Heating With Wood -- A Tutorial

  • Blog Post by: Bill Klein
  • January 19, 2010 - 11:43 AM

Harvesting firewood is one of my favorite outdoor activities.  I've been heating our home, pretty much exclusively, with wood for over 35 years.  So I feel confident I can give you A-to-Z details on the process.  If you have considered a cheaper heating alternative you may want to check out my next several blog postings.

Today, I'm going to list several reasons why you should and why you should not heat with wood.

First, the PROS.


  • Wood is a renewable, sustainable resource.
  • You can save thousands of dollars on your LP, oil, electric or natural gas fuel bills.
  • Spending some productive time in the woods is a wonderful way to spend a winter Saturday.
  • Gazing at a pile of wood you produced is truly satisfying in a world where tangible results are hard to come by.
  • Harvesting blow downs, standing dead trees and wolf trees does nothing but improve a woodlot.
  • Free firewood is readily available with oak wilt, ash borer and other diseases ravaging our trees.
  • Today's indoor wood furnaces are highly efficient.  In fact, many qualify for federal energy rebates.
  • You are going to do good things for your body if you commit to becoming a wood cutter.

And now the CONS.


  • There is an undeniable element of danger in wood cutting.  I'll talk about safety next week.
  • Better not do it if someone in your house is allergic to wood smoke.
  • If you house doesn't have an HVAC distribution system the start-up costs outweigh the savings.
  • Heating my house takes eight to ten cords of wood during a normal winter.  That's a stack 4 feet high by about 200 feet long.  We're talking a Big Time commitment here.

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