Wood stoves are great for heating the house — usually

I thoroughly enjoy the smell of a campfire. Or the woodsmoke in the fall when people start up their fireplaces for the first time of the year. But it’s not so great when that smell is completely filling your house at 2 a.m.

I love everything about heating with a wood stove. Going up to the forest in the summer or the early fall to cut down wood, chopping that fresh-cut firewood, and soaking up the warmth of a wood stove fire after being outside in sub-zero temperatures. And there’s nothing like the wood smoke smell. It just smells like a warm, cozy home.

Unless that smell is ALL you can smell at 2 in the morning. And it loses a lot of its luster when it’s combined with a screeching beep and a digital voice yelling, “Warning! Carbon Monoxide! Warning!”

OK, so I don’t love EVERYTHING about the wood stove. There’s a little chimney hat that keeps rain and birds from falling down into the stove, and once in a great while, it gets clogged up with creosote or even ices over if it’s cold enough outside. That is apparently what happened last night. And when it does that, there’s nowhere for the smoke to go but out through the cracks in the stove pipe and the wood stove.

We have eight smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in the house — four upstairs and four downstairs. They are all interconnected, too, so if one detects a danger, they all go off. Very loudly.

Even my kids can’t sleep through that kind of racket, especially since there is an alarm in each of their bedrooms. Since we were all up, we spread out and opened doors and windows, then started doing everything we could to fan the smoke out of the house. It took us about an hour, but we finally managed to get the alarms turned off and the wood stove shut down.

I either need to find a better chimney hat or do a better job of keeping the one we have clean. Despite the rude awakening last night, I still love heating the house with that wood stove. But I really don’t want to go through that again.

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