Note: this is not an article about how individual action will solve the climate crisis. This is an article about how individual environmental action can feel good and has brought joy into my life during this wonderful holiday season. Hopefully, sharing this story with you will help to solve the climate crisis (If only it were that easy).
In October I realized that my fossil gas fireplace was having a problem staying lit. I have had problems like this before and it was most likely the valve that controls the pilot light. These get gummed up with residue from the burning gas and often stop working.
I called the company that installed the fireplace and they said that their first available appointment was in two months. I said thanks and took the appointment and immediately started calling other people that might be able to fix it. The next company I called said they didn’t even have anybody available. Their gas technician quit and they haven’t been able to find anybody else to replace them. I might be reading into this, but it feels a lot like this is dying industry and finding gas repair people is getting harder and harder. The next company I called said it would be three months before they can schedule a visit.
I sat with this for a few days before I realized that I could probably disconnect the gas fireplace and replace it with an electrical one. After a quick search on Amazon and Wayfair I found a few options that look like they would fit. Later that week I spoke with a licensed electrician and they agreed that it would be a pretty easy job. Four days after ordering a Duraflame electric log set from Wayfair, it arrived at my door. Three days later it was installed and working great. This was all done about three weeks before my appointment for service on the old gas unit was even scheduled.
It felt great to throw that heavy fossil fuel burning logs into the garbage and know that they wouldn’t be coming back.
Part of what still amazes me is that even as an environmentally conscious human, my first thought was to call a repair person to have it fixed. This is even with already having installed solar panels on my house and buying an EV. Habits are hard to change, even for this avid CleanTechnica reader. It helped a lot that the wait for a repair was a minimum of 8 weeks. If they had to order a part it might have been February before it was fixed and it would already be almost Spring. It’s gotten a lot colder since the logs were installed and I love the warm heat they put off. I have also loved being able to leave them on all day while I’m gone and not have to worry about the pilot light going off with my pets home. And I love that during the day I am heating my house with solar energy. Tis the season for a wonderful warm new set of electric fireplace logs.
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