Being in my new/old home - very old, my windows go up on rope pulleys... - I will be utilizing the fireplace here very shortly.. My goal is to use it as the major heat source throughout the house.. Not sure how that's going to work but I'm going to give it a go..
My water heater is gas and my bill has only been around $55 a month, so I'm happy for that, as opposed to my nearly $150 elec. bill already.. Blah.. No way around modern progress, huh?

Debbie said...

I think fireplaces are always inefficient. Except my dad had a wood insert with a fan in our fireplace as a child and I think that thing would melt the paint off the walls!

Berni said...

As you know we have a woodstove that does all our heat, but sometime ago I did look into the feasibility of electric heat because it would not bother my allergies as the woodstove does. It turn out it would be too expensive for us to install however I came across an article about radiant heat using electricity. It is the way to go as the warm air heats the objects around it rather that disappearing up to the ceiling. Maybe a few little radiant heaters where you are and turn the oil furnace down a bit. Just an idea