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Amount of Wood & Progress Hybrid

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by toddnic, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. toddnic

    toddnic Member

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    I am new to this forum and I haven't used a woodstove in about 20 years. We recently installed a Progress Hybrid and I am trying to figure out how much wood I will need to heat with. We normally use about 750 gallons of propane per year which equates to 68,497,500 btu's of heat. I mainly have red oak which is about 21,000,000 btu's per cord. Using these numbers I need about 3.25 cords of wood to heat the house. I'm sure I need some 'extra' wood just in case. Any ideas how much? FYI, our house is a 2,400 sq. ft. ranch with 8 foot ceilings. The woodstove is located centrally in the house.

    Thanks for your help and input!

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Three cords sounds about right. You will be a bit more efficient than a furnace with the heat source right in the area. No duct losses with a woodstove.
    PapaDave likes this.
  3. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    You seem very mathematical, all I can say is you should do what I am planning to do this upcoming heating season, I plan to keep a log of how much wood and how often I burn, I also like to keep track of room temps, as well as outside temps, I started burning in February and had fun experimenting, this next year will answer a lot of questions for me, I know you want an answer now, but if you do this, it may surprise you down the road. There are too many variables, but I guess we can all guesstimate your upcoming consumption. Gl
  4. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Welcome, toddnic! :)
    The BTU lists vary but for Red Oak I see 24 Mbtu/cord often. At any rate, the PH is said to get a lot of mileage out of the wood.
  5. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    If you don't have any wood yet, good luck. Getting late to have dry wood for this winter.

    Get triple what you think will need, then add back what you use. Then you'll always be two years ahead.
    PapaDave and Joful like this.
  6. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum,
    Sounds like you made a great stove choice. 3-3.5 cords sounds about right. If red oak is all you have that's good and bad. Good because it's a high quality hardwood. Bad because it takes a couple of years split and stacked to dry out. If you can get your hands on another species like ash or pine, get it split and stacked now, that may help you out. As annoying as it sounds dry wood really effects the performance of new stoves. Jeff t had some really good advice for you: get a few years ahead on your wood supply if you have room to stack it in the sun.

    My understanding of NC is that the weather varies greatly depending on elevation. What kind of winters do you get?

    PS- You're going to have a lot of fun playing around with the stove this winter!
  7. toddnic

    toddnic Member

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    I live at around 4000 feet. Our winters can get fairly cold but we normally only have a few days that get down to the 0 degree mark. The wood I currently have was cut over one year ago to 18 inch length. It was split a couple of months ago. Hopefully it will be ready to burn. I do have some hemlocks that are on the ground but I was not planning on burning it. Thanks for your input and help!
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Jeff beat me to it! Since it sounds like your buying your wood, I'd buy about 10 cords, which will be more than two years worth for most folks. Each spring, replace what you used, rotating your stock. Hardwood should sit 2 years split and stacked, to season before burning. Softwoods and ash can be seasoned in less than a year, but figure three years for oak.

    If your married, telling the wife you need to buy, stack and store ten cords may kill some of the enthusiasm of the new stove. Tread carefully!
  9. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    toddnic, welcome to the Hearth.
    Like the rest have said, get more wood. Your wood, just recently split and stacked, will be marginal since it's oak. It doesn't really start drying until it's cut, split, and stacked in the wind. Sun too, if you can.
    You picked a great stove, based on other folks reports here that got one.
    I would say you're on the right track for wood consumption, except the first year is generally a "learning curve" year, so you might use a bit more than normal.
    Pics are more than welcome. ;)
  10. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    If you can get some soft Maple (Silver or Red,) that will be decent BTU and will dry about the fastest of anything besides lesser woods like Tulip Poplar, Pine, etc. Dead standing trees (except Oak) with the bark falling off may be pretty dry, especially the upper branches. Upper dead Oak branches might even be OK.
  11. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Yeah depending on your size property and how much your wife is into this project will decide how you should move forward. I have been picking up wood continuously lately, I now have 5 cords on property, it is starting to take over my yard, I plan on splitting it all by September, then stacking away in spots that will clean back up the yard. I have an average size lot, not like some of these guys with the acerage in the countryside. 10 cords will take up some space. Gl
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Todd.

    You indeed have one of the very best stoves on the market. You have been given some good advice above and it is good. Remember that your stove is one of the greats, but just like your vehicles, it can not perform well with poor fuel. You did not state how much red oak you have on hand but as for drying, consider the drying time to have started a couple months ago; when you split it. Hopefully you then stacked it out in a very windy spot and that you split it very small. That would be the only chance for this wood this coming winter. In our house, we won't burn red oak until it has been split and stacked for 3 years. Some will do it in 2 years but those usually live in very dry areas. Another poster from NC stated he received 30 inches of rain last month. This is not drying weather! This means your wood is not good yet.

    In addition, should you now decided to buy some wood, beware. It is very rare to get dry wood from a wood seller. Oh, they will praise their wood and say it is "seasoned" and ready to burn. I would never believe it and there are good reasons why. For one, wood sellers would have to have a place to store their wood while drying. In addition, they would have to handle their wood more, which brings more labor costs. In short, they just can't dry their wood before selling it.

    Please do not take the comments I and others have given. Believe me, we see this over and over and over year after year. In their zeal to get a good wood stove and install it, they forget about the fuel until it is needed or just before it is needed. Heating with wood can not be done well that way. Some will get by and most will blame the stove or the chimney or the installers but when questioned, it almost always comes back to the fuel.

    There are some commercial "bricks" that you can buy to burn. The brand names skip me right now but others may chime in to give the names. This may help you get by for your first burning season. Also be aware we always recommend being 3 years ahead on your wood supply. With dry wood you will find you need a lot less wood and you'll get more heat from the wood you burn.

    You mentioned how much fuel you have calculated but there is another warning. If you burn wood that is not dry enough, you will never get the btus's that are in the wood. Those btu's will be used up to keep the fire going and pushing all that crud up the chimney. Remember that the moisture in wood is just that; moisture. We have not figured out yet how to burn water. So your first task is to get a fire going and going well. You will have to wait extra time before engaging the catalyst because you want that vapor to go up the chimney and not through the catalyst. Besides, if you choke down the draft you'll have problems keeping the fire going good.

    With all that, again, welcome to the forum and good luck to you.
  13. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, the fuel you burn makes all the difference but sometimes you just have to make due with what you have. You can make up for less than optimal wood by splitting it smaller and burning the stove a little hotter. It will make a big difference once you get a couple years ahead.

    I also think the PH is a little more forgiving when it comes to wet wood than a typical cat stove.
  14. toddnic

    toddnic Member

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    It looks like I might end up having to purchase some wood to supplement what I have cut and split so far. All of the wood that I am using has been 'on-the-ground' for a year or two but I only split it a couple of months ago. I definitely need to start cutting and splitting wood for 2015.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  15. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Hi Dennis, What is the maximum moisture percentage we should be burning? 19% and lower? What moisture percentage do you burn? With out worrying about the amount of time the wood sits, thank you....
  16. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    I'm surprised to hear that. I thought the PH was more forgiving. ?? I am curious of PH owner's experiences with this.

    Toddnic, getting ahead on your wood supply is key. Good thinking!
  17. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Todd, your first year of burning will be trial and error, you may have good or soso results, once you go through the the motions, you will understand more, the main thing will be getting ahead with the wood in order to have a better burning experience in the upcoming years, I guess this is just how it works when being a wood burner and seeking heat from it, keep reading all around this forum, you will learn so much from all these great guys.......gl
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The key here is to not get so frustrated with your poor results, that it puts you off burning. I've been thru this recently myself, having just moved in 2011, and starting over with a new wood supply, and its tough to keep up the enthusiasm when it's not going well in the first year or two. I had to keep telling my wife, who had never heated with wood, that it would get better ("trust me!").

    By your description of your wood supply, you have a tough year or two ahead, but do not despair! Start working on getting 3 years ahead, while finding some stuff you can burn now. I got thru my first two years supplementing poorly seasoned oak with bone dry poplar and KD lumber. Others use purchase fuel, such as Bio Blocks. If you get some dry stuff under those damp splits in the firebox, and mix your woods to get a net MC < 20%, you will get by. It will be frustrating, but you will get by.

    Three years from now, you can give the speech to the FNG. Welcome to the club!
  19. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Welcome.

    The Progress Hybrid is a delight. You'll love sitting around it this winter.

    Woodstock recommended that I not burn the manufactured logs in the PH.

    I don't think kiln dried wood runs much more than the artificial bricks. If I were you I would see if I could find a source of kiln dried, and if so get at least a cord of it. Then I'd be looking for dead, down, held off the forest floor trees, and processing them, stacking the 2 to 4 inch branches separately, as they would likely be quite dry. As others have said, ash and the softer woods dry most quickly But dead trees, especially long fallen dead trees, held off the forest floor by their branches, can be quite dry. On my property I have trees that stand dead ten years before toppling. They are ready to burn quite quickly.

    On 0 degree days I'd burn 2/3 or 3/4 kiln dried, supplemented with the driest other wood I had. Normal weather, I'd go half and half. Milder days. I'd burn primarily driest gathered wood, with perhaps one split of kiln dried if necessary for a good fire.

    Also, you could check any local lumber yards. Our nearest puts all their three and four foot lengths of 2 x 4s out for anyone to take. They are mostly softwood, but dry and burn well. Just be sure you don't burn any treated wood. Furniture shops/manufacturers and flooring manufacturers may also have scraps as well as any mills. All worth a try.

    Shoulder season and to take the chill off the house, you will only need to light one fairly small fire a day.

    I would strongly recommend ordering a case of 100 supercedars. If you have marginal wood, they will make your fires much easier to light, and get the fires to temperature for engaging the cat faster.

    Woodstock did tests on the PH with wood that had over 30 % moisture content. The stove worked very well indeed. They don't recommend burning with that moisture content, but you can if necessary. Your cat may not last quite as long, perhaps. That would not bother me, as cats are very inexpensive for the added heat they give you from your wood.

    And, finally, I think three cords will be plenty for you, but it would certainly be good to have more than that as insurance, and any left over will be very welcome next year.
  20. alforit

    alforit Feeling the Heat

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    I agree with Todd on this.............I have a PH and have had a Blaze King and the PH is definitely less forgiving on wet wood in my experience than the Blaze King was.
  21. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Oops, your right I ment more forgiving.
  22. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    That's interesting to hear, I would of thought the opposite but maybe the BK t-stat helps by opening up a bit more to let more air in.
  23. alforit

    alforit Feeling the Heat

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    The Blaze King ( Chinook 30 ) took any kind of wood that I threw at it and burned it with ease.......I have found the Progress Hybrid to be finicky and requires very dry wood .

    Same chimney setup and same varieties of wood used on both stoves.

    I think you may be right about the t-stat allowing more air in that may make the difference.
  24. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I'm wondering what you are calling very dry. Woodstock certainly had no problem burning wood exceeding 30% moisture. I have burned some sugar maple cut and split only 8 months. It still had moisture in it, so wasn't perfect, but the PH handled it just fine. Naturally, the dryer the wood, the better, and I agree you can tell the difference with dry wood, but I have not had a problem burning with wetter wood. I'm wondering if burning softwoods, which have significantly less BTU /volume, is less successful than burning hardwoods, when the wood is wet, since you are likely burning off the same volume of water, and ending up with fewer BTUs remaining after . Badly worded, but I'm too hot to bother explaining better...I'm sure you get the gist of what I am considering.
  25. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

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    I burned a lot more wood than that last year in my PH--almost six cords last year. But, I have more square footage to heat, my stove is not centrally located, I burned 24/7 (my wife works from home so it had to be warm ALL day long in the house), and the burning season was pretty long last year (starting in mid-October and lasting through April and even into May on a few nights). Also, my wife likes it really warm--we were always above 70 degress, and usually in the 73-76 degree range. Having said all of that, I am going to see if I can cut my wood usage down somewhat this year--I'd feel better if I was burning only 4-5 cords (although I have six cords ready for the 2013/2014 season, just in case).

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