Wood Burning Stoves
Wood burning stoves are appealing, especially if you can see the fire inside the stove. It's something I can identify with. It isn't just a feature in the room like a piece of furniture. It's something that keeps me warm in the dead of winter, and I like that feeling.
There really is no comparison with a standard home furnace that you can't see or feel. My furnace is in the basement in what I call "the ugly room." It's near the water heater, water pressure system, storage shelves and the cat litter boxes.
A gas furnace in "the ugly room" just isn't the same as having a wood stove in the room with you.
Either you like the "look and feel" of wood burning stoves and wood fires, or you don't. If you don't, you are in the minority. I enjoy watching the fire inside my kitchen fireplace insert. It's beautiful and fascinating.
I never tire of it.
How about the sound of a wood fire. Isn't it romantic? I love to hear it snap, crackle and pop way more than my Rice Krispies. If you listen to the fire, it's one of the great pleasures of heating with wood.
Everything has its price, and wood burning stoves are no exception. Unless you're going to replace your downstairs furnace with a wood furnace, the addition of a wood heating appliance will require considerable space in your home. The additional space isn't just the cubic feet that the stove requires, but it also includes standoff distances from combustible material.
You could need as much as a 5 foot by 5 foot area dedicated to the wood stove. That's a substantial amount of space for a modest size home. Again, everything has its price.
The space requirements of wood stove heating is one reason that I like a fireplace insert. You already have the space dedicated to a fireplace, and the insert fits right in there without taking up any more room than what you already have consumed with the hearth.
Nevertheless, wood burning stoves have a decided advantage in that they have more heated sides exposed to room air, and therefore tend to be more efficient than a fireplace insert. And, you can usually cook on wood stoves whereas a fireplace insert doesn't typically have sufficient room for cooking a meal.
With all the types, sizes, designs and styles to choose from, you're likely to find a wood stove that suits your needs. You can get a simple inexpensive iron box that draws air from the same room it heats, or you can get a rather sophisticated design that draws outside air for combustion and uses multiple burn zones to make certain the hot gases are fully combusted.
The choices are all yours.
For me and my approach to frugal living, I'm comfortable with wood stoves. They save me money on heating as well as provide a special charm that the thermostat on the wall and the furnace in the basement just can't match.
Done with Wood Burning Stoves, take me back to Heating with Wood