Why I Heat with Wood
Unfortunately, since this oversized room went together so unplanned, the concept of heat was not considered. With all the doors and windows, baseboard heat was no longer an option. While at a local wood stove and fireplace shop, I discovered a wood stove made of soapstone and enameled cast iron. Its a very attractive stove, and the shop owner went on to sell me on all the benefits it had to offer.
Since the price was within my budget for a heating project at the time, I justified it even further with the fact that firewood is easy enough to come by. With the fuel source free, and the stove an attractive focal point of the room, the decision to add heat to that room and make it functional year round made perfect sense. I had been splitting and selling firewood for many years, and always had a large supply available to me. I figured what ever I used, I could always split more if I needed to.
In the four years we have had the wood stove in that room, we have never needed supplemental heat from any other fuel source. Even on the coldest days where the temps outside dropped to the single digits, I have been able to keep that room at a cozy 70 degrees, all with no fuel costs. If I were to figure a value on that based on oil usage, I would have to say it would probably take at least 3 gallons of fuel oil to do that every day.
An added benefit over and above allowing us to use that room year round by heating it with wood has been that when the room gets too warm, we open up the door to the rest of the house. By doing this, the warm air rises into the rest of the house, and significantly reduces the amount of fuel oil we burn in the rest of the house. Reviewing our heating bills over the past 4 years has shown a reduction of 200 to 300 gallons a year in heating oil. At todays current cost of $4.00 a gallon that works out to an additional savings of $800 to $1200 a year.
For the above reasons, I would have to say that by heating with wood I have made a wise choice. I bought a stove that has become a focal point of the room it is centered in. I have been able to allow myself an enjoyable room to spend the winter months with no costs. I have also been able to warm the rest of my house with the same stove and realize a reduced heating bill as a result.
Given all the benefits, I would not hesitate to recommend wood heat to those in a similar situation.