what i like:
- i get most of our wood for free, and free heat is awesome
- house stays warm even when the power is out
- can cook on wood stove when power is out too
- creates a nice ambience
- i love splitting wood, plus it’s good exercise
what i don’t like:
- despite all the bullshit wood stove manufacturers spew about wood burning being “carbon neutral,” the billowing smoke doesn’t lie: it’s a huge source of pollution
- requires constant attention to keep the fire going, and at the correct temperature
- it’s easy to mess up and make the house way too hot, and it takes a long time to cool it back down
- lots of work to find firewood, buck it up, split and stack it
- need a chainsaw, and need to maintain it too
- need space to store firewood
- creates huge amounts of dust in house, especially when cleaning ash out of the stove
i think wood stoves are great as a backup and/or supplemental home heat source but they are not ideal as a primary source. but i’m not really convinced on any heat source so far: heat pumps are expensive to buy and install and seem to require a lot of expensive maintenance; electric baseboards are inefficient and super expensive to run; weird, obscure methods like boilers and radiators are even more inefficient than baseboards, and finding parts and repair people for those systems is becoming increasingly difficult.
at this point, i think the best setup would be using a heat pump until temps approach freezing, and then using the wood stove to supplement. still not great though. ugh.
oh, the trials and tribulations of being a full-fledged adult now.