Heating Your House with Wood, Part 2

| 3/6/2017 10:18:00 AM

Tags: woodstove, heating with wood, Maryland, Ilene White Freedman,

Heating by woodstove is like gathering water from the spring. You own the process. It is your labor that sustains you. You know how much fuel you are using. You build a woodpile, you watch it deplete through the season, you work it, and you carry it. You know your heat source. You provide the labor and see the results.


There are moments when I think we are crazy to heat our home with a method that requires daily effort—what happens when we are sick? Aged? Not home? These are concerns to work out. More often than not, I am comforted by woodstove heat.

In order to keep the happy by the hearth, here are some of the challenges and our solutions.

Dry Heat

Our woodstove dries the air intensely in the wintertime. If we don’t add moisture into the air, my skin cracks by midwinter. Rosemary Gladstar’s face cream is my go-to body moisturizer. To add moisture into the air, we put a cast iron pot of water on the stove. We also run two humidifiers. We are very pleased with our Homedics humidifiers.

Wood Debris

Another challenge of wood heat is tracking wood debris into the house. Admittedly, it is messier than alternative heat sources. However, it is also nice to carry logs in, bringing some of the woods into the house. As for the bits that fall behind, I have a collection of handmade brooms from a local artisan. Full time wood heat might require a relaxed attitude about cleanliness or a lot of time with floor control. Ours is an indoor-outdoor house and we like it that way.

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