The wood burner in the kitchen is a classic; everyone around here seems to have had the same model at some time, and they all seem to have had a large hole in the grate, that lets the wood fall through, and an ash pan that’s more hole than whole. So ours was no different. In common with the rest, it guzzled wood, needed constant attention and had to be used with the doors open if you wanted it to heat the room, leaving your clothes smelling of wood smoke.
So, after a bit of research, we bought a replacement; this one has a side door to load it with logs, a thermostat and will stay lit, unattended, for up to 10 hours.
We tried sending Kieran up the chimney to sweep it, but he’s simply too big these days; so we bought some brushes and cleaned it in a more conventional fashion. The next job was to cap the chimney, to stop the rain dripping on the new stove (the top of the old one was quite rusty). Unfortunately, in doing this, the lads discovered some loose bricks in the chimney stack, which will have to be cemented up tomorrow. The chimney liner had to come out as it was only supported on the old stove; quite a job as two lengths had welded together, so it wouldn’t come out downwards and had to be winched up and out of the top. But eventually, they overcame all the obstacles, removed the old stove and heaved the new one (140kg of it) into place.
We have to “season” it, which involves keeping the fire small tonight, then gradually building up the heat over the next few days, so it won’t be roaring for a little while yet, but it seems to work well and should also mean we don’t have to wear “eau de woodsmoke” all this winter.