Despite what the ads might imply, the miracle heater is not how Amish keep their homes and buildings warm.

Here’s a shot of a stove in an Amish fabric shop.

amish wood stove

An Amish stove

With winter around the corner, these will be getting a lot of use.  One thing I always enjoy when staying with Amish friends in the wintertime is the toasty warmth circulated throughout the home by their basement stoves.

As for Amish heating, Stephen Scott and Kenneth Pellman inform us that

amish school chimney

Center chimney in an Amish school

The Amish typically heat their homes with one or more heating stoves on the first floor of the house.   In some homes a cookstove serves as a supplementary heater or the sole source of heat.  Kerosene heaters also are widely used as an auxiliary source of warmth.

Most heating stoves burn wood or coal, although a sizeable minority of Amish (more than one-third) use propane or natural gas heaters.  Communities that use gas for cooking do not necessarily use it for heating…

Unlike some items needed for the Amish lifestyle, appropriate heating devices are readily available.  In such areas as Berne, Indiana, and Ashland, Ohio, Amish shops manufacture nonelectric heaters.  In addition, many non-Amish companies produce wood-burning stoves for ecologically inclined consumers (Living Without Electricity p.56).

Central heating is a wonderful convenience, but the aroma of burning wood is one of my favorites.

Here’s another shot, of an Amish kitchen stove.


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