I got a welcome reminder of what a beast our stove is when I came home from a trade fair yesterday afternoon. I opened the front door and was almost flattened by a wall of heat.
The stove had been lit since 7am, to help make sure our B&B guests were warm as well as well-fed before they hit the trail for a hard day’s walking. But by now it was 2pm, the house was empty and I was starting to sweat.
Our installer was reluctant to install this particular model, an Extraflame Lucrezia Idro, when the specifications for our new heating system were first drawn up. On paper, it’s far too powerful for the space that needs heating. It generates 22.5KW of heat, with 17.5KW of that available for central heating.
But once you factor in the thin, leaky wooden walls of our timber-built forester’s cottage, it starts to make more sense. In the dead of winter, with a 25˚C difference between internal and external temperature, the heat loss is, sadly, vast. It doesn’t take long for the house to cool down once the stove is off. Set against that, the Lucrezia was a sensible option after all.
The one remaining problem is that in spring and autumn, when it’s not so cold outside, the Lucrezia can get the house very warm, very fast. If you don’t remember to switch it off before you go out, you will quickly cook when you come home. It does have a central heating timer, but at a time of year when you’re only switching the stove on ad hoc, the timer tends to be deactivated.
Thus it was, when I came into the snug, there was Lucy, merrily auguring pellets into her burn pot and doing a fine job of drying the guest towels that were hanging nearby. I reached for the off button; the stove hasn’t been on since.
The UK is having its last gasp of summer this week and even in Scotland it’s pleasantly mild outside. That is all set to change by the weekend. A polar air flow is forecast, bringing autumn for real, with winter not far behind. It may soon be time to activate that central heating timer and get my first pellet order in.