wood on fire
Photo by Alex Lázaro | Pexels

Everything You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Heating With Wood

But didn’t know who to ask! If you’re smitten with the romance of a well-made woodpile or a dancing flame, you have a few things to learn.

By Katy Kelleher
From our January 2023 issue

Mainers love their woodstoves. In 2021, some 8 percent of Maine households told the Census Bureau that wood was their primary heat source. That number’s trended downward over the last decade, but Maine still outpaces every state but Vermont for per-capita primary wood heating — and countless more Mainers rely on woodstoves at the camp or as a secondary source at home. If the romance of a well-made woodpile or a dancing flame has you longing to join them, you have a few things to learn. For starters, how to be safe: install working smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors, keep your chimney clean, use a stove screen — the Maine Forest Service’s Wood Heat Maine program is a good clearinghouse for safety info. Read on for a lot more that a newbie stove stoker needs to know.

How to Split Firewood Like a Pro

We asked Alissa Wetherbee, a lifelong wood splitter and founder of the logging-sports troupe Axe Women Loggers of Maine, how to chop firewood effectively and safely.

How Well Do You Know Your Stoves?

Five variations on the woodstove (and why some are better than others).

The Best (and Worst) Types of Wood For Heating Your Home

Not every species performs identically in your woodstove.

a woodpile archway

How to Stack Firewood Like a Pro

A good woodpile should offer protection from the elements, airflow, ease of retrieval, and no chance of toppling over.

Cumberland Wood Bank

How Mainers Are Helping Other Mainers Prep for Winter

When cold weather arrives, the Cumberland Wood Bank cuts needy Mainers a break on heating bills.

The Art of the Woodpile

The Art of the Woodpile

These creative Mainers are elevating wood stacking to an art form.

All Hail the Woodstove!

Mainers have a special relationship with their woodstoves — and plenty to say about them. Michael Burke is just getting warmed up.