Burning firewood can be a great way to reduce your home heating costs. It gives you the opportunity to keep your house warm while knowing you're doing it at an affordable price.
A common concern for most people during the winter is..... how much am I going to spend on heat?
What will propane, fuel oil or natural gas cost this year? Plus, if your like me, keeping the thermostat turned down means saving money, but does not necessarily make everyone in the house happy.
One good thing about firewood is the price remains pretty constant from year to year.
While fuel oil, propane and natural gas prices seem to be dictated by climate conditions and the stock market, firewood prices remain pretty steady.
This will give you a long term idea of what your heating prices may be no matter what happens throughout the world that's out of your control.
Burning firewood is more than just throwing some wood into your fireplace and expecting everything to be fine. It takes time, energy and planning to assure your firewood is going to supply you with the heat you expect.
The method you use to burn firewood is up to you. It depends on the amount of space you need to heat, budget and personal preference.
Some heating devices like the fireplace or wood stove only generate heat for one specific part of your home, the area where the device is located. Other devices like the outdoor wood furnace are capable of heating your entire home but the cost of the unit is a lot more compared to the other devices.
The most common devices used for heating with wood are the:
- Fireplace Insert
- Wood Stove
- Outdoor Wood Furnace
Okay, now that you have an idea of what device you want to use to heat your home, do you have a plan on how to prepare your firewood to make sure it's ready to use?
Green firewood, which is wood that has not been seasoned and is full of moisture, has been recently cut and is not suitable for burning. Green firewood creates a lot of smoke and uses the fires energy to evaporate the moisture. This is the sizzling sound you hear when you burn wet wood. You can also associate that sizzling sound with wasted heat.
Green firewood can also increase the chances of creosote buildup inside your chimney. Creosote is a dangerous flammable buildup responsible for destructive chimney fires. To help prevent creosote buildup, use dry, seasoned firewood and clean your chimney at least once a year.
To convert green firewood into dry, seasoned firewood, a couple of steps should be followed. Seasoned firewood is described as wood that has a moisture content of roughly 20% or less. To reach this figure consider the following:
- Give the wood time to season
- Split the wood and let the air dry it out
- Cover your firewood to keep it dry
- Keep the firewood off the ground
Switching to firewood to heat your home is not an easy decision. It's a commitment and a lot of extra work compared to heating with propane, natural gas or some other form of fuel.
Choose a heating device that's right for you and feed that device with good quality seasoned firewood and you will not regret switching to wood heat!