If you have recently purchased an older home, you might be wondering what to do with that clunky, metal wood burning stove in your living room or basement. Although you might be tempted to rip it out and replace it with a fancy gas or electric model, there are more than a few reasons you should leave it right where it is. Here are three things you can do with that wood burning stove—you might use it more than you think.
1: Heat Your Home Independently
Before you even finish unpacking, you might need to run to city hall to set up your utilities. After all, what would you do if you didn't have natural gas piped to your home? Although most people find themselves largely dependent on their city utility system, you might be able to become more self-sufficient by using your wood burning stove to heat your home.
One of the best things about a wood burning stove is that it can fill your home with warm, radiant heat for next to nothing. After you fill your stove with gathered wood, it can provide your home with hours of toasty heat. Believe it or not, you can even control the heat generated by your wood burning stove. By simply turning the damper knob located on your chimney flue, you can control the airflow entering your home.
If you have a wood burning stove that was installed in the past few years, your system might be even more efficient. The Environmental Protection Agency has changed combustion standards, and some newer models produce very little smoke and ash. In fact, while older stoves produce up to 30 grams of smoke per hour, some newer versions produce as little as 2 grams per hour. If you are looking for a way to reduce your gas bill while keeping your family warm, fill up your wood burning stove and give it a try.
2: Use It For Cooking
While you have that fire roaring, consider using that stove to help you to cook your dinner. You might feel a little silly at first, but wood burning stoves heat up fast and provide a steady source of heat. Here are a few cooking methods that even a novice chef can use their wood burning stove for:
- Kettle Heating: If you want to heat up water for tea, coffee, or cocoa, consider setting that kettle right on your wood burning stove mantle. Before you know it, you might be able to enjoy a nice cup of Joe without turning on your coffee maker.
- Simmer Dinner: Leave that soup kettle on your stove so that it can simmer before dinner. In addition to making good use of your stove, the smells from dinner will waft through your home.
- Roast Meats: For a dinner that your kids are sure to enjoy, consider roasting hot dogs right in your own living room.
Don't be afraid to get creative when it comes to cooking with your wood burning stove. Whatever you can boil or roast on a stick, you can make in the middle of your living room without using your kitchen.
3: Create A Nostalgic Atmosphere
Those fancy gas fireplaces might seem like a good idea, but they rob your home of a little charm. After all, who likes to look at a pane of smudged glass instead of a real-life fire? Fortunately, wood burning fireplaces offer loads of nostalgia that you can use to create a festive environment for your family and friends.
Most people don't realize it, but gas and electric fireplaces don't offer some of the sounds and smells associated with a real fire. Instead of logs crackling and popping in the heat of that flame, gas fireplaces simply offer the appearance of a real fire. Instead of your home being filled with the slight musk of roasted hardwood logs, your visitors might not even realize a fire is burning unless they are right in front of your gas "display." However, wood burning fireplaces can offer an authentic, old-world element to your modern home.
By taking advantage of your wood burning stove, you can make your home reminiscent of a storybook cottage without running up your heating bill.