We live in a 1930’s house, which was extended by the previous owners. The original part of the house had open fireplaces and, presumably, had a stove in the kitchen. When we moved in, only the lounge and dining room fireplaces were exposed. We have since opened up two of the bedroom fireplaces, but they are not currently in use.
Our house has an oil fired central heating system and, just over a year ago, we had a wood burner installed in the lounge. I am the only one who is at home during the day (well, me and our five dogs), so it makes sense to heat just the one room, when necessary, rather than the whole house. We also invested in a little fan that sits on top of the wood burner, and pushes the heat into the room.
We have a few trees in our garden which, when pruned, help fuel the wood burner. We also bought a paper brick maker. We don’t buy newspapers, so my husband collects old ones from people at work.
Just soak the shredded paper in water (I use a dustbin for this), for a few of days, to break it down, then press it in the brick maker. Place the paper bricks (approx. house brick size) in the greenhouse to dry out. I have also used our shredded old personal documents, but this sort of paper takes longer to break down. One brick should burn for about an hour.
For just a little bit of effort, I have free heating during the day (when required), and we reduce our impact on the environment, by only heating the space being using.