When temperatures drop, the opposite can happen with your heating bill. So, if you want to use wood (in fireplace or stove form) to cut costs this winter without sacrificing warmth, here’s some good news. It’s completely doable–in certain circumstances and with proper planning.
When Using Wood as Secondary or Backup Heat Works Best
First, you should live in a part of the country where wood is available and you can either purchase it or harvest your own. In order for it to make financial sense, the cost of fuel and wood must come in under the cost of conventional home heating. If these conditions match your situation and you’re prepared to do some pre-planning, you should have no problem supplementing your heating.
Preparing the Wood for Winter
If you intend to use your own wood, experts suggest sticking to one like oak, since its resin level makes it burn easier than other types (like pine). Also, after you cut and split the wood, you should let it rest for at least two years to remove as much moisture as possible. This process is known as seasoning. Even if purchasing wood, make sure it has been properly seasoned (some companies will rest it for a year, leaving you to the other).
Since it takes quite a bit of wood to last the season (between one and three cords), you should ensure you have enough storage space. On the back end, you should familiarize yourself with proper ash disposal and make sure you have the necessary equipment.
When to Supplement
Although using wood instead of central heat can save you money, it might not always be the best option. First, consider the times when burning wood makes more sense than running the heater. For example, you wouldn’t leave a stove or fireplace lit when you are out of the house. Live fire needs supervision. For this reason, people generally use the heater on a low setting when they plan to be gone for long stretches and look to wood-burning when comfortable at home.
In addition, having a fireplace on all day during brutal winter weather can give your heater a rest and using wood early or late in the season might lessen the need for a heater during the night. Not to mention, if you live in an area prone to power outages, you will have backup heat for such emergencies.
As you can see, with adequate planning and knowledge, you can handily save money on your heating bill this winter by supplementing with wood-burning appliances and create a festive ambiance at the same time.
For all your heating and air conditioning needs in Lansing, call Vredevoogd at 517-507-4174 today.