Tips for heating your home with firewood this winter

What's old is new once again as USA Today reports that more and more consumers will turn to firewood to heat their homes this winter. While the costs of heating oil and gas have gone down, the popularity of stoking a wood fire for home heating seems to be at an all time high.

According to the report, Leslie Wheeler, spokeswoman for the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, said shipments of wood stoves and fireplace inserts were up 54% in the first six months of this year compared with the same period last year. While final figures weren't available, the group's analysis of recent sales showed that demand remains high.

Reality check
Like a lot of things in life, the idea of a fireplace can be warmer than the reality, but hey, we're all suckers for crackling logs when the whole family is huddled under blankets during the holidays watching the umpteenth airing of It's a Wonderful Life. Homes with a fireplace also often command a higher resale value.