Wood or Gas Stove???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Gypsy, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Gypsy

    Gypsy Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2004
    Bamberg, SC
    We need to think about a backup heating source for our basement. We have an oil boiler now and if we loose power (and often do) for a spell, I'm afraid that all the pipes in our basement will freeze. I think that the choice will be between a wood stove and a gas stove. The wood stove would need a new chimney (through basement ceiling main floor and crawlspace attic and the gas stove would involve the installation of a gas tank/line as we have no other gas.

    Can anyone make a strong argument either for or against either of these?
  2. Ryan

    Ryan Member

    Jul 25, 2002
    Personally I'd like to stay away from using fossil fuels so for that reason alone I'd probably go with wood. I'd also want solar hot water heaters, though, and would want the lines running through a radiant floor. But it's harder to do that with existing construction I would think.

  3. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    I have to agree with the use of fossil fuels. However she is located in ME and solar heating in the NE is less than 20% efficient. Cost effective heating can be done with wood as long as it is available. In Maine I would say that wood heat can be a very secure source of heat. If the stove is only for temp. or part time use you could get a used stove very cheap <$300. But I must caution you to not skimp on the chimney. This is the most important part of the installation. If your a doit yourselfer I'd read everything you can before starting the project. Supplies for the installation can be bought online to save alot of $$$.

    Check out Http://www.hearth.com
    They have alot of info on the different heating equip. and Installation help. Plus comparisons.
  4. caberjim

    caberjim Stableboy III

    Feb 19, 2004
    We had a wood stove in the basement of our old rancher. While you could not really heat the upstairs with it, we did use it as a supplemental heat source on really cold days and nights. The heat from the stove worked like radiant heating on the floors at night. It did cut down on heating costs thru the winter and it was nice to have warm floors in the morning. On a couple of occasions, we did lose power and we all moved down to the basement and fired up the woodstove to keep toasty warm. I think we only used 2 or 3 cords over the winter.

    Only possible problem is that someone will need to load the wood and keep it going during the day. If you are out, that may be a problem. When we have to leave the new place during the day in the winter, we load up our woodstove, which is not very big, and it lasts for a good 6-8 hours in cold weather before it drops the house into the 50s. Of course, its a very small house and the woodstove is in the middle of it. The sunnier it is out, the longer the passive solar keeps the temps up inside.

    I would go woodstove, especially if you have or can plant the timber to use.
  5. idahodave

    idahodave Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    SE Idaho
    Most places frown on using LP below grade, so if your gas source is LP it's not a good idea to have a heater in the basement.

    A kerosene room heater would probably keep the basement above freezing, be inexpensive to buy, and could be used upstairs if needed.

    Another thought is to buy a small generator and rig a way to connect the furnace to it.