Heating Your Home

Posted August 11th, 2010
by HomeownersInsurance.org Staff (no comments)

These days when you say wood burning stove, it conjures up images of great grandparents who lives sometime around the Stone Age. Most of us heat our homes with natural gas, in highly efficient furnaces. Some even use ultra modern technology like solar, wind, and geothermal power to provide some or all of our heat. And yet, if you’re looking to cut costs, you just might consider tearing a page from great grandma’s playbook. You’ll pay a little more in homeowners insurance, but you’ll pay a lot less in heating bills.

These days, those who choose to heat their homes with wood have plenty of options , including the following:

  • Fireplaces. While we wouldn’t seriously suggest anyone use fireplaces as their primary heat source these days, many people do supplement their home heating with fireplaces. On top of giving a wonderful, dry heat, a fireplace adds ambiance and charm to your home.
  • Wood Stoves. Growing up, we had a wood furnace, and it kept the house nice and warm. Of course, we had several acres of trees, so it was more economical for us than for others. Wood stoves come in many different sizes and styles, from those which are meant to be used as a space heater to those which are designed to heat an entire house.

  • Pellet Stoves. These are one of the newer additions. Not only can you burn wood pellets (which are mostly sawdust), but you can buy pellet stoves that will burn corn (it smells like popcorn when it burns), cherry pits, and several other naturally combustible substances. Again, these are made in various sizes, some of which are capable of heating a large farm house.

Of course, if you do choose to fully or partially heat your home with wood or other natural substances, you’re going to want to minimize the risk of fire in your home. Here are some basic things you can do to mitigate the chances of a fire. Incidentally, they’ll also save you a little on your homeowners insurance.

  • Make sure that your stove is at least 6 inches away from the wall.
  • Make sure that the exhaust has a metal sleeve around it where it touches the wall.
  • Make sure that your wood stove is off of the floor. Typically, it should be set on bricks, cinder blocks, metal legs, or something else no flammable.
  • Make sure that you store your fuel at least 10 feet away from the heater.
  • In the case of fireplaces, never leave a fire burning unattended.

Photo via Robbie1

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