Wood Heat

Most homes are not designed for heating with wood stoves, fireplace inserts or similar devices. Most appliances which use wood as a heating source are primarily used to heat a portion of the home or create a desired atmosphere. Typically, such wood burning appliances overheat one portion of the house, and if located near the thermostat for the central heating furnace, may cause other portions of the house to be too cold.

Our inspections suggest that a disproportionately large number of wood burning appliances are improperly and unsafely installed and are often used to burn trash, dirty and unseasoned wood which further contributes to fire danger, creosote, and soot build-up inside the chimney. It also contributes to the air pollution outdoors. Recent changes in air pollution control regulations have further restricted the use of wood burning appliances, especially in the fall and early winter, when temperature inversions are common.

The most efficient and clean burning wood stoves appear to be the pellet stoves. When used in a home with an open floor plan designed for wood heat, such stoves may be an efficient and effective way to heat some homes. Pellet stoves and their mechanical components require regular maintenance. And, unless equipped with a battery backup system, they will not work in a power outage.

Heating Your Home