Workshop to outline facts about using firewood to heat your home

October 01, 2012
  • Jeff Semler
Jeff Semler

While we have enjoyed some fantastic weather recently, old man winter is lurking just around the corner. And the prospect of escalating energy prices will mean an increase in the cost of keeping warm. With these increases, many homeowners might be re-evaluating their fuel options.

Among the possibilities: firewood.

Firewood is one of the most economical forms of renewable energy available today, and the advances made in wood-burning technology have dramatically improved efficiency and reduced emissions.

The use of wood pellets is increasing as well, but many people are unsure how it differs from firewood. The Extension office’s goal is to educate those who use wood to save money, time and lessen the environmental impact of wood use through the use of best practices.

So if you are someone who heats with wood or pellets, or is considering heating with wood or pellets, perhaps you are interested in an inside stove or an outdoor wood boiler.

Then you should consider attending the “More Heat, Less Firewood” workshop Thursday at Western Maryland Research and Education Center, 18330 Keedysville Road.

The following are some of the topics to be covered:

  • Advances in wood energy technology (stove, pellet and boiler)
  • How to buy and install a new wood stove or boiler
  • Buying and storing firewood and pellets
  • How to properly season (dry) firewood
  • Increasing the efficiency of wood-burning units
  • Wood stove audit checklist
  • Outdoor wood boiler research, best practices for sizing, underground waterline insulation and firewood moisture
  • Improvements in wood boiler technology with EPA Phase 2 boilers

If you are interested in attending call 301-432-2767, ext. 315, or send an email to Pam Thomas at Registration costs $5 per person. Make checks payable to University of Maryland.

Until next time, enjoy fall here in the great valley and make plans to curl up with a good book or your favorite warm beverage in front of a roaring fire this winter.

Nothing heats like wood, and it is hard to beat the smell of oak — outside the house, of course.

Jeff Semler is an Extension educator, specializing in agriculture and natural resources, for the University of Maryland Extension. He is based in Washington County. He can be reached at 301-791-1404, ext. 25, or by email at

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