The least expensive way to heat a house is by burning firewood in a wood stove. Once a wood stove is installed, the only yearly cost involved is the purchase of the wood itself. Some people cut and transport their own, which further reduces the cost.
As of 2015, it costs between $1,500 and $5,000, depending on the style of stove and whether or not a chimney exists or is needed, to purchase and install a new wood stove. EPA-certified stoves are more expensive to buy, but tend to pay for themselves quickly as they burn wood more efficiently.
The cost of firewood depends on the species of wood, the time of year it is being sold and the amount of wood available on the market. Most people purchase between four and six cords per year. Hardwoods, including maple and oak, are often more expensive, but also burn more cleanly.
Some people use their own chain saws to cut wood for free. The federal government often offers free wood-cutting permits for portions of federal forests. Other sources of free wood sometimes include driftwood along beaches, blown-down trees along state highways and trees that individuals are afraid are likely to fall onto their homes.