Our best Thanksgivings have been the ones when we have had a crowd of family and friends gathered around the big wood table. Our wood table is a family heirloom that extends out by adding wood boards to make room for everyone.
It is our tradition to give guests an opportunity to share some of the things that they are thankful for. Counting our blessings is an important part of the Holiday. The warmth given off by the candles and fire in the fireplace is only a small portion of the warmth we feel at this time of year.
We have always enjoyed being able to have a fire going in the fireplace on winter Holidays. As they say up North, “burning wood heats you twice, once when you make it and once when you burn it.”
“Making wood” is northern speak for the exercise involved in cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking firewood.
Burning wood in an open-hearth fireplace is an inefficient way to heat a house. You loose more heat up the chimney than you get from burning the wood.
Safety and efficiency are improved if you use glass doors on your fireplace. Limiting the amount of air that can go up with the smoke keeps more heat in the house. Wood burning stove inserts are even more efficient but not as fun to watch.
Wood is a renewable resource that can replace fossil fuels for heating homes.
One of the safest and most efficient ways to use wood as a heating fuel is an outdoor hot water heater. These look like a small shed located 20 to 30 feet away from the house. They heat water that is pumped through a coil in the ductwork of a normal forced air furnace. Automatic dampers control how fast the wood burns based on the temperature inside the house. Insurance companies like this system because the fire is out away from the house.
I am thankful for trees. We use the wood from it’s trunk to build our homes. It can be used for heat and light. It gets its strength by using the power of sunshine to take carbon from the air as its building blocks. Trees clean the air and refresh it with the oxygen that they releases. Trees give us clean air to breathe and energy to share with our friends and grandchildren.
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