Lighting up the wood stove in the fall brings ideas of cozy winter nights and fresh cut firewood. I love having a strong fire in the wood stove when it is cold or snowy outside.
A wood stove is something I never had or really needed growing up. I grew up in suburban Dallas, Tx where winter comes a couple of weeks out of the year. It would never have crossed our minds to have a wood stove for heat.
But here in Colorado, a wood stove is the norm. It resembles everything that is rustic and western about Colorado.
4 reasons why I love my wood stove:
1. It heats our home in the winter fairly cheaply.
Depending on where you get your wood (I will go over that soon), wood can heat a home without spending hardly any money. If you have wood on your property to cut down, it wouldn’t cost you anything to heat your house. That is huge, considering gas or electric heat can be very expensive in the winter time.
2. We could cook on it if we needed to in an emergency.
We haven’t ever cooked on our wood stove, but it is nice to know that we could if we needed too. In a winter emergency in Colorado, we could keep warm and cook food because we have a wood stove. That is very reassuring from an emergency preparedness perspective.
3. I have less trash because we burn it.
Of course, you shouldn’t burn all of your household trash in your wood stove. That would be a mess! But I find I have less trash to put out at the curb during the winter, because I use boxes, paper, lint, and other useable trash to start my fire in the wood stove.
4. It makes a wonderful and cozy winter night.
As I said in the beginning, I just love the way a wood fire makes the house feel cozy and warm in the wintertime. I guess that is a romantic notion, but I don’t care. I love it!
Where do you get wood to use in your wood stove?
There are many sources of wood that you can find to heat your home. Depending on the time and/or money you have available, the options are plenty.
Here are a few places I could think of to get wood for a wood stove:
Cut down wood on your property.
This is the most obvious place to get wood. If you have fallen trees on your property, or an area that needs to be cleared, you are good on firewood. Make the most of it. If not, move on to the rest of the list.
Get a permit to cut wood in the forest.
In Colorado, you can buy a permit to pick up fallen logs in designated areas by the Bureau of Land Management. You can take your pickup to the forest and retrieve the fallen logs, cut them up with your chainsaw and bring them home to burn. This way you can get different kinds of wood then what you may find on your property. Research your area and see what is available. I do not recommend just randomly going to the forest and cutting down trees. You need to find out who owns the property and what the laws are about cutting firewood in your area!
Get scrap wood from companies.
In our area, we have a couple of companies that have scrap wood you can pick up for a small fee. We have a wood flooring company and a manufacturer of erosion and sediment control products that have piles of wood you can haul away for about $20 a pickup load. Research your area to see if you have these sorts of companies that would like you to take their scraps for a small fee.
Ask on social media.
Social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) is a great place to ask people if they have any wood they might want to get rid of. You can also check you local Craigslist or Freecycle online to see if they have wood as well.
Buy cut wood by the cord.
If you’re really desperate or you don’t have enough wood for the winter, you can find people in the community that will sell you wood by the cord. This is usually the most expensive way to get wood, so I wouldn’t recommend it unless it is a last resort. You may be able to support a local fundraiser like the boy scouts or something by buying wood this way.
Wood Stove Accessories
Once you have your wood stove, what else do you need to go with it? I would suggest a few items to get you going:
An ash bucket and shovel is an essential tool to clean out the ashes from your wood stove. Once they are completely cooled, you can throw them in your compost pile.
Not a necessity, but this fire set is good to have to help make and control your fire.
I have a rack similar to this one. It helps a lot to have some logs close to the house so you don’t have to go out to your main wood pile everyday. Ours is on the porch.
It is good to know how hot your fire is getting. If you had to cook or bake on the stove this would be very helpful to regulate temperature.
In an emergency (or when it is really dry) this kettle would heat up water for cooking or to humidify the room.
This fan doesn’t run on electricity. It uses the heat of the fire to run the fan, which then spreads the heat throughout the house. Very cool!
Heating with a wood stove is both practical and inexpensive. It can help you save money on heat and can save your life in an emergency. Collecting wood for the fire can be inexpensive if you think ahead! I love our wood stove in the winter. It has been a blessing for our family in many ways.
How do you heat your home in the winter? Do you have a wood stove? Do you love it? Where do you get firewood? Please comment below and let us know!