Wood stoves are often huge upgrades in efficiency over most fireplaces

My family’s house growing up was really old.

The kitchen looked like it was untouched from the 1970s, save a few newer appliances like the microwave and refrigerator.

We had a basement with a dirt floor and huge attic above the house. For years we never had cable or satellite TV; instead, we used a large antenna on top of the roof that my father often had to adjust manually with a ladder. They finally got satellite TV one year, but the rest of the house stayed the way it was with no other major upgrades. We never had a central air conditioner because it was the northern midwest. The only thing we had to stay cool in the summer was an old window air conditioner, otherwise we opened windows and used fans to create cross breezes. In the winter, we used the fireplace to keep the entire house warm. Even though we had a near endless supply of wood on that property, the fireplace wasn’t very efficient. Most of the heat went up the chimney with the smoke. When I was eight, my parents upgraded the fireplace with a wood stove. A wood stove can be installed a few feet away from a wall so a large amount of the heat emanates into your indoor air before it can go up the chimney via the flue. After we had the new wood stove installed, I was a lot more comfortable for a change. The house genuinely felt warmer than before, and I know my parents were happy with the improvements. Lastly, the fire burnt through the wood slower than the old fireplace, meaning that we got more heat out of the same amount of wood used.



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