Next, checking out the stove pipe to make sure it was clear of debris. Upon inspection, we found it needed to be cleaned. A few weeks back, Patrice Lewis from Rural Revolution, did a post about how they clean their chimney. Instead of climbing up on the roof, they did the cleaning from inside the house, and kept it clean at the same time. For me, this was one of those light bulb moments. Great idea!
To clean our chimney, we first removed the two pieces of stove pipe between the stove and ceiling section. We took these outside and used the chimney brush to clean them there. In the process of cleaning this stove pipe and the place they connect to the stove, we discovered a coupling piece that needed to be replaced. In fact, Frank found some of it still stuck in the stove and the rest of it stuck in the stove pipe.
The replacement piece would have to wait a day for a trip into town, 25 miles away. In the meantime we finished cleaning the stove pipe using the same technique Patrice and Don Lewis used.
We made a small hole in the side of a heavy duty trash bag, placed the bristle in the stove pipe and the handle through the hole in the bag. I held the trash bag up against the ceiling stove pipe, to catch the soot while Frank did the scrub-a-dub-dub routine.
Using a wood stove for heat teaches us a lot about how much effort and attention it takes to provide safe, adequate heating for our home. Sure, it is pretty to look at, but it is also a chore that needs to be tended on a regular basis. Is it easier to push a button on the wall and have the electric heat come on? Absolutely! But what if it didn't? This is another chore that we choose to perform in the interest of self-education. There are days that we choose not to burn a fire because of other demands on our time, or we might be leaving the house for the day, or because of our aches and pains, or because we just don't want to mess with it. But the time will come when it will be a daily chore in the winter, like it or not. At least that is what we expect, we just don't see any way around it. And until that time, we choose to learn. Everyday.
Until next time - Fern