Wood Stove Heating 2024

Wood Stove Heating 2024

Centuries old solution to heating your home

By Christina Reed
The Hired Pen


“So then, you have a cooking stove! This is economical, saving much wood and labour. I know it by experience. But many people are so prejudiced against them that they will scarcely look at one. Wood has become a cash article nowadays in my neighborhood. I have procured me one of Rich’s cooking stoves and think I save half my wood by it nearly”–Robert Bailey Thomas, founder of “The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1823.

Eastern Sierra, CA—Hard to miss the howling winds, and wind chill factors the last week or so, and having a wood stove in your home can offer a big element of security and heating, especially if the power goes out in your neighborhood. The centuries old way of heating and cooking has stood the test of time, and while not all wood stoves are equal in size, heat, and convenience, the atmosphere created by a wood burning stove experience is hard to beat on a cold and blustery winter’s day.

“One evening when I had my wood-burning stove going I realized I hadn’t thought of dessert”– Gwyneth Paltrow

Go back a century ago, and nearly every home had some form of fire place or wood stove, and some say the wood-burning stoves go back to the 16th century in Europe (the first patented wood stove was in Strasbourg in 1557). At first, people were reluctant to get rid of their big open hearth fire places, but once the efficiency of the metal stoves improved, and with the idea of a cook stove took off, homes started replacing the fire place with wood stoves. Wood stoves don’t create the architectural problems with installation that fire places do, and even Benjamin Franklin got into the act, with improvements to his three-sided metal stove in the 1740s. Wood shortages around Philadelphia forced people to become more efficient with burning wood for heat and cooking.

“Wood warms you thrice—when you chop it, stack it, and burn it.”

Wood stoves gained attraction in the 1800s, and this period also saw the popular Philo Stewart’s Oberlin compact kitchen stove, which eliminated the need for these enormous metal wood stoves.
As modern homes were built, especially in California, the idea of a fire place and wood stove took a back seat to swimming pools and back yard barbecues. But, in the 1970s, the wood stove made a retro turn back to favor. The energy crisis (of the 1970s) created a huge demand for wood stoves, but the stoves weren’t as efficient as today’s stoves are for home heating use. By 1980, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) came along and regulated the levels of emissions for wood stoves, and the manufacturers improved the designs to meet these EPA standards. The wood stoves of today do not emit as much and the stoves are designed to be a complete combustion, with less smoke emissions.

The eastern Sierra has a number of stove shops or wood and pellet stove installation companies, and you want to put in a certified wood-burning stove if you are interested in this form of heating / cooking. It’s well worth the time, energy and money to have a licensed stove installer, and the proper installation done, and this installation makes insurance possible, and keeps your home up to EPA standards. (Source: Old Farmer’s Almanac)