Wood Heat: A Local Perspective

Chris Schille

As the cost of electricity rises, who wouldn’t want a cheap, carbon neutral method of heating their home. Chris Schille, long time resident of Humboldt County warms up to the subject in the second of an eight part series he is creating for Green Options. ( See the first of these pieces here.) This blog has a several experts writing pieces on the environment. Chris currently focuses on how best to heat our homes while others discuss everything from a pedal powered clothes washer to natural dyes for coloring eggs.

Chris, a former Salmon Creek school student who went on to attend Brown University worked hard for degrees in both mechanical engineering and computer science. He and his father(Jay Schille former Redway postmaster) still own property in Salmon Creek though Chris is currently living and working in the Bay Area. In addition to writing for Green Option, he has his own Green Home construction business which, in turn, has its own lovely blog focusing on Green building but branching into such diverse subjects as an enticing bread recipe as well as indoor air quality.

In the hills of Southern Humboldt, he and his wife “designed and built their own experimental, passive solar “micro-castle” from a melange of earth-friendly materials: strawbales, cob, chainsaw milled beams, and sustainably harvested lumber from a local mill. Subsequently, Chris applied what he’d learned about sustainable building materials and practices to homes for friends and clients in the [Bay] area.”

Passionate about the outdoors, environmentally informed, and driven to succeed (at one time he was ranked 7th in the US in the 10,000 meter run), Chris’ new blogs are likely to quickly build an enthusiastic following.

Count me as a fan. I’ve added both to my blogroll.



  • Hi, I would like to say that I have been successfully heating my home now for over 5 years with wood. It truly is an awesome way to save money on heating costs. I would advise anyone considering a wood furnace or some type of wood heating device to have a good free source of your own wood though, preferably your own wood lot.

  • Wood is expensive isn’t it. We pay about 300 per delivered cord.

  • I Was just reading about a women that wants to cook on a kitchen wood stove and I seggest that you check out antique kitchen stoves they seem to be the best you might have to replace some refractory or fire brick but the the old time stoves were disined to heat and cook on. My sister has one that she swares by. I recently took the grate out of my fireplace and replaced it with a grate heater and now I’m heating my whole house with my fireplace. A fireplace is about 5% heat efficient and this they claim makes it a 120,000 BTU per hour furnace and I believe it you can’t make to big of a fire or you will run you’re self out.I have 3.2 acers of mountain land in Pa. and cutting wood is a lot of work luckly my house is down hill. I bought the grate heater on ebay it was called insertafurnace it was the only one with a screen. I also found the website http://www.insertafurnace.comes by. Good luck with cooking on wood it’s all about fire management.

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