Embarrassingly for somebody who’s an avid heat-pump fan, I heat my house with an oil-fired hot-air furnace. I also have a pellet stove in the living room, which I use as supplemental heat in winter evenings, when we tend to huddle in the living room anyway. This keeps the furnace from firing up so often, saving oil (although as a result, rooms in the rest of the house get chilly.)
It would be just as easy, it turns out, to combine a pellet or wood-burning stove with an air-sourced heat pump. They can be used separately, as I do, or linked via a back boiler. Either way, the wood could reduce the need for heating load to the point that solar panels can cover all of a heat pump’s usage.
Details are here in a site called DirectStoves, which sells wood-burning stoves in the UK.
Now that we have installed a mini-split heat pump we still use our cordwood stove but now more as a backup to reduce electricity cost.
Shortly after we built the house I modified the stove to install a water heat exchanger and a storage tank to act as a preheater for domestic hot water. During the winter the wood stove meets almost all our hot water needs, now somewhat reduced because of the heat pump.
Our stove is a Tempwood top loader. Over the years I’ve looked into replacing it but modern stoves are hard to modify to add a water heat exchanger forcing us to give up wood fired hot water in the winter.
David are going to do it? Would it be easy to do in a house like yours? Interesting, you were a reporter in Tennessee.