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Heating with Wood as an Alternative Fuel

The efficiency and costs of fuel sources is an important consideration for home owners. Until the 1890s, burning wood was the major fuel source for home heating, then as our country became more industrialized, people turned to coal, fuel oil and electricity as sources for heat.  Today, conserving natural resources includes a move to use renewable resources for our energy needs, one of which is burning wood for home heating.

In choosing to use firewood, you need to consider the following:  - availability of the fuel source
- chainsaw safety, if cutting your own firewood
- transportation and storage
- indoor wood stove vs. outdoor boiler
- chimney maintenance and maintaining an efficient fire.  
    Photo credit: Peter Smallidge, NYS Extension Forester

The Cornell University ForestConnect program and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educators provide information and education on harvesting firewood to use as an alternate fuel source.

Firewood Resources

Don't Move Firewood - You Could be Killing Our TreesNYS FIREWOOD ALERT - NYS DEC.

How to Choose Firewood Trees - Cornell ForestConnect fact sheet.

Ratings of Firewood Species in New York State - by Jim Ochterski, CCE South Central New York Agricultural Team.

How to avoid getting burned when buying firewood - NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets 

Safely Using Farm Tractors in the Woods - Pennsylvania State University

Heating with Wood Resources

Comparing Values of Various Heating Fuels - Department of Design & Environmental Analysis, Cornell University.

Burn Wise - Learn Before You Burn - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Heating with Wood and Coal - Natural Resource Agriculture and Engineering Service (NRAES) Bulletin-23.

Carbon Monoxide - Your Safe Home - University of Minnesota Extension (Spanish/English)

Avoiding Trouble with Wood Stoves - by Jim Ochterski, CCE Ontario County

Outdoor Wood Boilers - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

Heating Fires in Residential Buildings - U.S. Fire Administration (USFA)

Chimney Maintenance for Wood Burning Applicances - NYS OFPC

Winter Fires - Safety Tips for the Home - USFA - a non-commercial service in support of responsible home heating with wood.