Monday, November 7, 2011

Heating with wood

Winter is getting closer so we have been working with firewood.  A guy we know has been by four times to drop off some Osage Orange branches that we could cut into firewood.  The bulk of it has been small stuff, but we have gotten some 6" to 8" rounds cut and split from it.  Any free firewood is a good thing.  We use about 6 cords per heating season in our wood burning furnace and the wood stove in the family room.

I have this love/hate relationship with the wood burners.  I love the fact that we can have heat for the cost of running a few fans.  I love the fact that for us, it's cheaper to heat with wood than our alternatives.  I love the flickering fire, feeling all warm and cozy when the snow is blowing outside.  I even love cooking on the darn thing.  Potatoes, wrapped in foil and baked in the coals are terrific.  For some reason, soups and skillet bread taste just a bit better if I cook it on the wood stove in the family room.

By February, I'm flat hating these things.  I'm tired of hauling firewood, looking for twigs and other kindling and being cold in the mornings.  The gardening bug has already bitten and I'm ready to get outside and play in the dirt.  Such is the seasonal cycle of my life.

Most of what I learned about heating with wood was from http://woodheat.org/ .  Great site, tons of basic information and tips.  One slick tip was how to build the top-down fire.  You put the biggest wood on the bottom, layer it up getting smaller as you go up, then light the newspaper on the top and walk away.  It doesn't get any easier than that!

Img6-TDF6

I snagged this image from their page at http://woodheat.org/build-maintain-fire.html

Oh, and the easiest firestarter for me?  Cardboard egg cartons.  They burn longer than wadded up newspaper  or the Nantucket Knots shown in the picture.  I break off two or four egg...holders?  Parts?  Sections?  You know, where the egg sits in the carton.  Anyway, I'll break off part of the carton, put in a dab of wood chips and light 'er up.

1 comment:

  1. I love wood fires!!! I have lived in the desert for years and there really has been no need for one, though we did have a lame gas fireplace which I sneered at every time I walked past it. I've recently moved from the low desert to the high desert where the temps are just a little cooler. My new home has a huge wood burning fireplace smack in the middle of the room!!! I am stoked, pun intended, lol! Thanks for the link, I'm heading over there right now...

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