Unusual Wood-Burning Insert Installation

November/December 2010
A version of this article appears in the November/December 2010 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
Click here to read more articles about Heating
November 07, 2010
Energy expert continues to learn from a deep energy retrofit of his Montana Home. This time he's installing a wood-burning stove to save money, add ambiance, and provide security during emergencies - like when runaway trains knock out a town's power.
As part of a low-energy retrofit of my 123-year-old home, I installed a wood-burning insert into the enameled cast-iron fireplace on the north exterior wall of my living room. I wanted to save money, create ambience, and provide security during disasters or extreme weather. Back in 1987, a rail car filled with explosives broke loose from its train up on McDonald Pass and came rolling down into Helena. The tanker car derailed and exploded, breaking all the windows at Carroll College and badly damaging the P.E. Center. The explosion knocked out Helena’s power for about six hours. Oh, yeah—the temperature at the time was minus 30°F with a 15 mph wind, creating a wind chill of minus 70°F. Frozen pipes in my kitchen turned my ground floor into a skating rink. This minor disaster would have caused me no problem if I'd had a woodstove.

To read complete online articles, you need to sign up for an Online Subscription.

Once an order has been placed there is an automatic $10 processing fee that will be deducted with any cancellation.

The Home Energy Online articles are for personal use only and may not be printed for distribution. For permission to reprint, please send an e-mail to

SPONSORED CONTENT Home Energy Minute #3: WINTER 2019 Learn more! Watch Video
Email Newsletter

Home Energy E-Newsletter

Sign up for our free monthly