- Jan 12, 2012
- Reaction score
We heated with wood for 20 years before we had central installed in our 1937 farmhouse. We had electric wall heaters already but they are pricey, especially compared to wood, so we never used them. Now wood is our standby, used when it gets super-cold or when we want a fire.I have two wood burning stoves for heat. But that is just me.
Reality is, more and more municipalities are pushing new construction to electric only appliances and heating. So I understand why someone wants an on site backup.
And wood burning is frowned upon in many areas (for air quality reasons as one
excusereason... even while other sources of poor air quality are not only allowed but are increasing).
You know the old saying: Wood heats you three times: When you cut it, when you stack it and when you burn it.
Here's the beautiful thing about wood: You are burning in the current carbon cycle, as opposed to burning natural gas, fuel oil or coal, which has been tapped from carbon cycles that are millions of years old. So with wood, you are not uncorking CO2 that was sequestered for a long time in the Earth into the atmosphere. Yes, there is some fossil fuel used to get firewood, but other than that small contribution, you are really clean as far as CO2 emissions go.
The catalytic stoves make a big difference in air quality for congested city areas. Personally, I would miss the smell of wood smoke in my rural neighborhood that signals fall and the coming winter. I hope it never goes away as long as I live. And wood is a super-cheap heat source.
Down South here, we have new concrete slab houses going up with heat pumps, and where I am on the TN-AL line it is just tad too far north for that. Then people wonder why they are so danged cold in their houses and their electric bills are so high. Heck, you sit in those slab houses, with the concrete floor uninsulated form the earth below it, and everything from your knees down is frozen, as the full-electric heat strip glows and the meter runs fast.