Heating with Wood - my considerable experience
I've been heating with wood for several years as part of my approach
to frugal living. There is nothing quite like eliminating or greatly
reducing the heating bill. It's an example of marketplace alternatives in action. You might consider something similar.
on my experience, I'm offering discussion of insights about wood heat.
There are many to consider. In my view, you trade labor, space,
convenience and a bit of comfort for tremendous savings on the heat
bill. And, you get the heart warming romance of wood stove heating.
idea here is to provide an introduction to these areas to give you a
flavor of what heating with wood is all about so you can decide if it's
right for you. Wood stove heating isn't for everyone. If you really like
the convenience of the thermostat on your wall and you're not at all
unhappy with the bill from your energy provider, then heating with wood
is probably not for you. In this case, you'll like that Green-Energy-Efficient-Homes.com offers many other tips on energy efficient home heating that you can take advantage of.
for our discussion about heating with wood that we're not talking about a
fireplace because they suck heat out of your home. If you want wood heat, a traditional fireplace isn't going to cut it.
you're new to heating with wood, there will be some initial
investments...everything has its price. Review my insights
carefully and talk with others before you decide.
the good, the bad, the ugly, and the bizarre aspects of heating with
wood by looking at various topics that would be of interest to the
average person. For many of the topics highlighted below, a more detailed
discussion is provided on a separate page. If you desire more
information, text links will take you to a new page that examines
the topic in more detail.
Enjoy the Sights, Sounds and Smell of a Wood Fire
- The comfort of wood heat
- it's different than a traditional furnace with a thermostat. If
you're interested in a quick and easy approach to winter heat, you'll
probably want to stay with the traditional furnace and thermostat. I
like the sights, sounds, radiance and economy of a wood fire, that's why
I prefer heating with wood.
- It's important to know how much firewood do I need so you'll have enough to get through the winter.
- What about free firewood? It's out there.
- If you're serious about heating with wood, you might want to start up your own Wood Rescue
service like I did, and get all the firewood you want at little to no cost. Doing
so has allowed me to gather about 10 years worth of firewood over the
course of a single summer.
- Perhaps cutting firewood
isn't your cup of tea. Firewood doesn't need to be cut unless you get
logs or scrap wood that is an inappropriate size for your stove. You can
order wood cut and stacked, but you'll pay for it. If you don't mind
cutting firewood, you can get it free or nearly so.
- I use a chainsaw to
cut pallets and branches, a circular saw for large flat pieces of wood,
and a buzz saw for long pieces.
- Be mindful of chainsaw hazards when you're cutting up your firewood.
- Here are basic firewood tools for cutting and splitting firewood.
- What about all that firewood stacking?
Firewood must be stacked or piled somewhere so it's accessible to you
when you need it. Most often the best approach is to stack the wood.
Again, the "fleas come with the dog." If you're heating with wood,
you'll have to make stacks of firewood.
- How much does firewood cost?
It varies based on type, seasoning, your location, and how much you get
at one time. There are many options for obtaining firewood, so you do
- Do I have room for firewood storage?
If you're heating with wood, you'll have to make room for storage of
wood. Since firewood isn't provided to your house through pipes or
wires, you get to see how much material it takes to heat your house. It
takes quite a bit of wood to heat a house, and you'll have to make room
for storing it, especially if you have to season it.
- Tell me about seasoning firewood.
Anytime you burn wood, you'll want to burn dry wood. That means it has
to be seasoned. Burning green wood is inefficient and a source of
creosote buildup in your flue. Seasoning your firewood is important.
Starting a Fire
- With respect to wood stoves, do you know how to start a fire?
- How about starting a wood stove when it's stone cold?
- Here is my favorite, sure fire method to start a fire in my wood stoves when the wind outside creates too much draft to light the stove.
- There's no need to buy commercial products to get your fire going, simply make your own fire starter using scrap materials and household waste.
- Here is a step-by-step illustrated guide to making your own fireplace starter.
Cooking on a Wood Stove
- Is wood stove cooking
feasible? For many stoves it is, but you have to be aware of the
limitations. I cook on my stoves, but only as it's convenient. Mostly, I
use the wood stove to heat my home and heat water for tea.
Debris, Smoke and Ash
- Some form of wood smoke
will always be a by-product of wood heat, so learn how to avoid it, and
you and your neighbors will all have a more pleasant experience heating
- There are ways to achieve clean burning fires if you're having trouble with excessive smoke.
- Keep in mind that excessive smoke is one sure way to create creosote buildup
that you'll have to deal with by cleaning the flue and stovepipe. If
you don't burn hot fires that are clean, and if you don't clean your
chimney, then you run a much higher risk of chimney fires, and you most
certainly don't want that.
- What's involved with cleaning out wood ashes?
It's not one of my favorite activities, but "the fleas come with dog."
If you're going to be heating with wood, you're going to have to deal
with wood ashes. Pellet stoves and corn stoves don't have the same
issues with ash like wood burning appliances.
Wood Stove Safety
Heat Exchangers and Reclaimers
a wood stove heat reclaimer add efficiency? Anything that reclaims heat
that is otherwise wasted will add efficiency. The issue is the cost of
reclaiming that lost heat. If it can be done easily, safely and with
little cost, then these type of accessories are worthwhile.
a wood stove heat exchanger something that I could make use of? There
are heat exchangers associated with wood stoves, but mainly they're for
outdoor and indoor wood furnaces. Anything that robs heat from the stove
and uses it for other purposes is making good use of the energy
available that might otherwise be wasted.Here is a peek at homemade wood stove heat exchangers that I use in and on my large living room wood stove.
Inserts, Furnaces, Corn and Pellet Stoves, and Other Variants
you can see, heating with wood involves many issues and many factors
that make it both desirable and challenging. Do some careful thinking
and planning before you just into wood stove heating.
Done with Heating with Wood, take me Home