With the price of natural gas and electricity fluctuating widely from month to month, installing a pellet stove or wood stove to heat your home can seem like a budget-conscious decision. For homes with freestanding wood stoves, power outages are no longer a concern when it comes to staying warm in the winter. And for homes with a central HVAC system hooked up to an exterior wood stove, as long as you have a backup power source to run your HVAC motor, you'll be able to heat your home indefinitely. But wood stoves aren't right for every home or every homeowner. Read on for three things you'll want to consider before installing one of these stoves.
How Much Wood Can You Get—And How Quickly Can You Get It?
Pellet stoves that run on compressed wood pellets tend to be a cost-efficient source of heat for many homes. But if your wood stove is designed to run on chopped wood, you may want to evaluate the cost and convenience of supplying it with wood. In homes on large wooded properties with many slow-burning trees (like locust and ash), a wood-burning stove can supply heat that's essentially free other than the cost of running a chainsaw or wood splitter.
But if you're paying by the cord to fuel an indoor or outdoor wood stove, you may want to compare cost among multiple sellers (and compute the amount of wood you'll need in a one-week period) to make sure you're spending as little as possible. In some cases, it may make sense to have electric or gas heat as a backup source if you hit a cold snap and don't want to load wood around the clock for a few days.
What Are My Other Heating Fuel Costs?
In many parts of the country where firewood is plentiful and cheap but natural gas is not, installing a wood stove can save hundreds to thousands of dollars a year in utility costs. But if you're somewhere with cheap natural gas or per-kilowatt-hour electricity costs, unless you have a way to get firewood for an even lower per-hour cost, it may make more sense to stick with your current heating source or consider renewable alternatives like geothermal heat.
What Do My Neighbors Have?
If you're making any home improvements with an eye toward future resale, you may want to do some asking around. If most homes in your area have wood stoves, going with the crowd can be a no-brainer when it comes to making your home more marketable. But if wood stoves are fairly uncommon in your area, you may want to retain a backup heating source to provide yourself with maximum flexibility in a future sale.
My name is Ian Flaherty and this is my home and garden blog about painting. Many people don't enjoy painting the rooms in their house, but I think it's a very relaxing task that I often do after work. I frequently change the colors of the rooms in my home and every time I do, it gives the home an entirely new appearance, I learned how to paint rooms many years ago when I first started changing the paint colors in my house. When I was first learning how to paint, I had a few mishaps, but then I would do research to learn how it's done right. If you want to discover a whole new world that can be achieved with paint, I hope you'll read my blog and apply these tips and ideas.