Sunday, February 26, 2012

Burn Baby Burn

First off, apologies all around for my delinquency in blogging of late. There's no excuse aside from the general crazy life that all of us live these days. I vow to get back to a somewhat more regular routine of blogging. Frankly, I've missed the writing and "me time" that blogging affords.

Now, with that said, on to today's exciting post. We have gas logs that finally work! Woot! I know that many of you who have been to our home or seen pictures probably assumed that the lovely fireplace with the TV nook over it was probably a source of enjoyment, comfort, and maybe even romance on winter evenings. Well, not so... at least until recently.

When we built our house we chose a modular plan that had a corner fireplace with ventless gas logs. When it came close to move in time, and funds were tight, we opted to leave the fireplace as decorative for the time being and hook up the logs "sometime soon." Well, sometime soon has turned into 3+ years later, but we finally got it done, and on a budget!

We shopped around for folks who could do the hook up for us, which involved more than just bringing the tanks out since our builder didn't stub out any lines for the gas. We got several quotes, some around $1000 from major suppliers, which seemed way to steep to us, and finally settled on a locally owned operation that could easily do what we needed for around $500 including the cost of the gas and tanks. Another plus with going with them was that they wouldn't bring a big truck up our gravel driveway each time they needed to fill the tanks, they'll just pick up the tanks in their smaller work truck and bring us full ones. These folks were super nice and are family owned. We were very satisfied with the job they did; they left things very clean and did exactly what we needed without trying to convince us to get a larger tank, etc. Another example of why so often going local has more than just the warm fuzzy vibe going for it.

Now, I know those of you who have been reading for a while are thinking, "How is this green at all?" Well, it's not. But it will supply us with an alternate heat source should the power go out, which gives us some peace of mind (worth a great deal). The power doesn't go out frequently here, but when it does, it's almost always due to a bad ice storm or heavy snow, which means colder temps. It will be easy enough for us to shut off our bedroom and upstairs, set up the air mattress in front of the fireplace and camp out until the power comes back on. And it is really nice on cold days to have them so the heat pump isn't working as hard. (Not that we've had that many cold days this winter.)

How'd we pay for this? $500 is generally not in our monthly budget, but this past month I received a nice supplement since I got my National Board Certification. (This process was kind of like tackling graduate school all in one year, but so worth it for the professional experience and the pay raise.) So, we put part of that toward the logs and put the rest in savings.

I'll be back later this week with more updates and the long awaited post on the new roof and covered deck. Leave some love in the comments so I know you're still out there, readers! :)

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