Heating with Wood - my considerable experience

Heating with wood means you work a little more and you enjoy heating your home a little more too.

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.

Based 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.

The 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.

Assume 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.

If 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.

Let's consider 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.

Heating with wood is a great feeling of self-reliance in addition to the warmth.

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.

Heating with wood requires lots of dry firewood.


Heating with wood isn't as efficient as some forms of heat, but it can be much less costly if your source of wood is free.

Wood Stoves

If you're going to be heating with wood, you'll need to learn how to start fires.

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.

Wood stoves also permit you to cook and heat water.

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.

One of the downsides to heating with wood is wood ash cleanout.nside to h

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 with wood.
  • 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.

Safety is paramount when heating with wood. There are hazards associated with fumes, burns, and fire.

Wood Stove Safety

Heat exchangers can help you rob heat off of you wood stove to serve other needs around the house.

Heat Exchangers and Reclaimers

  • Can 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.
  • Is 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.

Heating with wood means you have many choices in terms of wood stoves, furnaces, and other fuel types as well.

Inserts, Furnaces, Corn and Pellet Stoves, and Other Variants

As 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

I enjoy heating with wood because of the warmth, savings in energy, and the natural romance of a wood fire. There are some issues to deal with and some tools and resources that are required, but I find the extra effort very satisfying.

Next to keeping myself fed, I think keeping warm is a basic self-reliant skill.