First empty…

With overnight temps in the low 20’s, I was unsurprised to be greeted this morning with the first empty propane bottle on the bedroom regulator.


The first of many, alas, because as long as money permits I’m going to treat the bedroom heater as a regular feature, rather than an emergency measure.


I’ve done that virtually from the start of the bedroom addition three years ago and seem unlikely to change unless driven to by finances. The setting goes to 50o at bedtime and up to 60 or 65 during the day and evening. I can obviously get along nicely with less but the older you get, the colder cold seems to get.

One (in hindsight) obvious thing I should have done before drywalling the bedroom…


…would have been a 12-volt duct fan through the wall behind the stovepipe, centered just to the left of that hat hook. I have 12 volt wiring in that wall and it would have been simplicity itself to vent air hot from the stovepipe directly into the bedroom. But hindsight is always gloriously more clear than foresight, and now I’d have to tear out too much drywall to get to the wiring. Ain’t gonna happen. But I think about it every time I note how poorly the woodstove helps in heating the bedroom. It would have eventually paid for itself in saved propane.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to First empty…

  1. Terrapod says:

    Would it not be simpler to just make the hole for the fan and run a new set of wires downward? Use flex armored romex which is about 1/2: in diameter and just staple it under the lair to the connection point. Armored spiral aluminum will keep most critters away from wires as I don’t think you have beavers or squirrels out there 😉

  2. T says:

    There are non-electric stove fans available that work simply by heat (well, temperature difference) alone. Some of them are designed to be mounted to a stovepipe like you have in that picture. A lot of folks who’ve tested them claim that they do help. Might that be a possibility?

  3. Mark Matis says:

    Your propane fund just got hit!

  4. Is there room in the BR for one of the miniature wood stoves?

  5. Kentucky says:

    ” . . . the older you get, the colder cold seems to get.”

    Yup. That’s what leads us to burn thru over 500 gallons of fuel oil every winter.

  6. Norman says:

    If studs are on 16″ centers (meaning 14 1/2″ between stud vertical faces) and shared by both sides of the wall, how about a 14 1/2″ square opening? In the right place (assuming there’s a “right place” that properly aligns on both sides of the wall) a second stove-heat-driven pan might do the trick.

    Trim on the perimeter to dess it up, and a snugly-fitting insulated square insert for non-heating season.

    It would consume floor space, and I have no idea how well they hold up in long term daily use, but to continue Freeholder’s idea there are some very small tent heater stoves available, most of which use – IIRC – 3″ stove pipe (Jotul makes some very nice (and pricey) stoves, among them what they call “ship’s heaters,” very small cast iron stoves to provide heat and a cooking surface aboard boats).

  7. Nevada says:

    What about a small fan made to be mounted in the corner of the doorframe to move heat in just such situations? I know Lehman’s sold them years ago.

  8. Ben says:

    Or just a cheap box fan to sit on the floor in front of your bedroom door to blow warm air from your main room. The fan would also have summertime uses.

  9. Joel says:

    I woke up this morning wondering if I could find an AC powered fan that would run off one of those useless light fixtures on the ceiling just outside the bedroom door.

  10. B says:

    Make a hole in the wall up high. You’ll be surprised how much air will pass through the hole and return through the doorway. It won’t be a good as fan forced air, but it will move more heat than you might think just through natural convection.

  11. dan says:

    JOEL: as i’m up in north b.c.i use a lot of propane in addition to wood being primary heat source, i know you don’t have a lot of xtra electric power but if you can figure out a way to keep your tanks warm you will find that your propane goes a hellof a lot further. you can look up online your btu loss as the temp drops & it is a major drop, especially up here in -20to-40.temps. a light bulb not led in a small wooden box kinda insulated would help. check it out DAN

To the stake with the heretic!