I’m in feetie pajamas, with a space heater next to me that I don’t want to turn on, and our thermostat is set to 62. I’m pretty darn cold. Before you call me a baby I have poor circulation so I can be cold in the middle of the summertime, but Oregon winters are particularly hard on me. Our 1200 sf house has a rather inefficient heat pump, our electrical bill last month was over $250, and it’s only going to be higher this month.

We examined our options and none are really great. To replace the heat pump would be approximately $4500. That’s not realistic for us. Also, while it’s not efficient, but it’s not broken either, and I have a hard time spending more than I would on a car on something that’s working. When we bought the house and I was starry-eyed, I thought about putting in a fireplace or stove as an ornamental feature. When I mentioned that to the tech who serviced our heat pump he said, “If you put a stove in your home, your heat pump won’t ever need to turn on in the winter.”

So we started examining stoves. To put a gas line to our house would cost $3000 because we live in “particularly rocky soil” according to NW Natural. Gas is out. We were down to a wood stove and a pellet stove. After looking at overall costs, a pellet stove seems to be the winner, but it’s a winner that will cost $1200. We’re hoping that with the reduction in our electricity bills, it will pay for itself within three years. Fingers crossed right?