At Govindas Farm we like to have functional art. Check out our gold hot water storage unit.(pics below....).
When we moved into this shambles called a house two winters ago...it was c..o..l..d...COLD. The house had been abandoned by humans for 1 year but happily housed a raccoon. We moved in Dec.16th...just before the worst winter snow storms hit the Province. The house was damp and did not begin to radiate heat for three entire months. We only had one stove that came with the house but the house had NO insulation at all and it is over 140 years old....unbelievable. We had spent all our money on paying cash for the farm so we had very little money left over for repairing the house and we also had to start a new business with under $600.
As the saying goes..necessity is the mother of invention. We managed to scrape enough money together and with my husband and sons manpower they blew insulation into the attic. That made a huge difference in keeping the house warmer. Although one night...I was sitting with my back to the wood burning stove (a chimney company had just installed the new chimney but kept one angle piece)...anyways I was sitting and sewing and feeling the welcome heat on my back.....shortly it felt a little hotter...a little hotter....only when I started to cough to I turn around to see that the angle of the chimney was red hot!!!! Chimney fire!!! I had no clue what to do except jump around..pointing..."Ahhhhhh...chimney fire...chimney fire!" So glad I have a husband. He dampened the fire by throwing ash onto it and let the chimney fire burn itself out. No damage done but a great,big,fat lesson learned. Make sure the chimney is clean. (We clean the chimney 4 times a year now because we use the wood stove to cook meals and to make soap year round.)
This year we bought a better stove with a bigger wood box. He also installed a metal loop inside the wall of the firebox to heat our water. The hot water is then stored in a recycled insulated hot water tank at the back of the stove. We have so much hot water that we all have to take 2 hot showers each a day just to use the hot water up. Love it! Especially after having lived in Panama for 8 years with no hot water at all.
Gaura Nitai used a green plastic milk crate to raise the rusty white tank to the correct height. He then attached a used olive oil can to catch the tap water drips. Useful...yes...ugly to boot...oh yeah! He promised to build a housing around the entire contraption to hide it but I knew that would be on his list of 100 things to do ...that would be...number 99! So being an artist...I spray painted it my favorite color....gold!
Oh...most importantly this wood stove and contraption saves us about $1000.00 a month on heating the house..people here use oil to heat their homes....hot water was costing us $10 a day...so $300.00 a month. That is just nuts. This system costs us the stove $1,400.00,tank $0,pipes $20, wood $1000.00 a year. But the best thing is the complete feeling of freedom from the oil company. Simplify...simplify..it's a fantastic way to live. I'll be selling soap for the next 4 days so I'll let you know how things went next week. Take care.