Originally Posted by Arduinna
I wasn't implying you shouldn't want a stove, I was asking for clarification as to what the primary purpose of getting one was since you asked about cooking and heating, but then said you didn't want to run it at night. So I didn't know if you wanted one more conducive to cooking or heating or if you just wanted it for occasional use for enjoyment but not specifically for heating. You don't need to run one at high heat, or use 50% more wood. Wood stoves have a variety of ways to control how much heat they generate from the amount of fuel they hold ( IE the size of the stove) the amount of fuel you put in it, the type of fuel and controlling the air flow. If you want to be able to cook on it, then getting one that has enough flat top space for pots and pans is important, if you just want one for occasional enjoyment then getting a small one is probably better, if it needs to heat your house in winter then it needs to be sized to your square footage and hopefully the BTUs of the available wood taken into consideration.
Oh, ok, I see. We have oil heat, and if the electricity goes out then we're cold and hungry. In New England, the power going out is not uncommon in a big snowstorm. Also, the price of oil just keeps going up and up. So we just want more options. And the 30% tax credit is motivating us to do it now.
The primary use by far would be for heat. The cooking part would just be backup, though no doubt we'd boil water for tea on it or whatever, and take advantage of the heat while it's on rather than fire up the electric stove separately. The stoves we are looking at are small (our space is 1100 well insulated square feet, so small is enough even to heat the whole house). They are cast iron and have griddles that could fit a saucepan. Not enough for real, dedicated cooking, but definitely useful to heat up soup if a blizzard takes out the power. Plus, who knows, I might enjoy cooking on there anyway, but I know it's not a Princess stove or anything. I will let bread rise near the stove too, and maybe yoghurt, since my kitchen is so cold. (I let bread rise in my bedroom, the warmest place in the house right now, lol).
One thing I'm excited about is envisioning the stove changing the dynamic of how we use our space. Right now we spend the majority of our time upstairs in the bedrooms because it's just not comfortable downstairs. If we cranked up the heat it would be fine, but we try to conserve. I know a lot of people keep it colder, but honestly 62F doesn't feel that warm to me, and it's no lack of clothing (I wear long underwear every day, warm pants, warm shirt, sweater, fleece jacket, and often a hat too). If I were housecleaning it would be fine, but I work at the computer all day and it gets chilly just sitting. If we had a wood stove, I'm hoping we would gravitate downstairs more, and thus be less sedentary. I imagine us playing board games at the table, stuff like that. Instead of just jumping under the covers and watching TV at night, which I'm not happy about, but at night I'm either ready to get under the covers or take a hot bath! And the hot bath is a lot of energy too, so I usually just go under the covers. A wood stove would be wonderful if it got us downstairs in the winter.