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Amount of Wood Burned per Day

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by byQ, May 31, 2013.

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  1. byQ

    byQ Member

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    On a typical winter's day in your area how much wood do you burn in your wood stove/insert?
    I'm the guy building a masonry heater and I've never owned one. I just saw this ad by a masonry heater builder,

    "......Masonry heaters are green for several reasons:
    - They usually operate 70% efficiency or better - normal fireplaces are a paltry 20% efficient.

    - Better than a hybrid heat source - uses 100% Renewable Resources.

    - Intense fire reaches up to 1700 degrees - which burns clean and hot (seasoned firewood required)

    - Masonry Heater owners burn 60-70% less wood than wood stove owners in any given heating season! ............"

    He is claiming 60-70% less wood than a wood stove. Somewhere he said 40#'s of wood per day in a masonry heater. That would mean a wood stove owner in winter was burning about 100#'s of firewood in 24 hours. I've never run a wood stove or masonry heater as my heating source. Is this claim a stretch of the truth? Do you go through 100#'s of wood in a day in January?

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    He is lying or at best, cherry picking data by comparing his device to the worst possible and oldest illegal homemade piece of crap left in anyone's home. I don't blame him, you want to make your device look good and it would be foolish of him to compare to the most efficient modern stoves, the blaze king or even #2, the woodstock which makes a large stone stove that is likely cheaper and at least as attractive as his masonry device.

    The modern high efficiency units listed above make 80% or better efficiency. WIth only a 20% margin to improve, you just can't reduce the fuel consumed by 60-70% without reducing output.

    To answer your question, for 98% of the burning season I am burning less than 50# per day which is one firebox load which is 2.85 cubic feet to heat 1700 SF to mid 70s interior temps when outdoor temps hover at 35.
    Hiram Maxim, woodgeek and Joful like this.
  3. mtcox

    mtcox Member

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    There are many variables to consider. There are also many more qualified and experienced members on the forum that can speak to the issue. Brother Bart comes to mind.

    My house is far from efficient. It was built in 1947 and the insulation is about average. I would think this would be the biggest variable between homes other than the climate. Another variable would be the type of wood you're burning. I'm lucky in the respect that I have access to oak and hickory. Other members must rely on popular, fir and pine. What temperature do you consider comfortable? I'll let the temperatures dip to 58 degrees in the house at night allowing me to burn a lot less wood. I also have two wood stoves that are less than 10 years old. They are very efficient and free standing. To answer your question, I would say we do burn 100 pounds of wood per stove in a 24 hour period during a cold snap. That 100 pounds will keep the home at 70 degrees or warmer on days that the temperature doesn't break 30 degrees outside.
  4. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    By your questions, it sounds like you can see the fallacy in such highly exaggerated claims. As Highbeam points out, with modern stoves operating around 80% efficiency, there is simply no room for anywhere near those kinds of claims these days.

    I don't think I ever burned 40 pounds of wood in the coldest days here, but fuel consumption depends so much on the variables pointed out by mtcox. You need to compare apples with apples.

    Not to say a well built masonry heater wouldn't still be nice in it's own right for some, but not for efficiency reasons. Not these days.
  5. USMC80

    USMC80 Minister of Fire

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    I'd say on a real cold day about 25 splits. Don't know how much weight, but they are cut smaller. This is in a Yukon furnace built in 1970's.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That number is very likely based on an older smoke dragon. A good EPA woodstove operated correctly will be in the 70-80% efficiency range too. I haven't weighed our wood, but a 40# load/day sounds about right unless it's very cold outside.

    This kind of comparison is a bit silly. There are so many variables here that you need to factor in or eliminate. The only way to do that is to have both wood burners in exactly the same conditions burning the same wood.
    PapaDave likes this.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    You can ignore the house size, insulation, and climate in this situation. Your home will need whatever amount of heat it needs to stay warm. The device delivering the heat will waste some of it and deliver the rest to the home. Heater efficiency is what we're talking about. The best they can do with fuel wood and natural draft is right about 80%.

    Even though 98% of my days are under 50# of wood, I have several days per year when I need to double that. I'm burning today, we have a 9 month burn season.
  8. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    I weighed one of my average (man, I love vague terms) oak splits a few months ago. It was about 5lbs, and for an overnight burn, I'd use 9 of those.
    I've also figured that I can use about 25-30 splits/day in Jan/Feb.
    Old stove.:mad:
    Marketing hype is just that.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    At 8,000 btu per pound and 80% efficiency that is about 10,500 btus per hour over 24 hours. Equal to two oil filled radiator heaters. That won't heat this joint no way no how.

    And the oil filleds are a hell of lot easier to place where I want them. ;lol
  10. byQ

    byQ Member

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    It sounds like anywhere between 40-100#'s for EPA stoves and 100+#'s for pre EPA wood stoves on a cold winter's day. Sounds like this masonry heater builder is exaggerating a bit. Maybe 20-30% is more like it.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I hate it when some so-called salesman is trying to build up his stove by using wrong statistics and even worse, by running down another stove company.

    As others have stated, that 70% efficiency the masonry heater claims is actually below most modern stove.

    Better than hybrid heat sources. Watch out. Hybrid can have different meanings. For example, the Progress is a hybrid and also uses 100% renewable resources.

    Burning clean and hot? All stoves can burn pretty darned hot and many will burn extremely clean. We haven't cleaned our chimney in 4 years now. The first time we cleaned it after installing our present stove we got about a cup of soot after 2 years and no creosote at all.

    Masonry heater owners burn 60-70% less wood?! Possible depending upon what they are comparing with. We used to burn at least 6 cord of wood per winter and now are down to 3 after installing the Woodstock Fireview. But that does not mean we could but 60-70% less if we installed a masonry heater.


    All in all, the masonry heaters can be excellent but methinks something is terribly out of whack with the claims.
    Hiram Maxim likes this.
  12. byQ

    byQ Member

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    I've heard these claims of masonry heater's using less wood several times - the amount of less wood is what I would like to know. And although a masonry heater has relatively the same burn efficiency as an EPA wood stove it makes some sense that a masonry heater would use less wood because it is storing/accumulating heat in the big thermal mass via full burns. Each time you fire it it already has some heat in it from the previous firing.

    I believe most people would agree with this - masonry heaters use a little less wood. But when someone says they are using 45#s of wood in the masonry heater to 110#s in a wood stove for the same amount of heat I don't believe this. He must be making this claim as begreen said, using old smoke dragon wood stoves in comparison.
  13. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    The beauty of his claims is in the un-provability.

    EVERY stove instal is different. So there is NO WAY to make a fair and honest comparison. Our Homestead worked it's stones off to keep my house warm when it was really cold out, but the house it is in now they have trouble keeping the temp below 80F, on just 3-4 small splits 3 times a day. I was filling it to the gills 3-4 times a day in my house to maintain 72F. Same stove.. which number would I use if I was selling something else.. lol
    alforit likes this.
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That''s a great point. Plus the fact that people tend to believe what they want to believe.
    fox9988 likes this.
  15. byQ

    byQ Member

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    Good points. About the only way we can find the truth is to find someone who has replaced a wood stove with a masonry heater or a replaced a masonry heater with a wood stove in the same house, and used this as their primary heating source before and after. Any wood burners out there that have done this?
  16. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    I actually seem to use quite a bit...probably 90 lbs per day in the winter. This is for my enerzone. My blaze king? We'll see next winter after it is installed.
  17. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    He is comparing it to a FIREPLACE!!

    A fireplace!!! No comparison to a wood stove.

    Read the OP.

  18. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Just build the damned thing, and then you can tell all of us.
  19. tagboy

    tagboy New Member

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    Nice catch.
    DexterDay likes this.
  20. byQ

    byQ Member

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    This masonry heater builder is claiming the masonry heater he builds will use 60-70% less wood than a wood stove. Of course he doesn't specify if this is a 1965 homemade model or a current woodstock hybrid model. I am guessing that in a well insulated, less than 2000 square foot house, a centrally located masonry heater would use quite a bit less wood than even an EPA wood stove. But in a poorly insulated house the difference between the two would be less. In a masonry heater in a well insulated house, the heat has no where to go - the thermal mass cools slowly. So, the owner might only fire it once every day or two.

    Well you could say the same about a good EPA wood stove, couldn't you? No I don't think so - because although the efficiencies are similar the heat is different. The convection heat of the wood stove is more vulnerable to cooling faster because it is primarily "heat in the air" and warm air travels to coldest spots like outer walls. The radiant heat in the masonry heater stays mostly in the radiant source - "heat in the rocks". So this heat is less vulnerable to cooling.

    He maybe making this claim based on ideal conditions (well insulated house) for one of his hand constructed masonry heaters, and comparing it to older wood stoves to get to his 60-70% advantage.
  21. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    He states a Fireplace #1. Even Smoke Dragons are way over 20%. Fireplaces are around the # he stated

    #2 - a BK King in a Well insulated home under 2,000 sq ft will only need to be fired that often also?

    Am I missing something?
  22. Gasass

    Gasass Member

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    He says wood stove:
    - Masonry Heater owners burn 60-70% less wood than wood stove owners in any given heating season! ............"
  23. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    I think its easily disproved. You can only increase an 80% efficient product by 20%. The end.
  24. byQ

    byQ Member

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    fox9988,
    You are assuming the 80% efficient products are creating something equal - in this case equal heat. The 2 products, a wood stove and a masonry heater are creating 2 different products that you are assuming to be equal and are calling "heat". Heat is not always heat. If this is in fact occurring where one heating device is using much less wood - the only explanation can be found in the different kinds of heat each appliance creates.

    The heat from a wood stove (80% efficient) and the heat from a masonry heater (80% efficient) respond differently in the environments that they are placed in. The environments can be manipulated to cause the wood stove heat to lose its "what we perceive as heat" more rapidly. "Heat" is not always just "heat". These 2 different devices are creating 2 different products. Like a refinery creating gasoline and diesel fuel. Diesel and gas are similar but not the same.

    This mason could be correct in his statement about using much less wood.
  25. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    In my mind heat=energy. Store it, convert it to mechanical, concentrate it, convect, conduct, etc. You can only get 20% more energy out of a 80% efficient energy extracting product. The end.
    DexterDay likes this.
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