Can my fireplaces be used as primary heat source?
I just purchased a fieldstone two bedroom ranch house built in 1950 that has a chimney going up through the center of the house. It has a fireplace in the full basement and one on the main floor. Anecdotally, I've learned that this kind of central fireplace is more efficient. I believe I am lucky to have a hearth in my basement, too. Currently, my heater is a forced air gas furnace. It is old and will need to be replaced soon, if not this fall. My chimney/flues need some repair, spark arrestors/caps, some firebrick in the places remortared, and dampers installed. I'm moderately experienced in cutting firewood because I used to live in upstate NY and heat with a woodstove. I intend to replace the asphalt shingle roof with metal in the next year or two. Any thoughts, suggestions, caveats, etc from this forum's readership? Help me decide to either install a replacement furnace, or heat with wood. Of course I will discuss my situation with locals. (Ohio Valley)