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Something I'm Glad I Recently Bought

Blogging this morning from the public library because our internet is down. Here's why -

What we woke up to Sunday morning.

After an inch of rain on Saturday, we got three inches of snow overnight. Plus, everything was coated with ice.

I dread ice worse than snow. While our northerly neighbors get snowed in under feet of snow, we get iced in by as little as a quarter inch of ice. It coats absolutely everything and makes it near impossible to drive (or walk) anywhere. It's not uncommon for tree branches to be so heavily laden with ice that they break and fall onto power lines. That can mean days or weeks without electricity.

These two pine trees didn't fall on power lines, but they fell on pasture fence!

What's interesting is that Dan was just talking about thinning out some
pines to mill into posts for his carport repair project. Here they are!

Fortunately, we only lost power for two hours. I know some areas in the Southeast are still without, so I'm thankful we didn't have it worse. Still, it made me glad I recently bought something that has been on my winter preparedness to-get list for several years - an Ecofan.

Top of the line AirMax 812 model

It sits on top of the woodstove and makes its own electricity from heat differences between the top and bottom of the fan (technical explanation here). It's a brilliant off-grid way to help circulate heat, because heat from a woodstove typically tends to stay in one room and be slow to move to other parts of the house. Our ceiling fans help with that, but when we lose power they're of no use. That's why I've had my eye on an Ecofan.

It's a bit pricey, however, so when I noticed a huge price drop for it on my Amazon wishlist, I thought, I can live with that. Most folks seem to agree that we're in for a severe winter, so it seemed prudent to finally invest in one. I clicked on the link and discovered that the nice price was for Prime members only. The rest of us would just have to pay the not-so-nice price (unless, of course, we wanted to join Amazon Prime, hint, hint).

That annoyed me. I immediately deleted the Ecofan from my wishlist and set off on a search for a better price. I found it too, at Tractor Supply. Fifteen dollars cheaper than Amazon's exclusive price and with free shipping to my home. I bought two.

So what do we think and how do we like it?

I'd hoped for a photo with blurred spinning
fan blades, but my camera wouldn't cooperate. 

Dan was dubious at first, but after using it for a week or so, we both agree that the house is warmer. And with smaller fires. We can position the fan to direct heat toward us, into the next room, or down the hall. That means that rooms which rarely benefit from woodstove heat are warmer than without the fan.

Whirling away on the back of the wood cookstove.

We still do other things to help the house stay warm: close off rooms that aren't in use, keep curtains closed unless the sun is hitting the windows, and open or close specific room doors to direct heat where we want it.

The only thing I wish I'd known before I bought it is that the Ecofan has a little motor which is recommended to be replaced every several years. Looking back over various web advertising, I can't find that information anywhere, but it was in the leaflet in the box. That's not a deal breaker, but it's disappointing because I'm not keen on things that need me to keep buying stuff for them. It would have been nice to know this beforehand, but that's the downside of shopping on the internet (and fodder for another soapbox).

Still, I'm happy to have another useful item crossed off my preparedness list. It's well made and has some heft to it, so in spite of the one downside, I would still recommend it. For the mechanically minded, here's a link for a DIY model.

A technician is coming out tomorrow to look at our modem, so hopefully, I'll be able to respond to comments and return blog visits soon.


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