Heating and Cooking with Wood

We use wood as a fuel for heating our homes, our water and for cooking.

The Kitchen

In our communal kitchen we have a Rayburn which is used for heating the space, cooking on and heating water.  The boiler is piped to an indirect hot water tank.  This keeps the water hot for a few days after the fire has gone out so when the burner is lit often in winter we have constant hot water on tap.  This seemed like quite a luxury for a while after plumbing it in!  Before that all our water was heated in kettles and pans over an open fire or on a wood stove.  We had a bath heated with a fire directly beneath it.

We also use technologies such as rocket stoves, kelly kettles and wood-gas stoves for heating water and cooking on.  These devices make the most effecient use of the wood.  Very little energy is wasted as heat or smoke compared to open fires and a lot of wood stoves.

The Bath-House

We now also have a seperate hot water system (again using an indirect hot water tank heated with a wood burning stove) in our bath-house.  This provides hot water for showers and clothes washing.

Our Homes

Our dwellings are heated by wood burning stoves. These stoves are much more efficient than open fires (and less smoky). They can be made to burn right through the night with one loading of wood. The small enclosed spaces in our dwelling are easy to heat and past experience has shown that often the problem is not how to be hot enough but how to prevent the space from becoming too warm!

Wood burning stoves can be made from old oil drums or gas bottles.

See also:

Why burn wood?

Last updated: 2009-04-21

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