When temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, you take great care to protect your crops and livestock from the cold. You might use row covers, wrappings, and shelters, and these solutions are relatively simple. You don’t have to give them much thought when the weather begins to turn.
Your own comfort is a more complicated subject. You have to consider variables like availability, reliability, and efficiency as you review heating options for your homestead, and with all the products on the market, it can feel overwhelming. The right choice isn’t always obvious.
In truth, the right choice differs from person to person. Depending on your property, you may find a wood stove more appealing than a furnace, or vice versa. It comes down to your needs and what you’re willing to spend to keep your homestead warm and comfortable.
To simplify your search, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about heating options for your homestead.
Self-sufficiency is a significant part of the homesteading lifestyle, and if you want your values to reflect in your heating, you may like the idea of a wood stove. It’s entirely feasible to heat your whole homestead on wood alone, and if you’re willing to make that commitment, you’ll save yourself a substantial sum of money.
That said, you may find the work involved with chopping your own wood too much to handle given your other responsibilities. Availability is also an issue if you don’t have a forest on or near your property. Were you to purchase wood, you can expect to pay around $150 per cord for chopped and $100 per cord for full logs.
Once you’ve collected or purchased your wood, a newer model of stove can make efficient use of it. As long as you maintain the stove and keep it clean, it’ll remain operational for many years.
If a wood stove doesn’t interest you, there’s no shortage of alternative heating options for your homestead. While you might hesitate to consider a furnace, today’s energy-efficient models have improved upon their predecessors. Where older models achieved 60 to 70 percent efficiency, modern furnaces can reach 98 percent.
On the subject of availability, you can purchase a new furnace from an online retailer or at a local store that sells that type of equipment. Depending on the grade of the furnace you choose, prices range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand. If you’re on a tight budget, you’ll likely have to compromise.
Concerning efficiency and reliability, these qualities are often conditional on the brand. You can find an efficient, reliable model of furnace, but it’ll cost you a considerable amount of money. Still, if you browse around, you’ll likely come across one within your price range that meets your needs.
A wood stove and furnace are both great for heating a homestead, but that’s the extent of what they’re capable of. Heat pumps, on the other hand, can heat a homestead and keep it cool in the summer. It’s a multifunctional device that alleviates the burden of purchasing, installing and maintaining an air conditioner.
Additionally, heat pumps can reduce electricity use by around 50 percent when compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces. Though modern furnaces can reach 98 percent efficiency, heat pumps are still superior when comparing those kinds of metrics. If efficiency is a high priority, a heat pump is ideal.
Of course, heat pumps are also the most expensive heating option of the three on this list. Though they’re efficient and reliable, they often cost upwards of a thousand dollars, and you’ll also have to factor in repairs if they fail and break down. Considering the benefits, though, you might find it’s worth the price.
Heating Options for Your Homestead
Some farmers and homesteaders see the classic appeal in a wood-burning stove. Others prefer more modern methods of heating, choosing furnaces and heat pumps. Whichever heating options for your homestead you decide on, you’ll stay warm and comfortable through winter weather well into the future.