Most people I know hate the idea of chopping wood and stacking it, going out on cold nights to collect it, terrified they might find a snake or a rat and so they dream of running back to flick a switch for the corporate powered heating option instead.
Wood-fired heating is the simpliest method known to man and woman. You can quickly learn what will burn and what will fill the home with smoke. When the fuel is home-grown it is carbon negative (you are not likely to burn every inch of the tree) and when it is burnt efficiently it is virtually pollution-free.
- Try to cut all dead and dry timbers where they fall or are coppiced using a portable saw and stand.
- Cut wood directly into metal bins, if it isn’t dry, simply keep it in storage until it dries out. If you have a shortage of metal bins, try to get more from scrap yards etc. You can use a hand-truck to move them about easily.
- Store the wood undercover where the poultry can pick out pests such as termites and borers because you don’t want these to come into the house during use. If the wood is dry, keep lids on the bins to deter rats and mice. Avoid storing wood near the house or directly uphill which can increase risk of fire.
- Simply clean the outside of the bins when you bring them into the house. If the bins are metal they can by placed close beside the fire without the risk of catching alight or melting. If you think they look ugly, find an artistic way to screen them or paint them different colours. See our photo of our wood-stove and bins.