This last Friday we had our winter wood supply delivered. A wood burning stove furnishes most of our heat for the house, with electric as a backup. We used to have two woodburners to keep going, but after remodeling the kitchen we just never put the old cookstove back. I had intended to buy a new Waterford one that was airtight and efficient, but ran short of funds. It happens to the best of us;)
The children are pretty good about getting the dumped load all neatly stacked, which I really appreciate. There was a year or so when they weren’t so attentive to duty and it killed the grass…. Never mind that the wood was wet in the rain. But the past several years have seen the woodpile go up quickly and almost architecturally packed.
The stove in our home is a Vermont Castings, because we were quite happy with the one from our former home. In that house we had to rebuild the chimney for safety. We contracted with someone who built us a Rumford chimney and we installed a Resolute ( I don’t think they make these anymore). In that home the stove was only meant to be supplemental heat after we went through the first energy crisis and couldn’t get enough heat that winter. It was a smaller stove and we soon became enamored with radiant heat in cold, damp, Ohio winters. When we moved here we bought the Vigilant ( which I also think they no longer make). It is large and heats most of the house most of the time, although I would still like a cookstove in the kitchen dining room.
Woodsmoke scents the air and curls from our chimney, but these newer types of stoves are efficient burners and don’t emit so much particulate.
Our favorite wood is hickory, although we get a lot of oak, and other types mixed in. I try to save the prunings from the fruit trees, but those tend to find their way to autumn bonfires. When the weather cooperates it is nice to roast hotdogs and marshmallows, and just sit around the fire and talk.
Using wood for heating has its pros and cons. The two things I don’t like so well are the efforts that are needed to keep “the home fires burning”. The fire has to be fed, and that means hauling in wood from the main pile every day, twice or so a day. It also can leave lots of dustiness and bits and pieces from the wood. The ash has to be cleaned out regularly. It is a bunch of work, really. But it feels so good on the bones after coming in from the cold! And it is still fairly economical. The biggest plus in this rural inconsistency of electric outages is the rock solid dependability: I always have heat.
Species of Firewood for Home Heating
Basic wood heating information