Share Your Thoughts on Woodstoves

| 1/18/2010 1:10:05 PM

Tags: woodstove, pellet stove, wood heat, question to readers,

Small woodstove and hearth 

Do you have a woodstove or pellet stove at home? When we recently asked that question in a web poll, more than half of the 280 respondents said yes!

We’d like to hear more about your experiences with woodstoves. Do you use a woodstove or pellet stove? If so, what kind? How happy are you with it? Do you have any helpful hints for heating with wood? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.

You can also learn more about all aspects of wood heating by checking out the following articles on our website:


Photo by Istockphoto/Maurice van der Velder
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6/25/2014 3:53:24 AM

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12/6/2013 7:56:22 PM

We purchased a new home in a rural area of Chester county, PA in 2006. It's about 3500 sq. ft and up on a hilltop and gets lots of wind. I bought the most efficient furnace (and water heater) available at the time. Still, my propane bill for the first year was $4000!. Our lot is a little less than 5 acres, and over 3 acres are woods, mostly all 60-80 ft tall Oaks. I spec'd a wood burning fireplace in the house which was nice but did little to heat the house, so I bought a high efficiency wood stove, a Vermont Castings Encore (though not the model with the catylytic converter as I was advised it was too high maintenance). We installed it on the hearth in front of the fireplace and had an insulated chimney installed inside the original fireplace chimney. Since then my propane bill has dropped to $500-$700/year! I have occasionally purchased firewood for $150-$250/cord but for the most part all our wood comes from our property and I have yet to had to drop a live tree. Eventually I bought a woodshed to eliminate the need for all the tarps. At this time I have at least a 2 year supply of split wood in my shed and several dead oaks standing when I need to cut more. As much as I enjoy the smell of wood smoke from my neighbor's chimneys, and used to enjoy it from my fireplace, our stove is so efficient that there is no visible smoke coming from our chimney, and no delicious odor. Wood heat is a great option, especially when you have your own woodlot, and it is also great exercise. JH

tim sefton
11/17/2011 3:15:47 PM

We working on a project developing and building a low cost stirling engine for electrical generation that would work well with wood stoves - We are targeting a building cost of $110 for a 1KW output -

jey hiott
11/17/2011 1:34:29 PM

I recently brought my lovely Waterford wood stove to my house from a rental. Before this, I had a small Jotul that worked fine but required shorter pieces of wood and it was too small to keep going overnight without adding wood. Now, with the bigger Waterford, I can build a big, beautiful fire--BUT I cannot damp it down enough to keep a smaller fire going through the night. Does anyone have suggestions for me? I have tried to contact the company, but so far, have not been successful. These stoves aren't sold in the US anymore. Thanks for any advice.

linda kahlstrom
2/1/2011 4:17:46 PM

I live in New England where the weather is unpredictable and this year it is a very cold and snowy winter. This has maded me research woodstoves for extra heat as well as helping with my heating bill. My family chose a soapstone woodstove because it has a more even and longer lasting heat than woodstoves made with other materials and will also keep us warm when the power goes out. Soapstone has been used for many, many years because of its heat-retaining properties. Most stoves burn hot at the beginning of a fire, but then starts to decrease as the fire slows and cools. The soapstone stays warm for hours, which works for overnight heating or at other times when the fire cannot be tended. By staying warm longer it helps modulate the temperature swings of a fire. The store we decided to buy our stove from had a stove burning in the corner and you could feel the heat from it. They told us when they come to work in the morning that there are enough coals to get the fire going without having to restart it. They also told us they have a soapstone stove in their house. We also have friends who own a soapstone woodstove which heats their house better than their first stove which was a steel or cast iron stove. This is what helped convince us to go with a soapstone woodstove. I hope this helps if you have been considering a soapstone woodstove.

11/2/2010 10:10:40 PM

Thanks for doing it. I like your site, I want to learn more about

2/23/2010 12:00:12 AM

The Harman Oakwood is a great stove. I must let you know up front that I happen to be a Harman dealer. I also sell Jotul and Hearthstone as well as a few other brands but they are the big ones. I have sold dozens of Oakwoods and I burn one at the showroom and I have never had any issues other than regular wear and tear items like gaskets. I have had a customer have an issues with the burn chamber plugging up due to creosote (wet wood) and another customer that could not keep his stove from overfiring (possible airleak or maybe too dry wood???) but thats about it. All of my other customers (including my father and my book keeper) love their stoves. I think every home should have some form of backup heat. I believe a time is coming when these stoves will actually save lives. How long can a family last in the dark at -30F?

rick b
2/6/2010 11:05:41 AM


2/6/2010 5:27:49 AM

We have two tulikivi soapstone masonry heaters that use wood. WE LOVE THEM! Wood heats the soapstone which radiates heat like the sun, instead of hot air convection like woodstoves. The best part, they don't need tending all day to make the house warm and delightful. One or two fires does it for 24 hrs. It also doesn't take all the moisture out of the air like wood stoves. We moved into our home in 1985 with the following energy savers: passive solar, thermal mass under living area, window quilts, and super-insulation(for the time). The main heat was two wood stoves for 2754 sq.feet. We get deep snow drops of 3-4 feet in the mountains. We would close half the house down and use one stove, but we got tired of a cold house after work that would take 2-3 hours to warm up. Eventually we put in a monitor which kept half the house warm as long as the electricity was running the starter switch for the kerosene burner. We replaced it last spring with the tulikivis. We just had a 50 year storm with 6+feet of snow and went 6 1/2 days with no electricity. The masonry heaters kept us toasty warm and I baked in it on a grill made for it: brownies, muffins, quiche, biscuts, casseroles, roasted veggies, porridge and hot drinks!! While we welcomed re-joining the 21st century with the return of electricity, I loved the experience of living somewhat like the 19th century--all because of the tulikivis. Our weak link without power is our deep well electric pump, not our heat/cooking system.

john in alcolu_2
2/5/2010 5:25:08 PM

We bought a late-'60s home in eastern South Carolina. Has a central fireplace with Buckstove insert, plus in-wall electric forced-air heaters in perimeter rooms. We heat the 1600-square-foot brick house for about $40 in electricity per month (heaters plus fireplace blower). Bought a $1300 wood splitter -- best investment ever -- and a $400 Stihl 20" chainsaw -- 2nd-best investment ever. Otherwise, our only heating expenses are the food to provide the calories we burn while cutting, splitting, stacking and carrying in the wood for those wonderful wood-heated evenings. We usually sell a load or two of wood each year, so that covers gas, gloves and chainsaw sharpening, too.

ralph hall
2/5/2010 9:08:56 AM

We had wood stoves in both NJ and VT in the 70s and 80s. The wood stove in the basement of our NJ house kept the basement at about 80 F and kept our total oil heat (plus hot water) bill to less than $400/yr until the last 2 years when it went just over $400. I couldn't run the blower on the stove because it would drive the basement temperature to around 90 F and would more than double the creosote buildup. Once/yr, I had to run a couple of tire chains tied together in length around the interior of the double insulated chimney to remove the creosote. The stove in VT kept the whole house warm. It was a Franklin stove and did not have any creosote buildup. However, you had to be more careful in putting quick burning wood or smaller pieces into it. It would get too hot in the house! My wife is now allergic to the back smoke from when the fires go down. Tried her on a pellet stove in a house near here. She was sensitive to it as well. We've a portable heat pump for backup heating (it exhausts the cold air outside). It'll work off our generator.

2/5/2010 8:18:28 AM

Two years ago we installed a woodburner into our great room. Our house is @ 2400 sq, ft, two story. Our all electric heat bill has fallen from 5200 plus kwh a month to our most recent 870kwh last month. We are saving on average $250 a month. We get most of our wood for free from the utility commpanies tree service and windfalls from our 5 acre wood lot. A couple of cast iron kettles kept full of water and its a great heat to come into when you been working in the barn or chicken coop in a cold Northern Indiana winter.

rick mcevoy
2/1/2010 10:11:46 AM

We have been heating with wood for the past 20 years.Plus my wife and I have grown up with wood/coal burners in our homes. We currently live in my wifes home place and heat with a Stratford Coal stove in the Living rm. and a Osborn wood stove in the kitchen and a Wonderwood in the basement. We have our own timber plus we can cut anything on the ground from and adjacent 30 acre plot beside us.WE typically burn 6-8 cords thru the winter months and 3 ton of coal as well. Yes its alot of work but we wouldn't have it any other way. We have a backup oil burner which hardly ever comes on. WE have had the same tank of heating fuel for the past two years. Our home is 3800 sq.ft. half which is Log and well over a hundred yrs old.

1/30/2010 10:42:10 AM

Just got my first wood stove this year and had it installed just before that first big cold snap. The heat is such a nicer, toastier heat than anything else. And I love cutting and splitting my own wood. I turned off my electric heat and will not turn it on again. I enjoy coming home to a cold house and warming it up with a fire.

1/29/2010 8:01:29 AM

This is our first year heating with wood. It's great! We moved into our 2000sqft 1940's rancher in early 2008 and it cost a small fortune to heat with oil. I knew I wanted a wood insert so I began cutting a year in advance. This past Oct. I installed a Regency I3100 insert and been heating with wood ever since. The oil furnace kicks on once in a while over night but I've only burned about 25 gallons of oil so far this year, compared to over 300 this time last year! I get all my wood for free. The stove has already paid for itself! I'd love to get a blaze king princess insert in the future. from my understanding the burn time on those stoves is amazing.

old timer
1/26/2010 2:01:01 PM

I spent 25 years heating my home with an old Ashley Wood/Coal heater, that performed it's function superbly. The firebox finally developed a burn through so instead of trying to repair it I went and bought a new Vogelzang Sentry Wood/Coal stove. I bought it on-line, so I never did get to see it in person, but it looked pretty good. When I finally picked up the stove, the first thing I noticed was that the Draft Controls to the firebox were VERY loose. Even if you shut the draft it was still open a 1/4 inch. I called up Vogelzang and explained to them the shabby fit and they actually sent me a brand new door, vents and all. When I received the new door, the draft controls were even looser than the first one. I was running out of time because winter was fast approaching, so I figured I'd try it for a season. The Vogelzang was so loose that it burned probably twice as much wood and coal as the Ashley ever did. The next spring I sold the Vogelzang for $200 to a person who just wanted to occasionally heat his workshop. I then found a competent Stove Repair company and had them rebuild the old Ashley. They did have to fabricate some parts for this obsolete unit, but it was a job well done. Now it is heating the house and saving me money too. If you think of buying a Chinese made stove, make sure that you can actually see the exact unit that you are going to buy. If I had seen the poor quality of the replacement stove, I never would have bought it.

edward croft
1/26/2010 10:18:29 AM

We moved into our house back in July. We had grand ambitions about getting it off the grid. Unfortunately, the economy and my car dying kept us from getting the solar panels. We did manage to get a pellet stove. Compared to what we shelled out for oil last year, it has made a huge savings. We had gotten about twenty bags with the stove of pellets. My son sells the stoves and told us to stay clear of the stuff sold in Home Depot and Lowes. Well, we ran out of the twenty bags and were waiting on the delivery of the new stuff so I had to pick up about five bags from HD/Lowes. What a difference. Those didn't give off the heat like the other stuff we were using. There was a lot more ash too from the so-called Premium. We got in two pallets of the pellets my son told us and the house gets real toasty. I think there is one more that is more expensive than this stuff that puts out more btu's but more ash, so we are doing well with this. Now I just have to build a shed so that we don't have pallets sitting at the end of the driveway. Other than that, we are saving money especially since the house is all electric.

nicholas bodnar
1/25/2010 9:29:45 AM

When my wife and I bought our house in 05 we had an oil furnace and a fireplace. I grew up with a woodstove so I loved the house nice and toasty warm. The first winter we suffered with 60-65 degree temps in the house. That following summer I worked on getting a Mama Bear Fisher from freecycle. Paid 1000 to have a stainless steel liner put in, bought a custom cut and routered piece of bluestone. Had the stove up and running for the 06 heating seasons, we lived off of free wood from friends or that I found along the road and pallets I cut up from school for two years. Spring of 08 I bought a picker load of logs about 9-9.5 cords of wood, I am still burning that wood today. I go through about 3-4 cords a season and I wouldn't have it any other way. My wife is converted now and we notice when we visit friends how "cold" their houses feel even though they keep it the same temperature as our house. As far as all the labor envolved it is unavoidable, so it does cover the need to go to the gym and in the end you are providing the best heat that I would never trade.

1/24/2010 8:54:11 AM

I have used a wood stove for almost 20 years and wouldn't have it any other way. We also have a heat pump for a back up when we are away from the house too long to keep the home fire burnin'. But nothing beats wood heat. You can't warm your backside with a heat pump!

joan from saskatchewan
1/23/2010 10:17:37 PM

We LOVE-LOVE-LOVE our woodstove! Not a day goes by in the winter time when I don't thank God we have it to keep us all warm. We bought it in December '08 and three days later our oil furnace died. We never looked back. We often have winter temperatures in the minus 20 to 30 Celsius range - except when it is minus 40 outside, or when a nasty arctic front blows down dropping us below minus 50 with the windchill. Our woodstove keeps us warm and toasty inside while the wind howls and moans outside. We burn mostly poplar, birch and other woods we find in our local area. We appreciate the fact that wood is a renewable resource - that was important to us all. So far, we have been burning up the dead-fall in our neighbourhood and on our land. This summer, we plan to start planting trees for our future needs. Our stove is a high efficiency model, so it produces little smoke - another green factor that was important to us. I would never ever own a pellet stove, although I have friends who do & love 'em. For me, only a woodstove will do. If a long-term disaster ever strikes, where will my friends get their wood pellets? How will they cook and stay warm when their supply runs out? Again, all our wood is gathered locally. And we can grow replacements. Another big bonus to woodstoves is the ability to cook during power failures. Earlier this week the power went out for a few hours. I just put supper on top of the woodstove and we enjoyed a nice hot meal. Woodstoves are wonderful!

hugh owens_2
1/23/2010 6:17:16 PM

We heat 100% with wood and occasional coal lumps in perhaps one of the coldest parts of the US for the last 34 years. Winter is regularly below zero: -30's to occ -40's and have seen -60's. We heat a 2 story log cabin and inherited our Avalon Olympic 1190 stove from a renter who installed it.Formerly we heated the house with a barrel stove I made. The Avalon is superb and we also burn trash because the nearest landfill is over 100 miles away. We cook on a wood antique copper clad cookstove with an antique propane stove for backup. We burn cottonwood and aspen and sometimes pine and fir that we cut ourselves mostly on our land and we envy anyone who can burn hardwood. If it will be below -20 or -30 we often add a chunk of coal to make a fast morning start. We burn a hot fire to keep the glass and the flue clean and because of this and the fact we only have softwood, we do not get an overnight burn. We have a solar heated greenhouse with 30 tons of rock mass which heats the house on any sunny day when the temp is over 20 degrees outside even with many feet of snow on the ground. By April we use very little wood even with temps well below freezing and we can reactivate our solar water heater which consists of several black tanks and 300 feet of black poly pipe which preheats the water going to an electric water heater. We have 4BR and 4 baths and have a log house over 3000 feet and never run an electric bill over $80 .

john braun_2
1/23/2010 5:32:51 PM

I've been using an outdoor wood boiler from Central Boiler (one of your advertisers)for eight winters now, and wouldn't change a thing. When the house was built, I went with radiant heat(hot water in the floor) and the previously mentioned boiler and highly recomend both. Being outside keeps the mess outside and there isn't the safety issue like with inside stoves, but it makes it hard to watch the fire. It also heats all my domestic hot water. A couple weekends in the fall and I have about all the wood I need to get me through the winter. Most of the wood I get from the surrounding area from logging activities, utility work, dead trees in yards, etc., then turn to my 10 acre woodlot if I need more. Then all through the winter when I get home from work I put in enough wood to last till I get home the next day. I could go longer between fillings, but I've found it best to keep a routine. The stove is also big enough that I dont have to waste alot of time spliting wood-if I can pick it up, there is a good chance I can wrestle it in the stove. Have lost power a couple of times-as long it comes back within 5-6 hours there is no problem with getting cold in the house (love that warm concrete slab)or the fire going out. My one complaint is that the stove is up-wind of the house and when you put wood in it smokes pretty good for an hour or two until the new wood catches. All in all I love my stove.

1/23/2010 10:20:21 AM

We switched from wood to rice coal. 4 ton of coal $850. We load the hopper with 2-4 buckets a day. The amount of work we saved is priceless! (I still kept a little woodstove in the garage for emergencies though!) I did love the woodstove, but it was alot of hard work.

1/23/2010 9:54:12 AM

Living for 10 cold New York winters solely on wood heat made me want to learn more about wood burning stoves. I studied and tried out several different designs. Airtight stoves appeared to be the most efficient, but they are very smoky and inefficient when damped down to hold a long, low fire for hours without tending. The big lesson from cutting and splitting my own firewood for over 30 years: anything I can do to minimize wood burning is a good thing! So, when I moved to Tennessee, I built a passive solar, earth sheltered home. Because my house design works well, wood heat is now my only backup heat source.But during those cold times, extra heat is needed. I designed and built my own version of a masonry heater (also called Russian masonry stoves, Finnish masonry stoves, kachelofen in Germany), which was developed in cold northern climates. These stoves are typically built with 20-30 tons of stone mass, thus holding their heat for days. Here in central Tennessee, where it¹s rare to have extended cold, cloudy periods, I want heat quickly, but not four days after I fire it. By designing an air space between the firebox and stonework, along with room air vent openings high and low in the stone surround, I get much faster warm-up than the traditional masonry stove. Still I get the moderating and heat saving features from the mass of the stone surround. My stove also heats domestic water for my 85-gallon solar water tank in the attic, which adds to the thermal mass for solar heat storage. To improve the draft of the stove I insulated the exterior of the masonry chimney. If you online search "masonry stove," you find many expensive kits and plans explaining the basic theory of masonry stoves. I used local, free stone that I gathered for the 3' deep x 9' wide x 9' tall surround, which averages about 10" thick

sandy b
1/23/2010 8:05:09 AM

Obviously anyone who has ever experienced a wood stove for themselves, paid the difference from gas to wood, and cut their own wood, loves the stove. We had ours, a Jotul..., professionally installed about 6 years ago. Even with buying the splitter, chainsaws, gas, (had the pickup), etc, the stove paid for itself in 3 short years. I do miss the asthetics of the stone fireplace from our last home, but the stove is oh so much more efficient. We have just a 1200 square foot house on 11 acres, 4 wooded, in south central Wisconsin. We have yet to cut down anything live. We sometimes even have to crack a window to cool the bedrooms enough to sleep. Since we will never move from here, the only worry I have is how old will we be when we have to start having someone else cut the wood for us. I even reuse the ash in the garden and on the grass. Win-Win.

1/22/2010 11:19:12 PM

To Chuck re additional costs: Yep, I paid $180 for a chainsaw but I had to buy it 2 years before I considered a wood stove, just to cut up trees that fell across my driveway during storms. My firewood comes from my own woodlot so I don't "pay" for it but I do put a LOT of "sweat equity" into producing it. I love it! I just cannot get motivated to exercise for the sake of exercise! It has to be something with a practical outcome to motivate me to do it! My wood splitter is free. My neighbor insisted I use his 30 ton splitter rather than buy my own. Of course I pay for gas for it which is about 2 gallons per year to split my 5-6 cords of wood. All told I spend about $20 annually for gasoline and oil for my saw and the splitter. I sharpen my own chain saw blades but paid $20 for a little electric sharpener. My pickup truck I bought for other reasons - living on a rural property you just need one. My chimney? I get it cleaned every summer and it costs me $120. So I think I see about $340 in costs here and more than half were startup, not annual costs. The stove itself was about $3000 installed. If I hadn't bought it, I'd have to list the cost of our high efficiency propane furnace which was more, and cost me almost $3k annually to heat the house.

1/22/2010 10:57:03 PM

We built our 3200 sq foot home on a hilltop in Chester county in 2006. It's a very well insulated home but the first year our propane bill was over $3000. We started trying to supplement with the fireplace but it did not help so in the summer of 2008 I bought a Vermont Castings Encore wood stove. We love it. Wood heat is the best heat. It heats the entire first floor and gets the second floor as warm as I want it for sleeping. Now our 500 gallon propane tank only gets filled once a year! I expect to install a solar hot water heater and reduce our propane bill even further. I do miss the smell of wood smoke from our fireplace though. The stove burns so efficiently that you cannot smell woodsmoke inside or outside. I have a 4 acre woodlot and all the Oak I need. In two years I have yet to need to cut down a live tree and may never need to as there are enough dead ones and storms will bring down a couple living ones each year. I burn 6 cords of wood per year.

john carver_2
1/22/2010 10:41:57 PM

We have a Waterford Trinity wood stove. This model was selected because; it had a cooktop for emergencies and it was not a catalytic stove, thus we could burn about anything. We had a Scandia catalytic stove when we lived in Ky. While it had a great heat output, you had to burn dry hardwoods. Now that we are in Georgia, what we spend for firewood would only be about a one month bill from the electric company (home is all-electric). On top of that, when I walk in the door (which is over 60' from the woodstove) I can immediately tell what we are using for heat. It just feels warmer than the electric heat. I grew up with wood and coal stoves and to this day, you cannot beat how they feel. The only problem with the wood stove, it is very easy to drop off to sleep when you come in from a long day. Also when you get a sinus headache, lay down a few feet in front of the stove, the headache will be gone when you wake up.

jim z._2
1/22/2010 9:25:11 PM

We have 3 EPA-rated Jotul F100 stoves, one at a summer cabin, the other two here at home in the suburbs. We burn everything from cottonwood to oak, it all burns efficiently. No smoke or odor inside, barely any outside, either. One stove is in the basement, where it gets that area toasty right away. The other is in a cathedral-ceilinged LivRm w/ an open floor plan, and even there, the heat radiates to over 30 feet across into the dining and kitchen. Ash is hardly a problem, because these Jotuls "reburn" it once again before it goes up the stack. We only have to reduce the ash & discard maybe every 6-8 burns or so. One trick is, when cold and ready to start a new fire, first mix up the ash real well across the bottom of the firebox. This seems to further allow reburn of any combustibles there, & extends the frequency of emptying. While small stoves, the Jotul F100's have relatively large (ceramic) glass fronts, so they're aesthetically pleasing.

ernest smith_2
1/22/2010 9:17:03 PM

We've been using our wood stove for 5 years now, very seldom have to use the heater. Our home is 2500+ sq feet with the master bedroom upstairs, many times we have to let the fire burn down to get the upstairs cold enough to sleep. We get all our wood from neighbors for free, they have pellet stoves...

jim z._2
1/22/2010 9:10:23 PM

We have 3 EPA-rated Jotul Model F 100 wood stoves, one at a summer cabin and two at home in the city. They put out great radiant heat and are extremely efficient. Removal of ash is only occasional as these models "reburn" the stuff before it finaly goes up the stack. No smoke indoors whatsoever, and very little detected outside, either. We burn everything from cottonwood to oak, it all burns just fine. At home, one unit is in a smallenclosed basement, and it heats up that space quickly. The other is in a cathedral ceilinged LR so the heat dissapates more, but amazingly one can still feel the radiance 30 feet away. Though small, the unit has a relatively large (ceramic) glass front door so the effect is aesthetically pleasant. And once you're in the market for firewood, it just seems to come to you. We haven't bought firewood except at first (4 years ago), but everything since has been leavings at peoples' curbs, etc.

1/22/2010 8:11:28 PM

We use a wood stove and LOVE it! Aside from the extremely lower electric bill, it has been a bit of a life saver for us. Where we live the electricity goes out when ever the wind blows are little harder than usual. When we had a big snow storm and were without lights for a couple of days we were able to stay nice and warm with our wood stove AND heat our food! I don't know what we would have done had we not had it! The only down side, for me, is the dust that comes with using the stove. However, I'll live with that dust any day over paying a HUGE bill for electric heat!

richard christensen_1
1/22/2010 6:59:06 PM

I don't have a stove. I thought about getting one for the family room but our homeowners insurance prohibits the use of one, or the insurance is void. After reading all the posts and the positive comments, I may have to reconsider my homeowners insurance carrier. Last years natural gas bills added up to over $2400. This years will be half that, but still considerably more than I would like it to be.

mona parker
1/22/2010 6:45:53 PM

My husband and I were raised with wood stoves. For most of our almost 40 years of marriage we have heated with wood furnaces. The last furnace we bought from County Post. We live in a single wide mobile it is a little over 1100 sq. ft. with a small walk out basement under one end. We have to walk outside,around the house and down the hill to put wood in the furnace. We don't mind as we like the exercise. Last summer we had 3 large oaks removed from our yard to make more garden space, so our firewood cost us $600.00 this year. I also have my wood range a 1940's style small white porcelean stored in the basement, in case the economy here in Michigan gets any worse. We love our wood heat. When we were raising our kids we also heated our hot water with wood heat. Sometimes we used a copper coil through whatever stove or furnace we were using at the time. We now have a homemade wood boiler to hook up. We used it in the house we lived in before retirement, but have yet to hook it up.

marsha w.
1/22/2010 6:44:11 PM

Hi We moved into our 2story home (1325 sq ft) 26 years ago. The house has 2 chimneys so we installed a Vermont Castings wood burning stove in the front room (downstairs). We can warmed the whole house with it. I keep the thermostat on 65 but it registers 70 to 75 degrees without the heater kicking on. I would never get rid of it - unless we needed to replace it for some reason! It is great to see the flames of the fire plus the burning wood smells wonderful - it warms the soul and saves the bank. My husband and I look forward to our time together harvesting wood from our woods and the neighbors woods.

1/22/2010 5:37:27 PM

I've used a Harmon 3900 series multifuel pellet stove for 4 seasons. Works great, puts out a lot of heat. No worries on stacking wood etc. w/the auto igniter works like a furnace. Has a built in inverter for marine battery/generator option. WHen the cost of one fuel source gets expensive shift to another--pellets, corn, barley, wheat, oats, can even burn those ornery cherry pits! love it best decision I ever made certainly beats the cost of fuel oil.

ken walling_2
1/22/2010 4:23:53 PM

We have two pellet stove also, an insert in the living room and a free-standing stove in the kitchen. Unlike the other comment, we are extremely happy with our pellets stoves. They require a scraping before they are lit and a cleaning about two or three times a heating season. Other than that its dump the pellets in, turn the control on and enjoy thermostatically controlled heat and a fairly nice flame. Last year I burned a ton of pellets in the free-standing stove and only had to empty the ash once. That is efficient burning. Another advantage of the pellet stove is that its exterior doesn't get hot enough to burn you which is great with the cats jumping around and when the grandkids come over. I wouldn't trade them for anything other than maybe a multi-fuel version.

denise moody
1/22/2010 4:22:37 PM

We have a wood stove. A pellet stove doesn't do much good when the power goes out. One of these years we'll get a new one, I'd love to have one of the soap stone wood stoves.

1/22/2010 4:21:20 PM

I love our wood burner!! Four years ago my husband designed an outdoor woodstove/boiler for our house. It worked so well, that when he was laid off in 2008 he started building them to sell. We sold 37 the first year! The outdoor stoves are great because their is no mess in the house and clothes don't smell like smoke. Also, it is portable, so if your moving, take it with you.

1/22/2010 4:05:55 PM

We use a pellet stove, got rid of the wood burner and I'm happy we did, no more cutting, hauling, stacking, cleaning up the mess, hauling ash's and no more over heating, cost me about $3.00 a day for regulated heat and all I have to do is stack the bags in 1/10th the space, love it.

marshall loskot_1
1/22/2010 3:50:01 PM

We up graded from our craft wood burning stove to and energy efficient Pacific Energy stove. This one is EPA aproved and reburn the gases in a stainless steel baffle chamber. Resultint in more heat and less wood used. It is 2 years old now and we are very happy we burn about 1/2 as much wood now and believe the lifetime warantee made the stove worth the price 1300.00. The other stoves we looked at had composite baffles and the workmanship (fit and finish) were not as good and they were more expensive. One had firebrick baffles and the bricks would move and fall from the top of the stove into the burning fire if you bumped them. My advice go with the stainless steel models.

marshall loskot_1
1/22/2010 3:49:38 PM

We up graded from our craft wood burning stove to and energy efficient Pacific Energy stove. This one is EPA aproved and reburn the gases in a stainless steel baffle chamber. Resultint in more heat and less wood used. It is 2 years old now and we are very happy we burn about 1/2 as much wood now and believe the lifetime warantee made the stove worth the price 1300.00. The other stoves we looked at had composite baffles and the workmanship (fit and finish) were not as good and they were more expensive. One had firebrick baffles and the bricks would move and fall from the top of the stove into the burning fire if you bumped them. My advice go with the stainless steel models.

marshall loskot_1
1/22/2010 3:48:08 PM

We up graded from our craft wood burning stove to and energy efficient Pacific Energy stove. This one is EPA aproved and reburn the gases in a stainless steel baffle chamber. Resultint in more heat and less wood used. It is 2 years old now and we are very happy we burn about 1/2 as much wood now and believe the lifetime warantee made the stove worth the price 1300.00. The other stoves we looked at had composite baffles and the workmanship (fit and finish) were not as good and they were more expensive. One had firebrick baffles and the bricks would move and fall from the top of the stove into the burning fire if you bumped them. My advice go with the stainless steel models.

1/22/2010 3:43:33 PM

I lived on the Oregon coast for four years and the house we were renting only had baseboard heat. Most of the baseboard unit’s didn’t work and the electrical system in the house was not that great anyway. We used the old wood stove and it was wonderful. We burned all the paper and cardboard instead of putting it in the garbage can. We used it to cook on and it saved us during storms that knocked out the electricity for days at a time. We paid $20 for a wood permit one time the rest of the wood we got for free. The house I am in now is in Southern OR and has gas heat. It is so expensive we can’t use it, when it was really cold, which it has not been thankfully, we just put on extra socks and blankets at night. We use two electric oil filled radiator style space heaters when we need to. I miss the woodstove but I was told that rental homes in this area cannot have them. My uncle who lives in Coos Bay, OR built his own stove many years ago and it is working beautifully, and keeps their house nice and toasty. I love wood heat and can't wait to get back to it.

1/22/2010 2:59:29 PM

We use both pellet and wood box stove.

nan algieo
1/22/2010 2:34:19 PM

Removed our high cost Gas furnace and replaced with a woodburner in 1996. We've never looked back! The heat feels totally different, much more warming than the forced air gas furnace. As far as the minimal tasks required for wood heat, the ashes feed my garden and compost for the following season. Our yard (8 acres) supplies plenty of free wood for the season and we have yet to have to cut down a single tree~just cleaning up Mother Nature's work in the yard. A chainsaw was needed long before we started using the wood burner and I have no idea what special clothing that guy is talking about. We never go back to writing a check for our heat!

1/22/2010 1:47:15 PM

We have a Country Flame Smart Fireplace with Doors added in. The fireplace is also connected to our heating system both electrically and by ducts. Our house is 2400 sq feet and there are no problems heating the house except on the coldest days in the farthest parts of the home, my office.

1/22/2010 1:29:34 PM

We've been burning wood in our houses for almost 4 years. There are pros and cons. (I think the guy who commented on the work and efficiency should go to school for grammar and typing skills!) With a little hard work it is affordable, and a good work out. (drop your gym membership!) We've found that people with wood stoves will be more social by cutting wood together for safety and time saving measures. We only fill our propane tank maybe twice a year, since summer fill is cheaper. Our house happens to be drafty with more holes than I can mention. We can tell which way the wind blows by looking at the plastic on the windows. So unfortunately the heat doesn't circulate through the house well. We are building a new home with these things considered. My Father-in-law always says he can smell when someone has a wood stove when he gets in the house. He also states that he is amazed that he can't smell it in our house. I think it is from new stove designs. Every once in a while if the wind is really strong and you're just starting a fire some smoke will blow in, it has only happened during a blizzard! There are by no means sparks flying around! There is a bit more dust than I'd like to deal with. After reading the manual quite a bit and spending the first year paranoid about house fires you will know what you are doing! All in all, my husband is sold on wood heat. When we have our new house I doubt we'll be using the furnace much at all!

jennifer stanga kolbeck
1/22/2010 12:48:06 PM

Wood heat! What would we do without it? We've burned wood for over 22 years. After college, we traded a 10 speed bicycle and smaller kerosene stove for a 100 year old speckled grey Home Comfort Cookstove. It truly is the "heart of the home". Not only do we cook and bake with it, we heat the majority of our huge home with it. In 2 of our other houses we used the cookstove and a large Warm Morning. With these South Dakota winters, we would never be without wood heat. And we LOVE our cookstove!

1/22/2010 12:46:54 PM

To the grumpy guy who can't spell: How big is your house and where are you located? Wood is a renewable energy source. Energy Savings and less reliance on fossil fuels is patriotic. Try it.

1/22/2010 12:36:00 PM

Im wondering if ALL woodburner folks.....shouldnt have to go t a school........or get certified..{I dont like any new taxes,BUT},or have a yearly signoff with the city that they have properly cleaned there chimneys {Many fires from woodburners}there stove etc is A-OK. Safety first. I personally get frantic when I smell the odor of someones wood it there sparks flying around? OR, is my home on fire. Having stated this..........they brag about there low heat bills.ahemmmmmmm,ADD up your expenses ! chainsaw/chain sharpening/gas/repairs/gas can/ pickup/logsplitter/gas for each/ time spent/haul out ashes/get rid of them/ stove cost/chimney cost/cleaning apparatus cost/again time spent/ axe/gas going after wood/special clothing/gloves/boots well you get the add it up..each year... I spend about $400 a year..heat/water/cooking gas,,and only have to buy furnace filters,and write a check....and my home is far more efficient eyar around and much more comfortable...not banking stove each nite. I just want folks to think clear thru. :}

eric dagley
1/22/2010 12:29:08 PM

I have heated my previous home with wood for 27 years and never paid for wood. My new home is larger, 2500 sqft, and I have a Margin Gem Kitchen Cook Stove. Not only does it burn wood very well it also burns coal. Wood will last 8 hours but coal will burn for 24 hours on one load. My propane FHW furnace never goes on and our home is 75*.

teresa dickerson_2
1/22/2010 11:47:45 AM

We have heated with woodstove for 6yrs and we love it.

1/22/2010 11:44:40 AM

Started using wood heat three years ago. love it. 1740 sq ft double wide manufactured home 22 years old. put in a blaze king princess model. when the fire box is full it will easily burn 14 to 16 hours keeping the house 75 degrees or over for most of that time. I highly recommend that stove.

1/22/2010 10:41:14 AM

Had 2 pellet stoves, one free standing in den and other insert in fireplace. They heated both areas well. Got rid of them because of maintenace plus the white residue they gave out. Had them professionally installed and checked but still had white residue all over house. Another factor pellet price expensive plus lifting heavy bags and storing them was a chore.

1/22/2010 10:05:10 AM

Have a Lopi fireplace insert with fan and reburner which replaced a gas-starter "box" fireplace in our family room, and a Vermont Castings in our walk-out basement. When we get the Lopi going, the heat rarely comes on. It's not our main heat source at our home, but does provide a good deal of comfort and does save on gas. We also have a Lopi stove with reburner at our retirement home, and when we get that started, the furnace doesn't go on, and the whole house is snug, even in below-zero temps! Great way to save on LP and cost. My husband cuts and splits - some by hand, some with a gas-powered splitter. We pick up wood around the neighborhood that is left over from tree removal, and also cut up some of our own falls. We're firm believers in having an alternate heat source!

1/22/2010 9:30:27 AM

Let me put it this way - my last house was half the size of the one I am currently in, plus this one has a full basement. In both houses I had a heat pump which operated with electricity. The last winter in spent in my previous house my elect. bill almost reached $300.00 one month. In this house, my highest elect. bill has been $85.00. The reason - I have a wood stove in the basement which heats the full house. There is a small blower under the stove which blows air up thru a chamber surrounding the burn box, then is directed to the up stairs. The coldest part of my house rarely goes below 75 deg. For wood, I go to lots where they have timbered out the good wood and get permission to go in, cut up and remove the "waste". Gathering the wood and the work associated with getting it woodstove ready is a pleasure to me, gets me outside in the fresh air and exercise.

wade spiker_2
1/22/2010 8:57:49 AM

I have a wood stove that I acquired in trade for an old shotgun. The unit is an ancient J.C.Penny Co. model that the company has no record of. Despite this it is perhaps the best deal I ever made. I have had no heating bills per say in the last 3 years. I have been able to acquire enough wood by combing the woods and roadsides for fallen limbs and trees to more than adequately heat my home and keep my family warm. I installed myself,after much research, and spent about $400.00 total on materials. I had to buy a chainsaw etc... maybe $300.00 for all the kit and gas used so far. Hm, about$900.00 total and a lot of healthy sweat to be able to not pay out about $4,900.00 in oil over 3 years, sweet deal. Wade

dennis pekala_2
1/22/2010 8:22:25 AM

Have heated with wood for six years now. Get all my wood for free, and the heat rarely kicks on until 6AM. Ive got a Woodstock soapstone, and would highly recommend it to anyone. It does have a catalyst, and works very well.

ron menchini_1
1/21/2010 7:59:29 PM

I had a wood stove a number of years ago and I liked it alot. Great heat, and cheap, as I used to go into the woods and cut down the dead trees,(nothing alive).

bill il
1/21/2010 1:55:22 PM

We have used wood heat for the last 25 years. And we love it. The bone warming heat is wonderfull in our moist Midwestern winters. There are times when we will not turn our propane furnace on for years. Over the years we have cycled between different brand stoves which included Nashua, Kraft and now a Quadrafire. The Quadrafire works very well and has reduced our wood consumption by half. It burns cleaner too. I would not recomend purchasing an off brand stove from a big box store as they are severly undersized and unless you want to split your wood down to kindling size will not work very well for home use especially overnight. We did consider buying a pellet stove but we like the big flames and for us it's less expensive than using pellets.

ronnie fletcher
1/19/2010 6:41:08 AM


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