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- On March 31, 2014
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Propane prices reached an all-time high this winter, prompting many people to consider alternative forms of heat.
“We’ve been really, really busy. And I think the cost of propane has probably initiated that. Looking back over the past few weeks, we’ve talked to a lot of people about wood-burning stoves,” says Shirley Johs, Keller Hearth & Home.
Burning stoves are much more efficient now than they were in the past. But they can still be costly.
“Our access to wood here in North Dakota is not real easy. I know if you live in an area on the river bed or someplace where there are a lot of trees, you have access to your own wood. We bring in wood and we sell loads of wood to people who want wood. It’s a good wood, it’s a birch. So, it gets to be a little more costly for wood,” says Johs.
It may not be the best choice for a primary heating source. But using a wood-burning stove as a secondary source can help lower heating costs. Robert Wald has used a wood-burning stove for almost 20 years.
“I have saved probably 20 to 30 percent on my heat bill. I don’t really keep track, because I enjoy the fireplace and the wood-burning aspect of it,” says Robert Wald.
Wald says he usually buys about $300 of birch a year. And he offsets the cost by gathering his own wood, as well.
“You kind of have to look at and work it out on paper, which is going to be the best way. What are you going to have to pay for wood? Or, are you going to cut your own wood. Of course, if you’re going to do all the work and cut your own wood, the wood is the way to go for you, because that’s going to be the least expensive,” says Johs.
Johs recommends burning hard woods such as birch and oak. And she says to avoid using construction wood.
Wald says he enjoys gathering wood. And he plans to continue to do it for years to come.
By Krista Harju