Free heating

Hi all,

Happy 2018! Just got a few thoughts and ideas to share on our first real sustainable task: heating our home. We are really fortunate that our landlord had installed a multi-fuel burner in the living room and has given us permission to use it. With this we have found that with a small fire we can heat the whole house. Even with the recent cold snaps we haven’t used any of the electric heaters in the house thanks to this.

Results of our last lumberjack session which will keep us going for a good couple of weeks

With my profession as a gardner I have access to wood; there’s times when clients need larger pruning jobs and small scale tree work to be carried out. When such jobs are undertaken, assuming that the waste is suitable for burning I offer to take it away for free as I have a use for it. Once home I sort the wood out; where needed I chainsaw it into smaller lengths and split it into suitable sized logs. So far this winter I’ve managed to get wood that has already been dead for over a year, so it is seasoned. Once I start bringing wood home that is fresh I’ll still saw and split the logs before allowing them to season for a year or two before they come in to be burnt.

Anything that is cut split and seasoned is stored outside in a large plastic storage box which has the lid propped open in order to let air in and moisture out. When we have a fire, logs are put in front of the burner in small batches to dry them a little more before being put into the log basket. It sounds like a lengthy process but if I spend 2 hours in the garden sawing wood I can produce a couple of weeks worth of wood, even if we heat the house every day. The subsequent procedures take a couple of minutes here and there and is therefore not much bother.

So from start to finish we are able to provide the heating for our entire house. As well as being a lot cheaper and more effective than the electric storage heaters also fitted at the property, there’s a definite sense of satisfaction from seeing the whole process through.

Thanks for reading guys – we hope this has been useful.


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