Alternative Heating SourcesThis one is a biggie for us. Even though we currently live in hell, it does get cold here. In the winter we drop well below freezing here believe it or not. We currently have a wood stove in our house, we bought and installed two years ago. It was one of the greatest things we’d ever done! However, you have to remember where we live.
Wood here is hard to come by, especially large logs, and hard wood that would burn for a significant amount of time. We can buy fire wood from people in town, it’s typically mesquite or salt cedar and it runs about $250 a cord. Even when we only use our woodstove in the evenings, we still burn thru almost 2 cords of wood a year. We’ve torn stumps out around here, they were cottonwood, and I’d give my right pinky finger to have an entire cord of it.
For all practical reasons, we can’t exactly rely on our woodstove as a reliable source of heat. Currently our power bill here in the winter has been up toward $300 a month in the coldest months, as we use electric baseboard heaters to heat our house. Natural gas isn’t an option here, and propane is just waaaay too expensive. I’d love to be able to rely more on our woodstove, especially since I use the ashes from it in our garden, chicken coop, and yard in general.