Recent data shows more Ohioans turn to firewood to heat homes.
A recent report compared census data from 2000 to 2009 and found the number of Ohio homes heated primarily with wood increased from just under 48,000 to 82,000 or more. Muskingum County Extension Educator Mark Mechling says energy prices have gone up recently forcing a lot of people to look at firewood as a means to heat their homes. He says while people may heat their homes with natural gas, they can use firewood as a supplementary source.
"Firewood has a lot of benefits. It is a renewable resource, we can cut the wood and then those trees grow again so that is something that we can certainly take advantage of. We have a lot of woods in Southeastern Ohio, Muskingum County is about 40-45 percent forested," said Mechling.
While using firewood is a great way to heat your home, Mechling says it is important to keep in mind fire safety.
"We want to make sure we pick the right kind of wood when we are burning wood and another important aspect is you want to make sure you burn it safely, that you go through the steps of making sure the chimney is in good repair, the stove is in good repair, all those things that are important when burning wood," said Mechling.
Mechling says to contact local arborists when looking to buy firewood.