You are here: Home > Complete Preparedness Library > The Basics Of Being Prepared > Is A Wood Burning Stove For You?

Is A Wood Burning Stove For You?

wood burning stove for you

Everyone who has experienced a power outage during the winter knows how cold the house can get in just a couple of hours.  Most outages are repaired fairly quickly, but there are times when an emergency or disaster will mean that there will be no electric power for days, and sometimes weeks. Ice storms, blizzards, high winds, or trouble at the power plant can all mean that your electric service can be interrupted.  How well will you and your family be able to survive if your furnace is not working when it’s -20 F?  If you have a wood burning stove, you will have no trouble keeping warm during a disaster as long as you have a supply of wood.

Will You Be Able To Use One?

Where you live will have a good deal to do with whether or not you can use a wood burning stove.  Those who live in more rural areas will generally be able to install and use a wood stove without any problem.  However, if you live in a housing tract or suburbs, you may find that your stove will be prohibited outright or neighbors will complain about the smoke.  Some developments have covenants built right into the sales agreement that will forbid the use of wood stoves.  Living in a city is even more problematic, and some cities require that you get a permit before you install a wood stove.

Proper Installation

It is important that your wood burning stove is installed correctly.  Remember, there will be fire produced, and unless the stove has been installed properly, you could get a house fire.  There will usually be a certain clearance from walls necessary for safe installation.  Larger stoves will require up to 3 feet from a surface that could catch fire, while some smaller stoves only require a clearance of 18 inches or less.  While our stove only needs a small clearance, we have installed cement shields ourselves as an added safety measure.

Attention must also be paid to the stove pipe, which can become very hot.  If your pipe is not insulated, there must be a 3 foot clearance where it goes into the wall or ceiling.  An insulated pipe will basically do away with this, but these pipes are very expensive, and will cost as much as the stove itself.  Having professionals install your stove is probably your best protection against trouble.  You also will have to clean the chimney pipe every year, to clear out any creosote that has accumulated, as this is very inflammable.

If your home already has a fireplace, you may well want to upgrade to an insert.  Fireplaces are actually very inefficient heaters, but the addition of an insert will mean that you will have all the heating benefits of a regular wood burning stove.

Sit Back and Relax

However, if your stove is properly installed and you have a good supply of wood, you will be able to sit back, relax, and stay warm regardless of whether you have electricity or not.  If you live in an area subject to severe winters, it may well be a good idea to install a wood burning stove.  Besides providing dependable warmth, considering the price of heating oil or natural gas, it will also save you a considerable amount of money.

Whether or not a wood burning fire place is right for you, make sure to stock up on lighting and heating in case of an emergency. No matter where you live a disaster can strike at the most unexpected times.