I think all of us New Englanders can agree, that it’s not cheap to heat a home in the winter seasons. Especially larger or older homes. So sometimes, we need to keep the heat thermostat down a bit, double up on clothing layers, or find a cheaper way to heat our home. We’ve done all of the above. Today we’re sharing one way we sometimes heat our house, for FREE. If you are able to burn wood, consider burning and heating your home with free hardwood pallets, if you can find them!
This is often what one side of our drive-way looks like, as of the past few months. Sometimes, the piles of these pallets are a little higher, and sometimes a little lower. But one thing is for sure – we’re always happy to see some out there!
Because these pallets heat our home, for free. Well….maybe for a little labor. Although I doubt Michael would call it that. Michael’s supply company for his business, sometimes gives us stacks of pallets, that they want out of their warehouse. When they are delivering down in our area anyway, they put a stack or 2 of these on the truck, to be delivered to us. Most of the pallets are oak, or other hard woods. Sometimes, there’s a little pine too, but that’s o.k. It all burns in our wood stove! But hard wood does burn longer and hotter.
The pallets just need to be cut up. But Michael is always happy to fire up ‘Little Red‘, and cut wood. He loves doing it. (Seriously. We all can tell.) As a matter of fact, he’s out there cutting up pallets right now! On his birthday no less. Even the kids said awhile ago, “Daddy wants to go out and cut wood on his birthday.” lol.
Can’t you see that manly-expression of satisfaction on his face? I can. lol
He’s got an ax now too….so he’s even happier!
Here’s just one pile we’ve got going.
This one he keeps stacked pretty high, because he loves to just crank open that window above, and grab some wood for the stove. lol
There is usually a great big pile on the floor in the house too, just to the right of the stove.
You may have wondered about all of the nails in the pallets. Michael doesn’t bother pulling the nails out, most times. He’s a clever time saver;
TIP: When the stove cools down from previous fire(s), he has this magnet he sticks in to the floor of the stove, and it picks up all of the nails that fell out of the wood as it burned. ; )
Our 2-floor house is not small, by any means, anymore. And the living room ceiling is high. So it can be costly to heat, with gas. This stove really helps out with that though. Michael has a couple of fans going, and the heat fills the house, and even blows right upstairs and heats up there, too. The entire upstairs is the new part of the house, but we don’t happen to have the heating system completely intact up there yet. Because honestly, we’ve gotten along fine without it. After all, our stove is burning on any given cold day throughout the cold season, and most of the night. It gets fired right back up, first thing in the morning. We LOVE our wood stove, if you haven’t read that before here. (I reckon some of you are sick of reading that, by now. lol).
But this post isn’t about our stove again. It’s about the WOOD!
We also are blessed with wood from another source. There is a sweet old man that has lived at the end of this street for a very long time. He and his wife are elderly now (although he doesn’t seem to know it yet, at 89 years old), but he and his wife raised eleven children in their home down there. Of course, their children are all grown now, and they have probably 100’s of grandchildren, or something close. Anyway, this sweet man has called numerous times, or left messages, that always go the same way: “Michael! Lenny. I’ve got wood down here for you. Come and get it.” Trees that he took down himself. Michael always catches him doing something labor-intensive, and goes over to help him. Or, other times Michael has very sneakily snuck in like an elf, and finished a job he saw Lenny working so hard at during the day, so Lenny wouldn’t have to.
So think real hard, about where you can get some free pallets, or other wood! If you see piles of them out back behind local warehouses and big chain stores, stop in, and ask to speak to the manager about the possibility of taking them off their hands. Look for piles of broken pallets beside dumpsters. Go for a walk on a sunny winter day, and see what old dead tree limbs you can find, throw it in the back of your truck. It may need to be seasoned for a bit back home, but you’ll appreciate it as free heating wood, at some point.
Well, as I close this post, we’ve got a snowstorm on the way!! The funny thing is, we haven’t even had a FLURRY this cold season, yet. We’re just going to kick it off with…..who knows how much. Supposedly a lot, but it depends on which weather report you read. As Michael says, after reading the different predictions, “Basically, we’ll be getting anywhere from a dusting, to several feet of snow.”
One thing is for sure. We’ll be home. And cozy as can be. Well….except for the kids sometimes, who will probably spend some of that time playing out there in the first fallen snow. Perhaps they’ll build me another snowman, that I can admire outside my windows, by the fireside.
I often wonder who else always has a fire going in their home during cold seasons. And if anyone loves it as much as we do. Do you? If so, we hope this post gave some of you wood burners out there some new ideas, about cutting the cost of heating your homes more affordably, or for free.
Wishing you warm winters!