Heating Your Home with a Wood Stove
We have a fairly old house and we struggle each winter to stay warm enough. Yes, I could turn my heat up, but even with the thermostat set at 65 degrees, we pay over $400 a month to heat our home. I think that is too much already, so we try to bundle up and stay warm in other ways. One of the ways we are looking into staying warm this winter is by heating at least part of our house with a wood burning stove. There are many reasons why I like the idea of having a wood burning stove.
When we use our fireplace, we lose as much of our heat as we gain in having the fire. If we had a wood burning stove in the fireplace it would prevent much of this heat loss. A wood burning stove requires no electricity, unlike pellet stoves (the other option we are looking into). This means if we have a power outage we will have an alternative heat source, as well as a way to cook.
Wood burning stoves give off a good amount of heat and depending on where you put them in your home; they can possible heat your whole house. If you put a wood burning stove by a cold air return and have the fan on your furnace going it should circulate the hot air throughout your house. I know people that have them in their basements in place of furnaces. I know another family that has a very open floor plan with vaulted ceilings in the room where his stove is. They do not have a blower but the hot air moves around their house just fine and he often comments on how warm it is in their home.
What about wood? Having a source of wood is essential, but I don't think wood is hard to find. If you have some acreage with trees, you could supply all your own wood. We have a very wooded lot, but it is under an acre. We aren't going to be heating our whole house and I think we should be able to partially heat it with the wood we generate in our own yard. I see free wood being offered on Craigslist all the time. Bartering for wood is also a great way to get wood for free. Many people have too much of it. I see wood piles all over our neighborhood that never get used. I have been told that if you are willing to chop it and haul it away, that there are plenty of sources for wood. If you have to pay a large amount of money for a cord of split wood, I don't think you will be saving any money.
Wood burning stoves are not as clean or efficient as pellet stoves. They generate a lot of smoke compared to a pellet stove. It takes a lot of wood to heat a home and you have to constantly feed the fire yourself. You also have to clean out the ash frequently compared to a pellet stove. Heating a home with a wood stove is a great alternative to have. It can save money in more ways than one and it is so nice to curl up in front of a fire on a cold winter's night. If you haven't considered one before, now is a good time to think about purchasing a wood burning to stove.