Friday, 13 December 2013

Flat Pack Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree has been bought and it sitting outside in a bin of water. The intention is to place it under the minstrel gallery so that the full 9 feet can be enjoyed from the living room - the problem being it has to go in front of one of the sets of double patio doors, severely compromising easy access to the back of the house for the purpose of emptying the wood burner (which we occasionally flash up on really cold evenings, of which there haven't been too many yet).

My solution is to hang the tree from the cargo block I have suspended from the upper eaves in way of the minstrel gallery, which solves two problems in one go - firstly, stabilisation of a large Christmas tree, and secondly, being able to hoick it out of the way to gain access to outside with the wood ash from the fire (as well as being able to have the tree upstairs when we go to bed).

While on the subject of the wood burner; it's rated at 12kW, which I wasn't sure was enough to heat the entire barn-like structure of the house (the only non-open-plan room in the house is No.1 son's bedroom, and of course the bathrooms). As it transpires, it's more than enough - in fact too much, which is why we only light it when the outside temperature of forecast to go sub-zero.

It's also worthy of note that lighting the wood burner in the evening reduces our electricity consumption by some 10kWh a day (depending on the outside temperature, we're using anywhere between 35 and 50kWh a day, and not generating much from the solar PV, although we still have plenty in hand from the summer). You can see the effect over the last week or two on the red line in the chart below (click to enlarge):

For the uninitiated, red is per diem £ consumed, green is £ per diem generated, yellow is £ per diem net gain or loss (all on the left hand scale). Solid blue is the net cumulative spend on the right hand scale.

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