The outdoor wood fired furnace in Air Ronge heats our house, the neighbour's house and a 24 x 30 foot shop. It has been the most cost effective way to heat an older house with poor insulation. We enjoy a toasty warm indoor environment without worrying about turning down the thermostat and putting on extra sweaters to conserve energy. Wood consumption does not vary much during the winter months. I suspect that our cooperative effort to share the furnace is rather rare. It is a mutually beneficial way to heat our homes using the natural resources in our immediate area for fuel.
I have been researching wood stoves for the house by the river and have settled on a Blaze King Princess Ultra model. This stove offers the longest burn time of anything I have looked at and is well suited to the size of our building. This is an expensive stove ($2500-$3100) and I have been unsuccessful in finding a used one. I am torn between waiting until we can occupy the house on a regular basis during the winter months or using financial resources to complete the siding and more of the interior first.