The humble wood stove is seeing a renaissance. Using wood, in the form of logs, pellets, chips or clippings, has been a traditional method of heating indoor spaces. Wood heating has been around for thousands of years. More recently, wood as a heating source has declined in popularity thanks to various other alternative fuel sources such as oil, gas, and coal. As HVAC contractors, we’ve seen varieties of these heating solutions.
That being said, stoves which used wood logs or pellets are still widely used. Wood stoves are particularly preferred for the classic, cozy, and rustic feeling they bring to an indoor space. However, wood stoves are somewhat more challenging in comparison to using a furnace or boiler for heating.
To give you a clear picture, here is a look at the pros and cons of using a wood stove for heating your home. By looking at both sides of the coin, you can decide for yourself whether a wood stove is a viable choice for your home.
Pros of Using a Wood Stove
Using a wood stove offers numerous advantages. These include:
- Lower Fuel Costs. Wood as a fuel source costs less than other alternative fuel options such as coal, natural gas, or oil. This makes a wood stove a more cost-friendly option in terms of the operational costs.
- Easy Availability. Wood in its various forms, such as logs or pellets, is readily available. So you don’t have to worry about running out of supply. It is also possible to easily stock up on wood if you have a good storage space.
- Low Carbon Footprint. Over the course of its life, wood-based biomass is considered a zero-carbon fuel source. This means that wooden pellets and other fuels made from wood biomass have a very small carbon footprint. However, you will need to use the right heating systems to ensure that little or no pollutants are emitted during wood burning.
- Stable Fuel Prices. The prices of wood-based fuels are relatively stable year-round. This is in contrast to the prices of oil, coal, and gas which can vary significantly depending on the local and international economic conditions.
Cons of Using a Wood Stove
Although using a wood stove offers numerous advantages, there are also several downsides to using one. These include:
- More Storage Space Needed. You need a lot more storage space to tuck away the wood for even a week straight. This is in contrast to other fuels like oil and gas which require very little space.
- Frequent Supply Needed. Wood burns quickly and you will need a good amount of wood to burn in order to heat your home for even a single day. As a result, you will often need to restock your wood supply which can be a hassle which other fuel sources do not pose.
- Significant Upfront Costs. The upfront costs of a customized wood stove that is suited to the heating needs of your home can be quite steep. Even if you go with an off-the-shelf model, it will cost more than the equipment used in burning oil, gas or coal. This is also because the wood stove and any connected boiler may be larger in order to burn the wood and extract heat from it properly.
- Fuel Feeding Issues. When you use a wood stove, you either need to feed wood to stove on a routine basis, which can be a constant responsibility. Alternatively, you can use an automated conveyor system. Even when using such a system, you will need to monitor it closely to prevent jams.
- Wood Drying Problems. You may not always have access to a properly dried wood fuel. If you get a green type of wood fuel, it comes with high moisture content. This will impact the quality of burning and the amount of heat and smoke produced. If you decide to dry the wood on your own, it can be a costly and time-consuming process.
Hiring a Reliable Greenville Heating and Air Expert
If you want to determine the viability of a wood stove for your heating needs, you should consult professionals. Here at General Air, we have been the go-to contractor for the HVAC needs of Greenville homeowners and businesses for many years. We offer comprehensive heating services and help you explore all the options available to you. With the advice of our experts, you can find a heating solution that is cost-effective, efficient, and viable for your needs. Contact us today to hire our services, seek expert advice, or get a free quote.