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1/1/10

The Wife Interjects: Heat. Addendum To Hi-Falutin' Handsome Husband's Systems Posts.

Honeychile, let's talk about heat. I'm frickin' freezing and I want to go enjoy my prefab net zero modern green home NOW regardless of being without systems in this frigid, gorgeous, wintry weather.


Originally, despite my *completely* falling in love with the Amish Baker's Choice cook stove, (old practicality and function yet with simple, even modernist edges) we decided to eschew a wood stove because
  1. it would overheat the energy efficient, passive solar prefab green home
  2. we would need it *so* little, if ever, a year, because our modern SIPs home is so air tight and insulated that we need less systems, and we already would have radiant heat so it just didn't seem worth it
  3. and relying purely on solar energy / radiant heat is more environmentally friendly, even if we might be a bit cold a few days a year when it was direly bitter.



I went into more here, about how and why we changed the prefab architect's floor plan by moving the kitchen, and spoke in more detail about why we had decided not to use a wood cook stove.

Before we came to that conclusion, I asked my parents if we could have the working-perfectly-in-great-condition wood stove we used growing up that has now been sitting in their basement about twenty years. 
And they gave it to us! Oh the nostalgia! Oh the frugal-ness and reuse!


Then we hit upon our more cutting edge, solar / radiant off grid systems plan and Handsome Husband decreed the wood stove was overkill in such an efficient, prefab house kit.

Well, that was before we decided to be even more pay-as-you-go in building the net zero off-grid house this year.  Despite our great credit, we're trying to not acquire a loan to finish it because now is a great time to put our (literally) money where our mouth is and see how adverse-to-accruing-debt and frugal we can go.



Another winter is passing, another turn of the seasons where, despite the prefab SIPs house's ability to maintain steady temperatures due to the high insulation and passive solar design, I realize that after a few weeks of frosty, consistent cold without any systems / heat at all... it will be chilly in the house kit.

I don't want to be cold, I want to be cozy.

The reality is that it makes good economic sense to add the wood stove. It's free, and we can affordably add it and enjoy winters *immediately* even without solar heat. Let's face it: we are clearing fallen trees regularly, stacking them in piles for wildlife habitat. We certainly might as well use some of it to keep our family warm, for free!
Vive la practical, re-usable, *always* in style frugality! : ) 

...

Well.
I just got off the phone with my parents.
Unfortunately, I just discovered that since we settled on Better Technology Plan B, my brother asked for the stove. They gave it to him.
He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina and certainly desperately needs it for that frigid environment!
: )
[ I discovered this now because I am staying back with sick children while Handsome Husband goes to the land, having more room in the car than usual, therefore a perfect opportunity to pick up the stove from my parents, cart it out to the prefab, and enable us to enjoy the prefab house kit in these icy conditions. ]




So, NO nostalgic, this-was-passed-on-in-our-family-happy-memories-of-childhood 1980s wood stove to heat us now in the winter cold.

Square One... Again!

[It's ok. I'm used to it. After they gave away the family farm, what's a wood stove?]

So, I'm now doing research.
There's something about the whole concept of pellet stoves that doesn't sit right with me.  I get it, but... burning corn? And even when wood... it's like rabbit food when you could feed yer pets the garden vegetables about you. Pellet stoves are also expensive, the pellets, inconvenient.

I know you're thinking, "Well what about the federal tax credits?"
To qualify for tax credits, it must be 1. an existing home and 2. your principal residence. We need to  live here until our children finish 5th grade. AND regardless, new construction and rentals do not qualify.

Honeychiles, we'z gotz no handouts. None from mah fambly, none from tha' guvament heah. ; ) Good thang we're into self-sufficiency!


I found an old cook stove on Craigslist and my heart fluttered.
Me: "Oh please oh please oh please?"
Handsome Husband: "No."

Then, I found a new, barely used (ok, that's what I usually mean by "new" when I call something "new"... ) wood stove in a nearby town. It's the right price, right functionality... but... well, if we're not nostalgically getting the wood stove from my family then do we need to stay with the traditional wood stove?  However, on the inquiry, fate intervened- by the time I was able to speak with the owner, it had been promised to another.

Let's face it: from a design perspective, these stoves are not exactly sleek and coolio kickin' modern design. Technology has improved since then.

And this is our "forever" sustainable, off grid house we're (slowly) building. 
Design matters.

I briefly reviewed the old information I researched years ago: modern masonry heaters, Malm stoves, etc. as well as newer offerings and they were either puzzlingly inefficient or would literally heat-us-out-of-house-and-home, much less cost-an-arm-and-a-leg!  They're still super-cool though... *sigh*

And then... I discovered... via mocoloco / stylepark...
Turn.

Simple, sleek, effective, efficient, modern, whimsy-less, practical, edgy, warm, happy, cozy, sophisticated, stylish... perfect for a net zero prefab home.

Oh, thaz right, Turn.

I've fallen in love before. We shall see, we shall see.
But believe me, I'm used to marching on.

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