When restoring a house, heating is part of that work. I muse on restoration heating at PumpjackPiddlewick

What would be a restoration mini medieval manor without restoration heating? That means, really, well, there isn’t any. The house has 4 rooms, and 3 of them were heated by wood stoves. The flew openings (covered up) are still there. The wood burners long since gone.

Wood stoves

I love the idea of living and working by wood stove. The house has very thick walls, is south facing and retains the heat wonderfully. Add in that where I am in France has a very short cold season. 6 weeks maximum. So my preference is to use just wood burners for heating.

I was given two wood burnings stoves by friends. Each nicely positioned in situ, ready to be hooked up. Except, we are well into winter now and they are not. Because…

Safety first

In France you can’t just use your fireplace, or really chimney. It is required by law that the chimney is swept each year. The price is fixed, and not very expensive.

So that is needed, but also I need quotes from those that fit wood stoves. Contacting them when I moved in in November was not the best timing. Finally one came in the middle of December. The middle of January now and I am still waiting for the quote. Ah well, it will be easier to have them fitted in the warmer months. Less demand.

In the meantime

I have a couple portable heaters. One for in my salon/bedroom and another for the current kitchen eventual office. I’ve set the primary radiator in my main room in front of the cast iron stove to absorb and bounce the heat. It’s working well.

And in case you should find yourself in a needing to heat by portable solution, I can really recommend the cheap upright 750w/1200w radiators. The ones that look like radiators and you have a choice of two strengths and a temperature control. Simple, and effective.

The one I have in the ‘kitchen’ is more your typical blows out hot air. Except. If/when I feel a need to blast some heat, even a little, it keeps tripping the electrics. It has to stay on a low setting to function. That’s not too bad as I don’t use that room currently all that much. So the room isn’t warm per se, but not freezing either.

But the main thing I don’t like about it is that it is noisy. Whereas the stand up radiator makes no noise at all. And radiates up and outward nicely, as well as warming the metal body of the radiator. Which the cats love. Even the ducks are drawn to it when the decide it is too cold to hang about outside.

Keeping warm

I have also discovered ways to keep or feel warm. If I am sitting working inside and I start to feel cold, I go outside. Mostly to work on the garden, as the exercise certainly warms me up. But sometimes I just go play a moment with the ducks. Then when I come in it feels much warmer inside.

Layers, too of course. I wear many layers, adding or subtracting depending on how I am feeling. Of note, I have found, is that layers made from natural fibers are far far better at keeping you warm (or cool) then man made. So I always make certain my socks are wool, at least 1 pair if 2 are necessary, and at least 1 wool top. Makes me think of that wonderful quote:

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.”

― Alfred Wainwright, A Coast to Coast Walk*

To read more on my Restoration Work:

Various writings about Restoring my Medieval Home

Restoring my Medieval Garden

Are antique tools better than modern?

A Few Finds from the archeological dig of a garden can be found in My Shop:

Simply click on an image to see more.

And if you would like to Support Pumpjack & Piddlewick, you can find more details including a Wish List on the Join in and Nourish Page. Also details on Affiliates* – For the book quoted about, I am affiliated with Bookshop.Org. As a prodigious reader myself, I wanted to offer a way to purchase the books. I specifically chose to affiliate with Bookshop because they support independent bookshops.


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