Heating with Wood

November 14, 2007

Use the heat from your wood-burning fireplace insert to do so much more than heat the house! The top of my insert forms a 12 x 30 inch shelf. We keep a big pot full of water and a full tea kettle on it at all times. Put a metal trivet under them and the water stays piping hot. Remove the trivet ahead of time if you know you'll need boiling water for pasta, or just transfer the hot water into a pot on the stove for a huge head start.


Make tea any time without turning on the stove. Use the hot water for dishwashing, handwashing or even taking a sponge bath to reduce water use. All of these uses eliminate the need to run gallons of cold water down the drain waiting for hot water to reach your tap from the water heater. Reheat soup. Heat canned foods in a pot (don't heat them in the cans, even if you've pierced the rim to let steam escape they will bubble over and make a mess!). "Flame dispersers" used for propane cooking achieve a simmer. "Roast" vegetables in a covered casserole dish or dutch oven. It takes longer than an oven (2-3 hours), but uses no extra gas or electricity. Experiment, have fun!

Source: "Original" idea (if any such thing exists!)

By Denise-Christine from Eugene, OR
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October 6, 2004

If this winter, you are going to be using a wood burning stove or a free standing fireplace to heat all or part of your home, try this tip.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 25, 2007

I need a wood stove recommendation. It's time for our old Avalon wood stove to go. I've read the manufacturer web sites for Avalon, Vermont Castings, Lopi, BlazeKing, Country, and of course they make their brand sound like the best on the market. My house is all on one level, about 2000 square feet, and a wood stove is my sole source of heat. I want it to have a long enough burn time that I can load it at night and still have embers in the morning to get it going again. What brand/model wood heating stove do you have and would you recommend it for what I need?

Jackie from Rochester, WA


By lisa (Guest Post)
November 28, 20070 found this helpful

We have a top loading Jotul. It is, I believe, Swedish or Norwegian. We have had it close to 11 years. The only thing we have had to replace was gaskets. Top loading is nice because you load it with wood from the top. All of the ashes stay at the bottom. It seems like a safer way to load as well. We only use it at 1/3 - 1/2 it's capability because we are not home enough to "feed the beast" and it heats about 75% of our heating needs in a 1600 sq ft house and is located in the basement. Good luck.

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By Tanya (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful

We have a European stove brand called Weso, and it burns all night and heats our whole house, about 1800 sq. ft. In the morning, we just stir up the embers and throw in another log or two. They are made in Germany and widely used in Europe.

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By James (Guest Post)
February 17, 20080 found this helpful

The WESO model 125 wood/coal burning stove is the best on market for heating a mid size house. I have been using one for over 35 years with no problems. It cost more but in the long run you get what you pay for. My house is 1600 square feet. Jim

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By Marty (Guest Post)
January 7, 20090 found this helpful

I have a Vermont Casting and would NOT recommend buying one. They have a cast iron hood that covers the converter and it gets bent out of shape just burning the stove. I have talked to others and they have the same problem. I have narrowed my search down to two, Blaze King and Energy king. I hop this helps.

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January 28, 2011

Can or has anyone burned wood pellets in a hi-efficiency wood fireplace. Are they OK to use in a fireplace, metal, 0 clearance, Napoleon nz-26 unit?

By jto from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


January 31, 20110 found this helpful

A fireplace will suck a lot of the "heated" air out, and up the chimney. Our last house had two fireplaces. In the family room we installed a wood burning stove into the fireplace, which was very effective in heating a two storied area. Pellet stoves burn special pellets made just for the stove. If there is a store which sells stoves it would be a good place to start. Anytime fire is involved in heating one needs to be extra careful. The stove we have in our latest home burns just wood. We have a catalytic converter which makes the wood burn clean. If we put anything else in the stove to burn it would ruin this feature. Be safe and do the homework.

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November 5, 20110 found this helpful

Non-pellet ie Wood Burning air tight stoves.

Yes, and it works quite well. I'm burning multi fuel (wood + pellets). Using square unistrut, I created three parallel andirons to lay across the bottom of the wood stove. One bolt of wood (quarter or half round) goes against the back of the stove against the fire brick.

I make a open ended basket out of expanded mesh (16" long, 10" deep folded up 4 rows in back, three rows in front) with a liner of 1/4" mesh hardware cloth.

Wood splints crosslaid between the andirons with a couple of pitch sticks are the fire starter, set the flat bottom of the basket across the andirons with the back 1-1 1/2" away from the bolt, grab your butane torch and fire off the splints.

As with all wood burning appliances, experiment to make sure you don't over fire (put a stack thermostat on the side of the stove to monitor). Use your handy gardening scoop trowel to refill the basket, the log in the back easily ignites the next batch of pellets. What falls through burns to ash.

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November 29, 20160 found this helpful

Can you burn pelletsi a wood burning stove?

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January 24, 2014

I have a wood burning store, but I want to burn pellets in it. Do the trays that you can buy to convert the burner work?

By Julie

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 28, 2011

Has anyone tried burning wood pellets in a regular wood burning stove or fireplace?

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