Well sorta an impulse purchase...I have been thinking about buying a chainsaw for ages to cut up a big pile of shrubbery into burnable chunks.
I was in Lowe's today and they had a little 14" electric chainsaw for $44. It works great. I played lumberjane today and made firewood! What a hoot.
The baby cried the entire time though. Not sure if it was the noise, or if he thought something was going to happen to mommy. I had daddy take him inside while I finished a couple of little logs. My oldest son came over and cut down some more shrubbery for me. He's definitely much stronger than I. What took him 15 minutes would have taken me an hour! GRR!!
We're having a guy come next week to give a quote on installing a woodstove into our fireplace opening. I'm excited to have a fire in the house again. It's been about 3 years since the inspector told us not to use the chimney due to a huge crack in it. So having it repaired (if we can afford it) and putting the insert in is going to save so much money in the long run! NW Natural Gas and their 35% rate hike this winter can kiss my patootey! We're going back to basics and burning wood.
Our house is old and poorly insulated and we have so much trouble keeping it above 65* in the winter. No matter how high the thermostat is. It also costs us $220 - $270/ month just for the gas bill, this doesn't include the $120 - $150 for electricity! I'm completely done spending so much on utilities. If something doesn't change this winter, we are all going to huddle in one room with an electric heater. Bah!
Anyways my plans to keep the house warm are:
Insulate the UNINSULATED crawl space under the living room. The floor is positively icy in winter.
Install low e film on the picture window in the living room (and both sliders).
Put plastic film over same window & sliders.
Make insulated curtains for all the windows in the house.
Have the furnace cleaned and inspected.
Install a woodstove insert and use it faithfully.
Flip the switch on the ceiling fan to the winter setting (whatever that is...I know it's supposed to be opposite the summer setting, but since I do not know what the summer setting is, I am in trouble!).
Insulate the hot water heater if we cannot afford to replace it with a tankless.
Install new front door. Important! Needs to be done, no matter what.
Buy rugs for the hardwood bedroom floors. BRRR.
That is all that I can think of for now.