Woodstoves can indeed be a metaefficient way to heat your home.
Modern woodstoves are an economical and environmentally sound choice for home heating. Wood has a much higher BTU capacity than gas, and wood is a renewable resource.
Older, conventional woodstoves emitted between 30 and 80 grams of particulate matter (smoke) per hour, while the new EPA-approved stoves have reduced emissions to between 3 to 6 grams per hour (a reduction of over 90%).
There are some woodstoves available that achieve a burn efficiency of 70-80%. Many of these efficient stoves can be found for sale at Fireplace Warehouse. This Washington-based company has a lot of information online about stove efficiency, because Washington state has stringent woodstove laws which exceed even the new EPA Phase 2 requirements.
Pellet stoves are automated stoves that burn pellets produced from waste sawdust. Pellet stoves burn about three times cleaner than the efficient woodstoves mentioned above. HearthNet has more information about pellet stoves. There is also a book available on wood pellet stoves — “Wood Pellets: As a Fuel, Stoves, Buyer’s Guide, User’s Handbook”