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When my father died two years ago, I took over his 4200-square-foot house. The house has a gas furnace, but he also installed an outdoor woodburner so that he could heat the house without spending a fortune on natural gas. I live in Northern Ohio where winters are long and bitter, and I thought I'd share the pros and cons of using wood to heat your home. I am not a professional, and I don't work in the woodburner industry. The purpose of this article is simply to provide a first-hand account of what having an outdoor woodburner entails.

What about greenhouse gases? All in all, using wood to heat your home is generally considered to cut down on the emissions that cause global warming. There's some debate about how to figure the carbon footprint of burning wood: After all, a tree releases carbon when it decomposes anyway, so it's conceivable that putting wood in the stove is more or less carbon-neutral. On the other hand, if we cut down trees faster than they are replaced, there's a net reduction in carbon sinks that sequester carbon dioxide. And when a tree decomposes, some of that carbon is absorbed by the soil; when you burn wood, virtually all of it will end up in the atmosphere. Still, as long as your firewood is farmed sustainably, heating by wood is less likely to contribute to heating the earth. Researchers that, in total, wood may produce between three times and 10 times fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit of heat than other energy sources.

Use Your Wood Stove as a Water Heater - Mother Earth News

Your wood stove can heat more than your home

What about greenhouse gases? All in all, using wood to heat your home is generally considered to cut down on the emissions that cause global warming. There's some debate about how to figure the carbon footprint of burning wood: After all, a tree releases carbon when it decomposes anyway, so it's conceivable that putting wood in the stove is more or less carbon-neutral. On the other hand, if we cut down trees faster than they are replaced, there's a net reduction in carbon sinks that sequester carbon dioxide. And when a tree decomposes, some of that carbon is absorbed by the soil; when you burn wood, virtually all of it will end up in the atmosphere. Still, as long as your firewood is farmed sustainably, heating by wood is less likely to contribute to heating the earth. Researchers that, in total, wood may produce between three times and 10 times fewer greenhouse gas emissions per unit of heat than other energy sources.