For a cozy home this winter, nothing quite has the advantages of a wood stove. The fuel is economical and ecological, the look is attractive, and the heat is warm. In fact, most people who have lived in a home heated by wood say that wood heat is warmer than other kinds of heat. That may seem impossible, but wood heat really does make for a comfortable home during the winter.
There are many advantages to having a wood stove for your main heat source, or at least as a supplemental heater. First is the fact that wood is cheaper to buy than other heating fuels. With the hike in oil prices, propane gas is now one of the most expensive of fuels, and electricity has always been one of the most expensive ways to heat your home.
If you are able to harvest your own wood from your own property, you can really save a lot of money by burning wood for heat. Burning wood provides a lot of good exercise and productive work for your children, too. (But be forewarned that they may not see that as much of an advantage!)
If you have an old-fashioned fireplace, make sure you get an energy efficient fireplace insert before you use it. Most of the heat from a fireplace goes right up the chimney, along with all the polluting emissions from the smoke. If you choose an insert with a glass door, you can enjoy the fire just as much as you would enjoy it in the fireplace. And that goes for anyone choosing a wood stove. You might really enjoy having a glass door to view the fire through.
Another reason to burn wood is that it is obviously a renewable resource. If you have your own stand of woods, you can always plant new trees in bare spots and wherever you have harvested older trees, for a woodlot that will provide your heating fuel for years to come. Also, by harvesting your downed limbs and dead trees, you will improve the beauty and value of your property. The wildlife will appreciate your caring attention to the woods, as well.
Finally, there is a real appeal to being able to be self-sufficient. Having to rely on electricity or gas for heat means that you must be part of the system. Of course, most of us won’t choose to give up our electricity and gas, but with wood heat to fall back on, we are at least assured of staying warm if everything else should fail. Burning wood puts a person back in touch with the basics of life.
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