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Wood Heat

It is generally agreed by both energy and forestry scientists that, provided harvesting is conducted in a sustainable manner, the combustion of wood for energy production is essentially carbon dioxide neutral when the normal forest regeneration period is considered. When wood combustion replaces the consumption of fossil fuels, however, the net reduction in carbon dioxide release is almost immediate.
     In addition to the requirement of sustainable forestry practices, the maintenance of site biodiversity must also be considered. A preliminary review of the literature reveals that periodic selective harvesting can actually have a positive impact on the biodiversity of the forest. Despite the fact that the harvesting, processing and transportation of wood fuel invariably consumes fossil fuels, it has been shown in case studies that the energy return on investment can easily exceed a ratio of 25:1.
     Approximately 20 percent of the single family dwellings in Canada are heated to some extent with wood and the potential exists for an increasing contribution of wood fuel to residential energy requirements. However, there is evidence of confusion among the public regarding the environmental impact of woodburning, particularly as it relates to CO2 emissions and carbon storage in forests. This confusion could impede the increased use of wood for residential heating because it calls into question the appropriateness of using wood for energy purposes.
     The forms of residential wood energy use that have evolved in rural North America provide important but neglected models of sustainable development. This could serve as the central theme of a public information program to clarify the role of wood energy in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Wood fires that fit

Half of humanity cooks over woodfires -- the poorer half. Nearly half the world's wood supply is used as fuel.

But it's not enough -- more than 2 billion people are facing fuelwood shortages. Forests in the developing countries are shrinking by more than 15 million hectares a year. The ratio of forests-to-people is less than half what it was in 1960.

For most, there's no alternative to burning wood -- wood energy is here to stay.

In fact burning wood is no bad thing: the efficient use of wood fuel is much more eco-friendly than more efficient and convenient fuels like kerosene and natural gas (LPG). LPG emits 15 times more CO2 (carbon dioxide) per kg than wood, and kerosene nearly 10 times as much. CO2 is the main source of global warming.

And as long as wood burning is sustainable and doesn't cause deforestation, its CO2 emissions are neutral -- the CO2 released in the fire simply gets recycled back into more trees.

This was an article I wrote in the late 1970s about
making a barrel stove. I've changed the tense in a few spots and
added some updates, but other than that, it is pretty much as I
banged it out on my manual typewriter back then.

While this is as safe a barrel stove design as I've ever seen, I
disclaim any responsibility for any stove you might build based on
these specifications. Ever since I was a young child, I have had a
great respect and fear of fire, having watched a neighbor's huge barn
burn, with him in it. While I will always err on the side of safety,
you might get a thinner walled barrel, or skimp on clearances, or
hang flammable material by the stove. Build and use the stove at your
own risk. The original link is dead, but here is what the author was discussing:



Residential Wood Energy and the Rural Elderly in Northern Lower Michigan, by
Patrick C. West, Steven R. Brechin, and Dale J. Blahna.  Field note in
Northern Journal of Applied Forestry, v.8, Issue 1, 1991.

The Economic Impacts of Bioenergy Crop Production on U.S. Agriculture, Marie
E. Walsh, Daniel G. de la Torre Ugarte, Hosein Shapouri, and Stephen P.
Slinsky.  Paper presented at Sustainable Energy: New Challenges for
Agriculture and Implications for Land Use, Wageningen, The Netherlands, May
18-20, 2000, available at

The Homeowner's Guide To
Chimneys, Fireplaces And Woodstoves -


Welcome to the home of the Wood Heat Organization Inc., a nonprofit, nongovernmental agency dedicated to the responsible use of wood as a home heating fuel.-

ENERGY SAVING HOME IMPROVEMENTS - Improving Fireplace Efficiency -

The Russian Stove - Welcome to perhaps one of the most interesting web pages on the Internet. Why you ask? Well, perhaps after going through it you will understand why. This web page is devoted to "The Russian Stove". You may not have the slightest idea what the "Russian Stove" is. It is our goal that after you have visited this web sight and have understood its content, you will not only know exactly what a "Russian Stove" is but you will desperately wish you had one.

Welcome to the world of Temp-Cast masonry heaters! - You may have heard these unique heaters referred to as masonry stoves or Russian stoves - they are also known as Russian heaters, German tiled stoves (kachelöfen and grundöfen), Finnish masonry stoves or Finnish contraflow fireplaces. This site is a comprehensive guide to the masonry heater concept in general, including the many benefits of masonry heating such as unmatched performance, improved indoor air quality, healthy heating and reduced environmental impact. We are also proud to introduce you to the Temp-Cast family of affordable, fully modular wood and certified gas masonry heaters - fireplaces that work!

biomass heating systems - Produced in Central Illinois, the second leading corn producing state, our products are marketed as Corn Stoves.  However, if you live in an area where corn isn't readily available, some of our products can be used as biomass heating systems.  By biomass, we mean:  wood pellets, plastic pellets, corn, wheat, milo, and other grains, as well as other forms of pelletized waste.

Biofire - The finest in wood fired radiant heat! - For literally hundreds of years, Biofires called Kachelofen in Germany, have been heating the castles of Kings and peasants alike. Elegant beautiful handmade tiles sit in the castles of Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Russia, and many other countries. Elegant and practical stucco stoves kept peasants warm on cold nights, often with the bed being over the stove. Special racks were built to allow the towels to be hung to dry. Coats, boots, etc. were put near the stove to dry and warm.

Central Boiler designs and manufactures The Classic, a line of outdoor wood-fired, hot-water furnaces. - These top-selling systems set the industry standard for excellence in wood heating. As an alternative energy source, these efficient heating units provide the warmth, comfort and savings through wood burning but without the mess or danger associated with an indoor fire. There's no indoor burning, indoor smoke, and no threat of a devastating chimney fire. With indoor systems, there is also the potential for dangerous carbon monoxide and oxygen depletion affecting your indoor air quality. With The Classic, these problems are also eliminated. You are safe in your home to enjoy the warmth, comfort, and economy of efficient wood heat, without the worries. It all adds up to peace of mind for you and your family.

RUMFORD FIREPLACES - Rumford fireplaces are tall and shallow to reflect more heat, and they have streamlined throats to eliminate turbulence and carry away the smoke with little loss of heated room air. Rumford fireplaces were common from 1796, when Count Rumford first wrote about them, until about 1850. Jefferson had them built at Monticello, and Thoreau listed them among the modern conveniences that everyone took for granted. There are still many original Rumford fireplaces-often buried behind newer renovations-throughout the country.

Ovens - Medieval ovens and SCA camp ovens. NOTE: See also the files: utensils-msg, bread-msg, breadmaking-msg, brd-mk-sour-msg, iron-pot-care-msg, no-fire-cook-msg, p-kitchens-msg.

Airtight Barrel Wood Stove Kits - “I built it,” you can say with pride-Start with a standard 55 or 30 gal. steel barrel (you supply). Cut a door opening and smoke outlet. Bolt on the pipe connection, door frame and legs that we supply. In just a few hours, you'll have a stove whose performance will approach anything on the market! (Barrel must be clean and empty of chemical contaminants and have permanently attached, not removable, ends.)


Welcome to Woodstock Soapstone Stoves



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