Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Prepare: Wood Burning Furnaces, Chickens

I was reading another prep forum this morning and wood burning furnaces came up.

Until now, here was my thinking. You have gas and electric furnaces and you have wood burning stoves. I was way wrong most likely because I do not live in the Northeast or Midwest but way down in the Sunbelt.

A wood burning furnace is a furnace which can provide heat for an entire home if installed correctly.

But a wood furnace makes sense and is something I am consider for next year (but to purchase sooner - buy when its warm and save money).

I found this one from Home Depot using Google just at random.

If you are like me and know nothing about wood furnaces, they work like this.

The furnace either burns either wood logs or manufactured fuel such as pellets.
The furnace has a blower (AC powered) which blows the hot air through the existing duct works.
The furnace can be stand alone or work with your current home heating system.

The best wood burning furnaces use standard logs. Pellet fuel is not ideal as what would happen if your fuel source were to disappear?

Logs are best and are available in your local area by the cord. Speaking of which, ordering and having seasoned firewood before you really need it is as important as having a furnace or wood burning stove. Firewood takes a year to season, or it is too green and will smoke and produce less heat.

In most cases, having 2-3 cords of wood for winter is enough. However, if cooking and multiple stoves/furnaces are on your radar (and will be after the SHTF), then plan on 5-7 per winter. More for the rest of the year.

Firewood also has supply problems. Much of the firewood sold in urban and suburban areas comes from part time cutters who get their wood from either designated stands of trees or from tree cutting operations. The type and availability of wood varies from location to location. There can be wood shortages - so buy early and deep.

Winter is blowing hard in the northeast this week (March!). Imagine what it will be like when we have regular brownouts next year and shortages out the wazoo? Plan on getting your own wood burning furnace, more firewood for the fireplace and perhaps even a wood burning stove now and not until it is too late.

Chickens -

Here is a subject near and dear to me. I eat a lot of eggs and chicken is the meat of choice for me. Almost anyone can raise chickens and often, they can be raised even in urban and suburban areas.

This website, Backyard Chickens, is a great place to start. Lots of good practical information and forums to ask questions about raising chickens.

My wife is reluctant to get even a few for eggs, but I will keep at it.


Bitmap said...

Chickens are great.

One downside is that when you have chickens you have more to worry about with avian flu, even if it isn't contagious to humans it can be transmitted to your chickens by wild birds. Also, if you go out of town you have to have someone check on them. I guess you might find a kennel that would take care of them.

John said...

Bitmap, I enjoy reading your comments, thanks for posting them.
This is the exact argument my wife makes. A dog can go to a kennel, but what about a couple of dozen chickens?

Mikes said...

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