Wood Heating

It's said that heating with wood warms you twice, once as you chop it, and once as you enjoy its warmth. And since it's usually less expensive than other fuels, it can warm you a third time knowing you are saving money.

But don't think burning wood is free. Consider the costs associated with sawing and hauling it and the time required for chopping it, cleaning up ashes and maintaining stoves and chimneys. And don't forget the doctor bills from splinters, cuts or worse. Consider too that some areas of the country don't allow wood burning due to air pollution concerns, so check before investing in a new wood stove or wood cutting equipment.

Wood does has a lot of advantages as a heat source. For one, it can warm the home even if the power is out, which can't be said for many other types of heat. It is considered a "green" energy source since it is renewable. And wood fires are aesthetically pleasing and their direct, radiant heat is enjoyable.

Using wood is said to be good for the body and soul, providing physical exercise, and the satisfaction of feeling self-sufficient. If wood is plentiful where you live and you enjoy that tasks associated with getting it to the fireplace, it may be right for you.

If you are purchasing wood, it's usually sold by the cord. A cord is a stack of wood four-feet high and eight-feet long in four-foot lengths. That equals a volume of 128 cubic feet counting the wood, bark and air space. If the wood is neatly trimmed and well stacked, it will contain 85 to 90 cubic feet of wood, but as you might imagine, a cord is not a precise, well-defined measure.