Heating with firewood / Guides

Choosing the right firewood
Wood stove and biomass heat

Burning the right firewood for maximum heat output and minimum environmental impact

...without overheating your home and leaving a big charcoal bed. It is also the best kindling you will find. In areas where a lot of people heat with firewood, there are often notoriously reputable as well as notoriously shady firewood providers. If you have a chance, ask others in your region about their experiences ra...

High efficiency wood stoves
Wood stove and biomass heat

Heating with wood and biomass fuel

...heating solution . Burning firewood and other biomass fuels are a way to gain that independence. Heating efficiently with biomass fuel (wood, grain, seeds and manufactured fire logs) The good news is, improvements in stove and fireplace technology have been so dramatic that burning wood or biomass fuel for heat can...

Heating an off-grid home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

OFF GRID LIVING BLOG, PART 4: Off-grid heating systems - lessons learned from our off grid home

...heating elements. We have installed one to provide much of the base load of heating, as well as to ensure that the house would never freeze again regardless of any issues with the electrical system. How to size this new heater? I relied on the boiler company to help make this decision with the original heating syst...

Wood Combustion - How it works and the different stages
Wood stove and biomass heat

Wood Combustion – How Firewood Burns & How to get the best heat while being eco-friendly

...without fire” stage where we cross fingers, blow at it until we’re cross-eyed and hope desperately that it’s going to catch light – fiddling constantly with chimney dampers and air inlets because let’s face it – did we actually read those stove instructions? Really?? (Ok, it’s just me.) Anyhow, if all goes well, we g...

High efficiency fireplaces and how to choose one
Wood stove and biomass heat

Choosing the right wood-burning stove or fireplace for both heat output & the environment

...firewood affects performance: Hardwood is unquestionably better than softwood as a heating fuel, but the main reason is that softwood burns much faster so you need to load it a lot more often. Stoking your fire with maple or oak at night might leave you with a bed of coals in the morning, loading the same volume of p...

Wood pellet stoves that don't need electric ideal for off grid operation
Wood stove and biomass heat

These wood pellet stoves for off-grid heating don't need electric to operate

...with people wanting heat security at home, particularly the people who may have lived in a school gymnasium or with their in-laws for those two gruelling weeks. Wood stoves only create an air quality issue when there is a high concentration of them in urban areas, it does not pose the same health risk when they're us...

Passively-heated off-grid LEED Gold home
Off-grid and Net-Zero Housing

Off-grid living blog part 6 - energy modeling projections and real performance

...with passive solar heating in a home unless one is willing to endure unwelcome overheating on warm sunny days in the winter and spring. Even with our place, I am finding that on bright sunny days in February and March that the upstairs of the house can exceed 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit) with the heating turned o...

Ecohome's Kenogami House 'The Most Resilient Home in North America'
Concept and design

Resilient design features for new home construction

...with homes that we assume meet some realistic standard of resilience. They do to an extent, but a very minor extent. Assuming the climate putters along with relative normalcy, your home will keep you warm, dry and powered-up with hot dinners, warm showers and endless entertainment at your finger tips. When some sort ...

Pallet beds are trending but pallets can be toxic so be careful
Recycled and Reclaimed Materials

Is it safe to build beds or furniture with shipping pallets?

...with character for repurposing, others might actually be poisoning the air in our homes! We've even heard from some of our Australian and New Zealand readers with "inside knowledge" to say that down-under at the moment, all shipping pallets coming into customs from the East are being fumigated with toxic cocktails of...