LOW IMPACT HEATING

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Salvaged wood & heat

Here on the urban homestead we don’t have central heat, instead we heat our home (well, only three out of the nine rooms) using a small compact (EPA certified) Jotul wood stove.  I’ve written many a times before about how we combat the cold by dressing in layers and well, just getting used to a cold and drafty old house.

Construction is still ongoing next door (and also a few town homes being built on our street) so there’s loads of scrap (free) to feed our very efficient Jotul wood stove.    They’ve allowed us to take what scrap wood we need, so this winter we are heating our home for free!

Like any other human endeavor, wood heating can be done badly or well. Wood can be harvested poorly, burned dirty and its heat wasted. Or, wood can be harvested sustainably, burned cleanly and efficiently, and its energy used to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming.

Whatever energy source you choose, its use will have an impact on the environment. The best energy sources are renewable and the best of those are solar power and wind power because their environmental impacts tend to be low. As good as they are, though, they do have their problems and limitations. Wood is another renewable energy source with its own problems and limitations, some of which can be managed and minimized, others of which cannot. But when it is used effectively, wood is a fine fuel compared to the fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal, whose consumption leads to global warming.

Reference WoodHeat.org

Comments(4)

  1. David says:

    That wood stove is so hot(no P. Hilton ref., puhleze!) Do you use the wood ash to help build the garden soil? If so how does it help micronutrient, flora & microfauna wise? Can ash help deter pests as a dusting powder or also an amendment?

  2. Anais says:

    Howdy David

    Thanks for the comments and questions. Yes, yes and yes…. Wood ash is great to use in the garden

    Check out these online references:

    http://urbanhomestead.org/journal/2007/01/04/powering-down-2/
    http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/woodash.html
    http://www.emmitsburg.net/gardens/articles/frederick/2004/ashes.htm

    See you tomorrow! Our animals are looking forward to your greens. 😀

    Cheers,
    Anais

  3. Doug says:

    Is burning or using the ash from treated wood a concern? If so, how do you know the scraps aren’t treated? If treated wood isn’t a concern, why is it not?

    Best regards

  4. Scott says:

    HI

    Other then the wood stove do you have another option. My great aunty died of emphysema from the use of only using a wooden stove in the kitchen.

    So i am understably unconvienced about these cooking stoves. We also have a keroscene heater which thumps out 26000 btu and I am after a more earth friendly version of that if you would be able to suggest any. I like sustainable and non fossil fueled heaters and cooking devices.

    Induction are hugely expensive as is the general heating elements.

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