For Christmas, my father-in-law bought us a Magic Heat Reclaimer. This is a thing you attach to your stove pipe (if you have a wood, coal, or oil stove) and it’s supposed to reclaim the heat that goes up the chimney and instead circulate it into your living space.
Magically, of course.
The idea is that there’s this metal box, and through the box go these ten pipes. The heat goes up the chimney and warms the pipes. When the thermostat on the Magic Heat Reclaimer senses that the pipes are warm enough, a fan kicks on and blows the warm air into the house.
The box is about a foot tall, I’m guessing. And the only problem was that our stovepipe didn’t go up very high before it turned and went out into the chimney. So that meant that a new hole had to be drilled into the chimney so that there would be room for the Magic Heat Reclaimer.
This was a messy job. And I’m glad I was out of the house for most of the time it was being done.
Unfortunately, it was a messier, more difficult, and more expensive job than either Chef or his dad anticipated.
Fortunately, they are go-getters and got the job done. Also fortunately, my parents blessed Chef and me with a financial gift this Christmas which took care of the expense of renting a masonry drill and buying stove cement and all the other stuff that was needed to get the job done.
Yes, I already wrote my parents a thank-you note.
So the living room was a mess for a while. The masonry drill was water-cooled, so not only was there dust everywhere from drilling through the bricks, but an incorrect estimate of how much water was needed resulted in a lot of our books, which were on shelves next to the wood stove, getting wet.
So the books all got moved to the couches and chairs for a while.
But finally, it was done. Because my husband and his father are amazing, dedicated workers. And they probably also knew I would have a minor breakdown if I had to live in a house that had books in the chairs and a ladder in the living room and a hose running across the floor for more than six hours.
We tried it out. And when it first kicked on, smoke came out. SMOKE! This was a bad thing. We want heat in our house, but not smoke!
The smoke didn’t last though. We think it smoked just because it was new. It doesn’t smoke anymore. It does occasionally smell stinky when it’s running, but we’re hoping that’s also because it’s new and that it will fade.
And this thing really works. When I put my hands up to test the air blowing out, it was warm! In fact, one night, the house was actually HOT! Wow, I don’t think I’ve been hot since August.
I think the Magic Heat Reclaimer is going to make a big difference in the long run. I’m hoping we will be able to rely more on wood (much of which we have been able to get for free) and on natural gas less.
After all, it’s magic.