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Firewood to heat your home? How many do it?

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
34,424
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191
NW Ohio
#1
We switched over to all firewood heat a couple years ago. It sure is nice. Last year we never turned on the natural gas. Year before they were charging us $25 a month service fee and we used 1.1cfm for the year. It saves a lot of money in heating bills, but man is it time consuming work. Now don't get me wrong, I actually do enjoy getting out there and doing it. I have the equipment already, so I am not out anything more than some gas/diesel to collect/split the wood. It saves us around $2k per year. I can fork out a couple hundred in gas/diesel to get it done. Not sure I spend that much to be honest.

Am I alone? Anyone else burn wood to heat their homes? If so, how many cords a year?
 
1,572
15
69
Swanton, Ohio
#2
Hoot does. I have thought aboutit but my woods are too small to really sustain me. Buying wood or always lookingfor it kinda defeats the purpose. We do burn 2 face cords in the fireplace early fall and late spring. That saves 1 month or so of heating bills. I get a good fire going, turn on the blower and ceiling fans downstairs and it keeps things toasty. When I have excess wood I sell it. Some years I have picked up a thousand bucks.

My buddy used to heat with wood but his insurance company found out and it would have cost more in increased insurance rates that what he saved and the work cutting wood.
 

COB-TY

Retired to the happy hunting grounds above.
2,555
1
0
Ohio
#3
I did for around 12 - 14 years. It got to be WAY to much work fer this ole man so I'm back to heat pump/fuel oil combo. It is a great heat! Have to careful about chimney and not have a fire there. :smiley_bril::smiley_adfundum:
 

Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
32,194
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#4
I have a Encore wood stove that is cast iron and doesn't cool off from November through March. Buddy I burn some wood. Last year I burned my wood pile that was 60' long, 3' wide and 5' high. Right at 7.5 full cords.

My house is 100% electric, no oil or gas.. My January Electricity bill was 76 bucks. Yes 76 bucks. And that's with a water heater that is about 30 years old. and a 20 cu foot freezer in the garage. LOL... When I would get my bill from Ohio Edison it would always have in the notes section in red about how stealing power was a crime Etc. They even came out and replaced the meeter thinking it was broke.

Last winters wood came from right downtown. They were clearing lots of old houses to build the new hospital. I talked to the foreman and asked if i could cut wood... SON. I was cutting black walnuts out of peoples front yards so big my 20 inch bar had trouble getting them done. Then i realized what a bonehead i was and just started felling and limbing the trunks. I cut all the limbs out that would fit in the stove but might only need split once or like most not need splitting at all.. I was cherry picking Black Walnuts, Ash, Mullberry, and all kinds of good hardwoods. Cut and stack no splitting. The forman didn't care i was leaving the trunks. He had to get them out of there anyway as they were clearing like 3 city blocks down to dirt.

I dropped one old black walnut that was right between these two houses. I told the foreman it had a lean and I would try to drop it between the two houses but i couldn't guarantee it. He laughed and said i don't give a shit, The houses are being demolished anyway. Drop it right on the house. That's all i needed to hear. I spun around and did my face cut right at the house, Back cut it and dropped that black walnut right through that 2 story house. Dropped it in what looked like all the way to the basement! LOL

Beforehand I didn't think about not being able to get to the limbs though.. Who cares! I just got to drop a 50 inch thick tree THROUGH a house. LOL...

All this reminds me.. I got to get on the roof tomorrow and sweep the pipe.. Dang.. The work never ends as a homeowner..
 

Milo

Tatonka guide.
7,808
363
110
#6
i do for the most part...i inly use it to keep my heat pump from going bonkers... saves me 100 a month generally...
 

Gern186

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,914
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NW Ohio Tundra
#7
I do. I have a Central Boiler outdoor wood furnace. It heats my 3200 sq. ft. home and all of my hot water without any problem at all. This will be my 3rd year using it, and it should pay for itself at the end of this season. I actually save about 40-50$ per month by shutting off the electric hot water heater, and have only used 60 gallons of propane in the last 2 years to run my fireplace in the man cave.

I go through about 1 truckload of wood per week on average, so about 25-30 loads per year I would guess. The good part of using this furnace is that you don't need to split any of the wood if you don't want to. Basically, if you can fit it in the door and get it inside the burner, it will burn. I cut all of my own wood and haven't bought any. There are plenty of places to get wood around here if you know where to look.

The system I have pumps hot water into my existing hot water radiators into the house and is all controlled by electronic thermostat.....it's a great system so far. There is no dust or ash getting into the house either because the boiler sets about 50 feet away from the house in the back yard which makes it a very safe system also.
 

Matt

Active Member
932
258
61
Norton, OH
#8
Gern, that's the type of system I would like to have some day when I am a homeowner. I also want to have enough property so that I will be able to sustain my own wood consumption. Guy can dream, can't he??? ;)
 

hickslawns

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
34,424
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NW Ohio
#9
Ours is what I call "the compromise". It isn't truly the outdoor unit everyone thinks of when you say it is outside, but it works. It is called the "Lil' House Outdoor Wood Furnace". Or, something along those lines. It is basically a stainless steel 55gal drum sitting on it's side. There is a fire proof insulation lined box that sits around it. There is a 7"x13" inlet that comes off the top of the box into the house. When temperature outside the drum, but inside the box hits 120 degrees (I think it is 120) an upper limit switch kicks on a blower forcing the air into the house. I have two cold air returns on the opposite side of the house which bring air thru the basement to the wood furnace and help suck the warm air from the furnace across the house. It does a great job most of the time. If it is sustained single digits or lower the unit does struggle a bit to keep up. House will drop down to 62-66 degree range for a couple days. We added on a few years ago and had to put a long header in in order to do the addition. This hurts us a bit, but it still works. The upstairs doesn't get quite as warm as I would like simply due to the layout of the house. Our upstairs is a master suite mainly, so a plug in oil filled radiator style heater in the bedroom compensates when it is really cold. Every year I try to add some insulation. On frosty mornings I look for areas which have no frost on the roof and go in those areas to find out where I am losing my heat. The last couple of years we have really gotten the house tight. Insulation is not a "fun" purchase but it pays for itself quickly. We had $2100 installed in the entire unit. Paid for itself in about 1.5 winters.

www.outsidewoodheater.com

www.hunterhardwoods.biz

The second link is the Ohio rep I bought mine from. He is just down the road from me a mile or two. Our house is 1800 sq ft. As I mentioned, if not for the addition and poor flow of air through our house, I think it would do much better. It is plenty adequate though. I guess we could always turn on the natural gas if we had to.

I think we used 12 cords last year, but not sure how much of that ended up at my parents house. They probably used 2-3 of those cut/split. Since Dad's quadruple by-pass I do everything I can to keep him out of the wood in the heat of summer/cold of winter. Usually put him in the heated and A/C bobcat cab if we are splitting so he is not in the extreme elements when he helps. Can't keep him pinned down. But I try.
 
#10
I do for the most part
As a 500 gallon tank of propane lasts me 4-5 years

Also my brother burns wood

Right now we had all the White Ash we can use
As a lot of neibors have dead trees and we cut 15+ cords last winter
And made a pile inside a little used barn at dads

We cut it , split it and make piles
When the ground is frozen
We take the front end loader and farm ( dump bed ) in and haul out the wood

We figure after splitting and hauling out what we have on the ground right now
We are set for several years

John
 
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hickslawns

Dignitary Member
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34,424
7,427
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NW Ohio
#13
Johnch- I store mine outside. The stuff on the back patio (2-3 chords) is covered. The rest of the stacks behind the pole barn are usually not covered. The rounds waiting to be split are not covered either.

Swantucky- It is a pretty good option for the money. I was going to put one in the house. Priced a nice wood burner and chimney and it was a no brainer to get the outside unit. Sure is nice to leave the smoke, ants, and ashes outside too. Generally start it only a few times a year. Once it is cold for good, the thing stays burning. Fill it up in the morning and evening, maybe check on it midday if I am around the house. Sometimes I let it burn down to clean out the ashes, but a few hot coals is about all you need to get the other wood going. This is of course if the wood is dry. Even wet it will burn, but you lose btu's burning wet wood.

I had $1500-1600 in the wood burner. The rest of it was chimney pipe, some wire to run the blower motor, and the cold air return lines/registers.