In Eastern Canada, it isn’t unusual for people to own a box stove. These small stoves burn wood to help keep the home warm and alleviate the burden on furnace. Here in Southern Alberta, burning wood hasn’t been a particularly popular way to keep your home warm. But is it an option that Albertans should be considering?
Do You Have Enough Space?
Box stoves can be fairly small, but they still require a lot of space. You can’t have any walls or flammable surfaces too close, so you’ll need to brick or tile any wall or floor that’s nearby. Furniture will need to be moved away, and you’ll probably want a storage box for wood and kindling. Another consideration will be safety. Your box stove needs to be tucked away where no one can trip and fall into it. The basement is often ideal. Children and pets will need to be kept away from the box stove. The stove will also require a chimney.
Where Will You Find Your Wood?
Southern Alberta is more known for its prairies than its forests. One of the reasons box stoves are popular in Eastern Canada is many people have a very reliable source of wood since much of Ontario and Quebec is forested. If you don’t own forested land, you may find you’re paying more for wood than you’d like. And remember, you can’t just cut down a tree and expect to start burning it tomorrow. Wood needs to dry for a long time before it’s ready to burn cleanly. If getting wood is going to be an expensive headache, you may benefit more from just turning your furnace down a couple degrees and pulling on an extra sweater.
Great for Emergencies.
Another issue with box stoves is, unlike your furnace, they’re not connected to the power, so they won’t automatically turn on in the morning. Someone will have to get out of bed and light a fire. However, this inconvenience is a feature during an emergency. Even if the power or gas is out for days, your box stove will serve as a source of heat to keep the home warm and to cook over.
As with most things in life, whether a box stove makes sense is going to depend a lot on you and your particular situation. If you live in a small town or on a farm, and you could reasonably foresee a blizzard or other natural disaster causing a long term power outage, a box stove may make a lot of sense. This is especially true if you already have a good supply of dry wood.
Is your furnace costing you too much money? While a box stove may be the right solution, there may be other factors at play. Having an experience Calgary furnace technician take a look may solve your problem. Contact our experts today at (403) 452-2911.