One of the best parts of fall in Missouri is that three-to-four week period from mid-October until the middle or end of November when it begins to get cold, but not too cold, you think, to actually turn on the heater at home.
Not coincidentally, I think, this is also the time of year when my lovely spouse spends plenty of time near the stove in the kitchen.
“Baking something,” I ask?
“No,” she replies, blowing warm air over her mittens, “just warming up the oven to 400-degrees so I can stick my hands inside and warm up.”
As the overnight lows fall into the 40s, it is game on to see how long we can stick it out without turning on the furnace.
It’s more than just saving money – although my old Scottish elders would be proud of me – it’s about testing your ability to enjoy wearing layers, and not relying on the heater.
With the warming trend over the past several years, I have found that I can get closer and closer to December 1 in this race to not burn the electric dollars.
But I also have a proven method of cheating the system – it’s called a Buck Stove.
This Made-in-America wonder fits into my fireplace, provides a spot for me to burn wood and heat at least three-quarters of the main floor of my home.
The Buck Stove is an original invention that simply converts burning wood to heat.
Buck Stove wood burning stoves allow you to use a plentiful and renewable source of fuel to heat your home all winter. Not only do wood burning stoves look pleasing, but they also allow you to rely on your own source of heat. You can heat your home with wood when needed and customize the amount of heat to your liking. They are simple to use and built to last.
There are multiple affects to having a fire in the fireplace at home. It creates a warm, cozy place to gather.
It creates a warm glow and a natural light that heats up a dark night and becomes the center of the attention for anyone around.
Building a fire itself is an art that most men seem to think is their God-given responsibility. And a good thing, because we men are experts at this craft – as long as we have some old newsprint, a few of the new-fangled creosote-soaked wood bars which burn slowly and surely. Of course, in Scouts we learned that dryer lint was perhaps the best fire starter, especially when you mix it with a good handful of dried leaves. Too many leaves, as my brother once discovered, and you have a good shot at burning down most of Osage Hills State Park in northeast Oklahoma.
But a fire in a Buck Stove inside your home protects even the most enthusiastic pyromaniac. As the burning wood heats the stove, it reaches the thermostat level of turning on the blower, sending warm air throughout the living room.
On a recent night when the temperatures fell to 38-degrees, the thermostat in my house was a comfy 72-degrees.
Sure, there is the electricity used to power the fan and there is a cost of the wood – whether I cut it myself or purchase it. But having grown up with a fire place and having had a fireplace when I lived in Colorado and now a Buck Stove all these years in my current home, I never once remember anyone getting excited about turning on the furnace like they did building a fire. I never remember anyone gathering around the heater and telling stories about their coldest winter like they do the fire.
And nobody brags about their new Lennox or Trane heater like they do that big bonfire they enjoyed on a cool fall evening.
But as temperatures fell below the 40s for the second consecutive weekend, my wife decided it would be best to have a little bit of heat in the home when we got home from work.
But my broken string – I will keep the heat off until December 1 some future year – did not deter me from building a fire as quickly as I walked in the door.
“Keep the home fires burning” is a phrase from a different era. At an age where I enjoy keeping the electric bill lower and recalling the camp fires of my youth, my Buck Stove provides a way of doing both.