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7 Benefits of Wood Heating and Why Every Homesteader Should Use It

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7 Benefits of Wood Heating

How do you heat your home during winter? Do you use central heat, a pellet stove, or do you burn wood?

Well, I want to share with you a few benefits of heating your home with wood.

When we first began heating our home with wood, I was the paranoid type. See, I had grown up in the city, and all I had ever really known was central heat. So when my husband bought a wood stove, I was a little skeptical at first. I was concerned about all of the dangers of heating with wood.

But after I did my research and learned how to burn wood responsibly, I am now a believer of supplementing the heat in my home with wood.

Here is why you might love it too:

1. Makes You Self-Reliant

I love the fact that every fall we go cut wood. Now, we don’t always just go out in the wood and hack a tree down.

However, we do collect our own wood, and I love that I don’t have to worry about some power company to know that my family will be warm over the winter.

So even if you have central heat, know that burning wood is great to help offset the costs of heating your home.

Plus, it is great to keep you warm on those brutally cold winter nights, too.

2. It Supports Your Neighbor

Let’s say you aren’t up to cutting wood. Well, the great news is that other people will do it for you.

So if you have the extra cash, then know that your neighbor might be in need of it. Which means they’d be happy to go cut wood for you.

Remember, there are people out there that make their winter money partially by selling truck loads of wood.

So instead of supporting corporations, you can actually support your local economy if you use firewood and purchase it from someone local.

3. Warmer Heat

photo by enfolien.biz

I remember when I first moved to the rural part of North Carolina that I presently live in. My mother-in-law told me to be prepared for cold winters and hot summers.

But she also told me that nothing would keep me warm quite like a wood heat. Boy, was she right!

See, our first year here we rented a little old farm house a few miles from where our homestead is now.

And this little home had very little insulation. You could literally hear the wind whip through the bedrooms on winter nights.

So we purchased an Eden Pure Heater (which helped drastically), and we had gas logs.

However, I tell you, they did not keep us warm like our wood stove does now. We just about froze to death that winter. Okay so maybe not literally, but we were really cold.

So when we purchased our new home, we made it one winter with a basic fireplace that was really more decorative than anything. The next winter my husband purchased a wood stove, and we have been toasty as can be ever since.

4. Saves Your Lots of Moola

Most people I know dread winter. They hate the shorter days, they don’t care for the cold, and most hate the increase in their electric bill.

But I’m the total opposite. I don’t mind the extra rest (at first.) By February I’m usually going stir crazy. I really don’t mind the cold. We actually do a lot of our heavier outdoor projects during the winter because we don’t sweat to death.

However, my favorite part about winter is that my electric bill drops drastically. The reason is that heating my home with wood saves my central heat from running a lot.

So if you’d like to save some money over the winter while staying warm, then heating with wood can definitely help you with that.

5. It is Multipurpose

Heating your home with wood is great for keeping your house warm. But did you know that you can do a lot more than just heat your home up?

Yes, you can actually help save the life of your appliances as well. What I mean by that is if you like having coffee in the morning, then don’t bother turning on your coffee pot.

Instead, buy yourself a percolator and make coffee on your woodstove. Do you like soup or pinto beans?

Well, don’t worry about firing up your stove to cook them. Instead, place them in a cast iron pot and cook them on your woodstove or next to your fireplace.

Even if you like tea or hot chocolate to drink, you can use your woodstove or fireplace to warm up your water to enjoy your favorite hot beverage.

So wood heat does a lot more than warm your home. It can also help you to efficiently feed your family healthy foods.

Plus, it can save you money by saving the life of your appliances as well.

6. Supports a Healthy Lifestyle

If you burn wood to keep your family warm and fed over the winter, then chances are you cut your own wood.

Now, you can cut your wood with an axe or by using a chainsaw and wood splitter. Either way, you are going to be an active person.

And this is a great thing. We all know that cardio exercise is what helps us to keep a healthy heart. It also helps to build strong muscles. If you watch some of the Alaskan shows on TV, you’ll see that some of the most buff people are the ones that cut their own wood.

Doesn’t that sound great? And yes, you could just go to the gym, but chopping your own wood will save you the gym membership, it will help you to be active without feeling like you are exercising, and it helps you accomplish something while being active.

So if you need a good exercise, then burn wood for your winter heat. It will keep you active and healthy.

However, be sure to check with your doctor before chopping your own wood. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

8. It Keeps You Prepared for an Emergency

Are you someone that likes to be prepared for the unknown? Do you like being prepared in case an emergency hits?

Well, if so, then you’ll like the idea of burning wood. The reason is because no matter if you have electricity or not, your family will be warm and can eat a hot meal.

In an honest effort to be transparent, this is what sold me on a woodstove. One summer we had a really bad windstorm blow through our area.

Naturally, it took down a ton of trees. But because we are so rural, it took almost a week to get the electricity back on.

However, we didn’t have a wood stove at that time. Thankfully, we had a gas grill that I could still cook on because we couldn’t even get off of our road for all of the trees that were down. My husband and boys worked daily to remove them, but they couldn’t get the trees cleaned up fast enough.

If we hadn’t had that gas grill and food put away, I don’t know what we would’ve done. Needless to say, I was sold on the idea of a woodstove after that event because I could’ve had a stove regardless if I had electricity or not.

So burning wood and having a place to do so is very helpful in the event of an emergency.

Heating Options

So you might be sold on the idea of burning wood, but what are your wood burning options? And what about people with lung issues that burning wood makes it hard for them to breathe?

Do they have options for heat other than traditional heat?

Well, you bet they do! Here is are the most common heating options:

1. A Fireplace

A fireplace is probably one of the most traditional ways to heat your home with wood. It is an open space made with fire brick so that you can safely contain fire.

And a lot of people really do love their fireplace. My parents have a huge one with a marble hearth, and they absolutely love it. It is not only beautiful, but it does a great job at heating their home.

2. A Woodstove

A woodstove is a cast iron stove that has a door on it. The danger with a woodstove is that they get very hot all the way around.

So if you have small children, it is important they know to never touch it or play around it. However, they are great at keeping your home very warm, and I love that they have a door on them to keep the wood in place. We have one, and I am so glad that we do. It is beautiful and great at providing heat (and a cooking space.)

3. A Pellet Stove

Photo by Home Gear

Photo by Home Gear

If you are someone that has breathing issues, then a pellet stove might be a good solution for you. They don’t put off the odor that burning regular wood does.

Plus, they don’t bring a large mess with them (like a fireplace and wood stove do because of the traditional wood.) Basically, they burn pellets of compressed wood. It is a very efficient way to heat, and this video shows you how to still be self-sustained if using a pellet stove by creating your own pellets.  You can actually look at and purchase a pellet stove here.

4. Solar Power

My family and I are actually in the process of beginning to switch over to solar power. I will keep my woodstove, but right now, we are just trying to supplement our electrical use before we go completely off the grid.

However, though solar power is an investment, it is a great way to heat your home using your central heating system. Yet, you are powering it with the sun. It will save you money and if you have the battery option included in your solar power set-up, then your house will still be fully functional in the event of an emergency.

You can learn more about going solar here, or you can actually purchase your solar set-up here for a DIY experience.

5. Gas Insert

photo by Forshaw

photo by Forshaw

In my opinion, wood heat is probably the warmest heat available. However, you can place a gas log insert into your fireplace and heat your home with gas. We did this for one winter and considering our home had basically no insulation, it felt great.

However, I’m really a wood burning girl. But if you are not, or you have breathing issues then you might want to consider this option. It is a great way to stay warm without running up your electric bill.

Well, there you have it guys. Those are all of the benefits of heating your home with wood this winter. Plus, a few other options for heating your home without using a ton of electricity.

So go ahead and think it over. If you decide to go with one of these options, I’m sure your bank account will thank you. Yes, it takes a little investment to get going, but in my opinion, it is money well spent. It was for us, at least.

But I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you have any other benefits of heating your home with wood? Which option of heating with wood is your favorite?

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Comments:

  1. Remember Masonry Heaters, too. They are like a fireplace and wood stove combined but safer. Masonry heaters are VERY efficient and clean-burning; they produce only a little ash, emit mostly steam and should not leave soot or creosite. Except for the metal door to the burn chamber, the mass of the heater absorbs and releases the heat slowly enough to warm an area for several hours but not burn to the touch. They are most suited to an open floor plan.

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