Tag Archives: Heating

Yeni Soba Var

We have aold-soba new wood burning stove.  It is a thing of beauty.  The old soba, it should be said, worked well enough.  It was always difficult to light, fussy about the size of wood, and made smoke in the house for at least a short period most evenings it was in use.

We thought that a wood burning stove would be a great improvement.  Hilary was very keen to have glass in the front of it so that she could watch the logs burning.  We have friends with wonderful stoves, bought from Canada or from Switzerland.  We also have a friend who bought his stove in Tekzen – a local chain and he was very pleased with it.  We rode out to Tekzen in Kuşadası and they didn’t have any nice stoves at all.  The only half way decent one they had was broken.  They thought they might get more in later in the season…

We did our Internet Research and found a shop in Izmir that sells Prity stoves.  These are made in Bulgaria and, whilst a great deal more expensive than Turkish models, are hugely cheaper than anything made in the UK, Scandinavia or Canada.  Last week we went up to Izmir and looked at the stoves, chose one and paid for it.  It arrived by Kargo on the day we requested.  We had to install it ourselves but, as it arrived early, we had plenty of time to walk into town to buy new pipes (the right length) and a new base.  It takes the same sized pipes as a local soba.  Installation was not a problem.

Ashley lit it on Thursday.  It works beautifully.  It heats the room more evenew-sobanly than the old one, you can see the pretty flames and it doesn’t make smoke inside the house…

Although, tonight there was smoke in the house, but that’s because Hilary forgot she had put croutons in the oven…

2012 – A Review Part 4 – October to December

October

Back in Selçuk we had the rear wheel looked at again.  As suspected it was badly worn and needed to be replaced.  The advice was to be very careful with it, don’t go too fast, and avoid all potholes, and get a new wheel as soon as possible.

October was also the month we heard about a new law which permits foreigners   to obtain a Museum Card – they give free access to pretty much every museum and archaeological site in the country.  Since buying the cards which are valid for a year we have made a great deal of use of them and strolling through Ephesus has become a regular occurrence.

We had a coLake2uple of really good days out with friends. The most spectacular was to Lake Bafa and Kapıkırı.

The broken wheel was an unplanned expense just as we started to have some alterations made to the kitchen.  New cupboards, and a cooker hood / extractor.  This involved taking out the old extractor fan and having a carpenter make new cupboards to match the old ones.  There were some delays to the work, we needed to get a second carpenter and as a result the cupboards only got fitted the day before we left for the UK.  This meant we would need to have the rest done when we got back.

Then it was off to the UK to see family and to Dublin to see friends, and to pick up a new wheel for the bike.

November

We had the kitchen finished as soon as we got back.  This involved having the extractor hood moved to the right height for the new units and the pipe properly fitted througDavlumbaz-lowered-with-fingh the wall, and getting a neighbour to help fill in the resulting hole in the wall.  It was starting to get cold, the last thing we wanted was a hole in the kitchen wall for the wind to come straight through.  Of course when the work was all done there was decorating to do.  It has very much been worth the hassle and expense, the kitchen is greatly improved.

Equally in need of attention was getting the new wheel fitted.  The wheel went on the bus to Izmir along with Hilary and Ashley carefully rode the bike.  We had a couple of hours to kill whilst the wheel was being fitted so wandered around Izmir and had lunch.

Over the month we gradually moved into the front house and then closed down the back house for winter.  We started using the high quality wood (we bought a tonne of it earler) in the soba.  We now know we must not use the extractor when the soba is lit, and so far have had no problems at all with the soba.

The local nonsense about the end of the world started.  There was talk about only Şirince and a village in France being saved from some sort of apocalypse brought about by the end of the Mayan Long Count.  It is a count, a measure of time, when it ends a new one starts, but we guessed it would be good for the local economy.

December

The apocalypse thing got increasingly out of hand.  People started to get concerned about safety.  Rumours of thousands of people converging on Şirince started.  Come the day there was a massive media circus, loads of police and emergencySirince2 services present, and access to the village was being restricted on safety grounds.  We took a stroll up there by way of the forest roads, just to see what was going on.  The village was packed but not much more than is normal for a Sunday in summer.  In the end it was all a bit on a non-event and as expected nothing else happened.

We bought two new radiators to help us stay warm.  High tech things, made in Sweden, they seem excellent.  They were also incredibly easy to fit.

We learnt that the KGS card we have for the toll roads is being phased out.  The other system, OGS does not work for bikes because it works on front number plate recognition.  A new system called HGS was being introduced, this works on a bar code recognition when approaching the toll booths.  The sticker with the bar code is meant to be mounted on a forward facing surface, a windscreen.  We now have the sticker with the bar card mounted on a card and plan to hold it forward when approaching tolls.  We have not as yet tried this out, December was cold and we had no pressing reason to hit the motorway to Izmir.

We did a lot of social things, in particular towards the end of the month.  Meeting friends in Izmir and Selçuk, evening gatherings, the usual stuff for this time of year.

Routine Soba Maintenance

It is getting really cold at night and the soba has started to get smoky – these two things seem to happen at the same time.  Maybe it is a combination of the flu being icy cold and having a build up of soot which slows the flow of hot gases and smoke.  Left it would get more smoky, and then dangerous since carbon monoxide would start to become present in the smoke.  It goes without saying that we have carbon monoxide and smoke alarms, in our view anyone who has any device with an open flame in their home should have these.  Even so, it is far better to keep the soba working safely.

So before it got any worse it was time to pull everything apart for cleaning and to remove the soot from the flu.  Cleaning the soba and flu is not a pleSootasant task, but it is essential.  We have a round wire brush on an extendable pole which is just about the ideal tool, but it is a messy job, soot gets everywhere.  Of course it was bound to need doing the day when we have people coming over in the evening…..

Winter Warmers

So far it has not been a cold winter, not like last year which was described as exceptionally cold, although there have been a few cold days and nights.  Locally distributed (well from Bursa) wall mounted space heaters from Norway are verykitchen-radiator popular with people we know here and have been highly recommended as extremely efficient and effective.  Getting some would mean we could stop using the floor standing oil filled electric radiators we inherited which although reasonably effective are more costly to run and tend to get in our way at times.  They also tend to gather dust and are difficult to clean.

Yesterday we bought two.  One for our main living space and a smaller fitting-the-radiatorsone for the bedroom.   Today they arrived.  In less than an hour we had them fitted to the walls, mounting them really was very simple.  They look pretty good, are very neat and tidy, and most importantly belt out warmth really quickly.

If they are good enough for winters in Norway they should do just fine here.

Winter is Coming – Preparing for Ice and Fire

Last night there was thunder in the distance, the occasional flash of lightening, and a few drops of rain.  Today has been cloudy with a few more drops of rain.  It remains pleasantly warm, 27C in the afternoon but the change in the weather is a reminder that autumn is coming, inevitably to be followed by winter.

Today, in preparation for winter, our firewood arrived.  1,000 Kg of it.  All delivered in sacks, and cut to the right size to fit our soba (wood stove).  Last year we got cheaper wood and had to cut up a lot of it because the pieces were too big.  Chopping wood is way too much like hard work.  There was still the work of emptying the sacks and getting all the wood stacked in the wood store.  All done now, it took a few hours, but is work well worth doing.

Hopefully it will not get cold enough to be needed before December.  Hopefully, unlike last winter, there will not be ice an inch thick on the roof terrace.  But no matter what winter throws at us we will have fire.

Betwixt and Between

We’re feeling a bit betwixt and between at the moment which is making it hard to come up with ideas for blog posts.  We have several things which are currently half way through.  We are still, for instance, waiting to complete the process of getting Ashley’s Turkish driving licence.  We should probably go to the Polis and chase that up, but other things keep getting in the way.  Ashley may write up his dental work, when that is finished, and we will definitely write up a blow by blow account of how we applied for our Universal Health Insurance once we have established that we are correctly on the system as a married couple.

We also have a couple of home improvement plans which we need to move forward with.  Turning the basement into a garage / workshop is priority, we don’t want to be leaving the bike out in winter.  Then there is a very much needed extractor hood for the kitchen, and maybe an extractor fan for the bathroom, both of which should help a great deal with condensation on the walls in winter.

Social life is taking off again now that the weather is a little cooler.  We met some friends for drinks at a café yesterday evening.  We’ve managed to double-book ourselves for Saturday and, early next week, we expect a visit from a friend from Ireland.

We got an electricity bill today, a month ago we bought the portable air conditioning unit.  We have used this sparingly but as needed, mostly to help us sleep.  The bill shows in an increase in night time electricity use, but not one we need to worry about.  September is coming, the temperatures will start to drop and already the night time is noticeably cooler.  No matter how hot it gets and how much electricity we use trying to stay cool it is never going to be as expensive as the winter months as our graph for the year shows.

Electricity

Our last electricity bill came as a bit of a shock.  In view of that we have been reviewing our electricity use over the months we have been here.  We are on what seems to be a common mixed tariff, a standard rate during the day, a peak rate during the evening and a cheap rate at night.  We get monthly bills which provide details; the figures are interesting and revealing.

The night usage is mostly ambient, fridges, devices on standby, maybe some lights (we tend to retire after midnight), and we have more devices now than we had when we arrived.  We have also over the last month used the air conditioning briefly to help warm the bedroom.

Daytime and peak rates reveal when we stopped using the solar for water and turned to electric, in mid-November.  It also reveals more use of electric heating during the day from December and more so through January which has been very cold.  We use the wood soba more in the evening.  It highlights where we might be able to cut the cost a little, not heating water after 5pm (our boiler is well insulated so switching off at 5 should leave enough for the rest of the evening and ensure that we don’t have to wash in freezing water in the mornings), that sort of thing.

No doubt in another month or so, as things warm up, the usage will start to fall.  We have tried switching back to solar heated water after showers and on sunny days like today there is hot water.

Costs per unit are similar to costs per unit anywhere in the world.  Electricity pricing is fairly standardised.  It’s not really possible to compare to what we were spending in Northolt.  There we heated on natural gas, which has yet to come to Selcuk.  We have cylinders for the hobs and for the gas soba.  In winter we will use quite a lot of electricity, in summer considerably less.

Today and yesterday have been sunny and springlike, so we used very little electric heating.  The cold weather, according to the forecasts, will be back with us for next weekend.