Heating your home with firewood is an easy way to reduce your energy costs. Unfortunately if your property is not large enough to support large trees then you will have to look other places to obtain your firewood for the season. Many people will receive an order of firewood at the beginning of the season from a distributor. Often you can find a distributor of firewood listed at your local fireplace dealer. The cost of obtaining seasoned firewood from a distributor can be anywhere from $250 to $450 per cord. The difference in price will depend on the type of hard wood and the amount of time it has been seasoned. Delivery costs are normally waived if you are within a few miles of distributor but can cost $75 or more per delivery.
If the primary reason of heating your home with firewood is to save money then you must account for the total cost of heating per season. An average sized home will require anywhere from 1 to 3 cords of wood throughout the winter. The amount that you consume will depend on your geographic location and the construction of your home.
Most people will use there fireplace or wood burning stove as supplemental heat and not their primary heating source. Often it is beneficial to light a fire for heat in late fall in early spring and use your fireplace as supplemental heat in the extreme coldness of winter.
Finding inexpensive sources of wood can be difficult. You may want to contact your county or town about obtaining any fallen trees or trees that they need removed. When purchasing firewood from a third party you should always consider that it has not been seasoned. This means that you should allow the wood to sit and dry for at least six months over the summer or a full year if you obtain it in the fall. Unseasoned wood can cause creosote build up in the chimney of your fireplace which can result in chimney fires.
Many people have turn to using wood pallets that are made of oak hardwood for the fireplace however the wood can be treated to deter rot. You should never use any pressure treated or treated lumber in your fireplace because it can out gas toxic fumes which could result in sickness or death.
Some people also use paper and cardboard materials that they fashion into logs however the same problem with chimney fires can result.
For best results you should either harvest your own wood or purchase it from a reputable dealer . You never know weather the wood that you purchase has been infested with bugs or poison ivy or has come from another source which would make it unusable in your home. It is just not worth the risk to save $200 and have a problem which could cost thousands for your health.
Before considering burning wood in your home as a supplementary source or primary heating source you must consider all the factors that go into maintaining and feeding your fireplace. If you feel comfortable cleaning your own chimney and firebox once or more times each season and preparing firewood which will take many weekends throughout the year then you may have an excellent source of cheap heating. If you do not feel that you are able to put in all the effort maintaining your fireplace or wood burning stove you should rely on more conventional methods of heating your home and improving your insulation to save money. You may also want to look into passive solar and solar water heating as a safer method of heating your home.