There is nothing in the world like sitting next to a blazing fire reading a book or chatting with family. The warmth is unique, the flames almost mesmerizing, and the whole experience evokes feelings of comfort. Heating with wood is a time honored classic. Modern designs have made them an amazingly eco-friendly method of keeping toasty in the winter months. Did you know you can save money AND be warmer with a wood burning stove?
Fireplaces LOSE heat, Wood Burning Stoves Don’t!
Many homes feature an open fireplace, and it’s often considered an asset. When it comes to actual heat production and efficiency, a wood stove wins hands down. Fireplaces release large amounts of smoke and heat up the chimney. They create a lot of ambiance but are not ideal as a main heat source.
By installing a high efficiency wood burning stove insert into the fireplace, wood heat is an economical and efficient way of heating a home. For homeowners without a fireplace, a freestanding wood burning stove is ideal.
You can actually buy wood stoves on Amazon. Pretty crazy, right? They sell everything now! My favorite styles of wood stoves are by Avalon, and they have dealers across the country.
What About The Carbon Footprint?
Burning wood effectively is carbon neutral when compared to the carbon dioxide released in the natural decomposition process a tree would undergo. Appropriately harvested and transported firewood has a minimal carbon footprint.
Aside from the sun, there are no other heat sources available with such a claim to fame. Creating heat takes a lot of energy from any source and in our modern culture energy equals money.
Heating with wood can be equivalent to other heat sources depending on where wood is purchased or it can be much cheaper. Often wood is available for free from neighbors, acquaintances, or on sites such as craigslist.
Some state forests allow individuals to come in and harvest fallen deadwood for use as firewood. If you have access to enough land, you could manage your own private woodlot for a perpetual source of firewood. (Related Post: 10 Places To Look For Free Firewood)
Do they make much smoke?
In the past, smoke from wood fires has created indoor and outdoor air pollution. Thankfully, newer wood stoves have been improved to reduce emissions. A properly burning fire will produce little or no smoke. Stoves that meet the new guidelines will not produce indoor pollution, and very little outdoors as well. All stoves that you buy new are required to meet the updated EPA guidelines.
Wood Burning Stoves Are Perfect For Emergencies
Wood burning stoves keep your home warm during power outages and in foul weather. Some models even allow for emergency stove top cooking! So, there’s no need to worry about the power going out as long as you have a big stack of firewood out back.
When it comes to heating, no method is as charming as wood. High efficiency wood burning stoves produce little pollution, use local wood, and are cost effective. As you sit next to a warm fire on a black, stormy night you will appreciate all the wonders of wood heat.
Ready to look into buying a wood stove for your house?
Sources: www.woodheat.org and http://www.green-trust.org/wood_heat.htm
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Thursday 2nd of February 2023
I couldn't disagree more with this article!!! I used wood heat most of my life. I've harvested and purchased my wood supply, sometimes up to ten cord a year to keep our drafty home heated, and I worked in the lab for a company that patented the first EPA approved clean burning wood stove. So I know wood stoves: their cost, their pollution ( yep, even the new 'clean burners' rely on educated users), the mess, and the cost of either obtaining fuel or buying it. There is also a lot of work involved to use a wood stove as well as costs to keep it and its chimney properly maintained and cleaned regularly. At $300 per cord --rarely can you find 'free' wood, running your wood stove full time will use approximately one cord per month, so five months of winter will cost an easy $1500!! Much more than electricity or gas.
You are correct in saying that a stove is more efficient than a fireplace. And a wood fireplace insert is more efficient than a fireplace. But I will not return to nor recommend depending on wood heat as a sole source of heat. However it is nice to have one that you can also cook on top of for those times when the electricity is out.
I live in a small town. Several of my close neighbors burn wood. Of course they have the new EPA approved clean burners, but when we get an inversion in the weather, or the wind shifts, the local air quality is horrible. There is nothing clean or even honorific in burning wood. I think you are simply pandering to your advertiser.
Also, all your links are broken.
Thursday 2nd of February 2023
Thank you for the heads up on the links, I will fix those. I do not actually receive any compensation for this article. It is based on my own personal experience, research, and opinions. I assume there are regional differences in wood prices. Both in Texas and in San Antonio I have had friends and neighbors more than willing to allow us to remove firewood from their property for free as a favor to them. Also house size, weatherization, and local weather makes a big difference in total expense. I've never had to burn more than one or two cords even when heating from September to April in Oregon. I also know that Frugalwoods.com shares a lot of her personal experience heating their home with wood they harvest off their own property in Vermont, for those who may be interested in what heating with wood is like in colder areas of the country than I have experienced.
Friday 1st of January 2016
Nice article. My tip - For the best eco friendly way to burn your wood is to burn wood in small quantities and with the air vents fully open. This means a hot clean fire. A slow burning larger fire might be colder - but in means less heat for your wood and too much smoke pollution.
Kathryn @ Farming My Backyard
Saturday 2nd of January 2016
Thanks for the tip!