firewood

All About Wood Stoves

Posted on March 04,2015 by user-756436 in firewood

If you’ve been heating your house with wood for years, you probably don’t need to read this article. By now, you know all about the disadvantages and inconveniences that accompany wood heat, and yet you still heat with wood — either because you genuinely love wood heat, or because you love the low cost of the fuel. If you haven’t burned down your house by now, you may even have figured out how to install and operate your stove safely. This article is addressed to a different audience: those who are thinking about buying their first wood stove.

Comparing Fuel Costs

Posted on March 04,2015 by AlexWilson in firewood

If there’s one thing that we can predict with certainty about fuel costs, it’s that they fluctuate a lot. That wasn’t always the case. The price of electricity, natural gas, propane, and heating oil were remarkably stable for decades — up until the 1970s. Since then, prices of most fuels have gyrated wildly, driven by political unrest in some parts of the world, periods of greater or lower demand driven by periods of strong economic growth or contraction, resource limitations (real or perceived), and the situation in China and other parts of this increasingly connected world.

Masonry Heaters Burn Hot and Clean

Posted on March 04,2015 by AlexWilson in burning wood

Over the past two weeks I’ve written about wood stoves and pellet heating. This week I’ll focus on another way to burn wood cleanly and efficiently: using a masonry heater.

Heating With Wood Pellets

Posted on March 04,2015 by AlexWilson in firewood

My wife and I have a sort-of love-hate relationship with our pellet stove. She leans more toward the latter, while I see the benefits outweighing the negatives. In this column I’ll outline the primary advantages and disadvantages of pellet heating.

Heating With Wood Safely and Efficiently

Posted on March 04,2015 by AlexWilson in burning wood

I’ve been heating primarily with wood since I bought our house 31 years ago, though there were a few years following our installation of an oil boiler when wood consumption dropped considerably. Wood heat has a mixed record, though. It’s a renewable fuel and, assuming that new trees grow up to replace those cut for firewood, it is carbon-neutral, meaning that it doesn’t have a net contribution to global warming. But burning firewood produces a lot of air pollution; in fact, it’s usually our dirtiest fuel.

A Heating Fuel Cost Comparison Calculator

Posted on March 04,2015 by Tristan Roberts in energy cost

I recently caught up with where the rest of the world was in 2005 by watching the hit documentary “March of the Penguins.” It’s been on my list for a while but when evening arrives I’m much more prone to watching films about people — people like James Bond, for example. But my wife and I had a baby two weeks ago, and suddenly movies narrated by Morgan Freeman seem like more appropriate family fare.

Wood Stoves: Safety First

Posted on March 04,2015 by Tristan Roberts in firewood

Nobody speaks of this contest but everybody knows who’s winning. It’s how we get out the competitive impulse in rural Vermont: we race to have the neatest woodpile. Admit it: even as you’re reading this, saying “that’s not me,” you’re mentally comparing your woodpile with the neighbor’s.

What’s the Greenest Option for Home Heating?

Posted on March 04,2015 by AlexWilson in firewood

I've always gotten a lot of questions from friends, neighbors, and casual acquaintances about energy issues, and those questions picked up dramatically when I started writing this column two-and-a-half years ago. Beginning with this week, I'm going to devote an occasional column to answering some of these questions. (Feel free to e-mail questions to me, mentioning Energy Solutions in the subject line: alex@buildinggreen.com.)

What's the greenest option for heating my home?

Should Green Homes Burn Wood?

Posted on March 04,2015 by user-756436 in burning wood

Environmentalists often argue over the wisdom of heating homes with wood. Strong arguments can be marshaled on both sides of this debate, so I’ll do my best to represent both positions before summing up.

Understanding Pellet Stoves

Posted on March 04,2015 by AlexWilson in firewood

I resisted buying a pellet stove for a long time for a number of reasons. First, I would be tied to a fuel source that I don’t have control over — and whose price might go up if demand exceeds supply. Second, pellet stoves don’t work without electricity, and I didn’t want to risk freezing pipes in the event of a power outage. Third, I don’t really like the noise of the fan and the blowtorch-like flame. Fourth, I had heard about technical problems with early pellet stoves. And fifth, good pellet stoves cost a lot.

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