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Can i ask what is "Your comfort" temperature with wood vs oil/electric.

Post in 'The Green Room' started by CHIMENEA, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. CHIMENEA

    CHIMENEA New Member

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    Why is it that if energy is chopped and not drilled/dug that its ok to waste it however we feel like? We aren't paying for it maybe? Many threads on how its an achievement to reach unreasonable temperatures during heating, yea 85 is normal. Do wood burners actually take any environmental responsibility?

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    As with any walk of life, some wood burners are environmentally friendly, other could give 2 craps.
    Yes some get wood cheap or free and feel they can waste what they want, as it did not cost much for them to start with or they just don't care. Others pay for it either in labor, cash, etc, or maybe even also got a great price or free, but still do what they can to conserve. I like to save cash, but while not Mr. clean & green, still find myself becoming more environmentally conscious. Not so much for me, but my son and future generations.
    BTW your nickname "CHIMENEA", could be considered an environmentally unfriendly outdoors wood burning apparatus. Don't bother me none, just saying.
    Welcome to the Hearth
  3. madrone

    madrone Minister of Fire

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    85 °F is not the norm for most wood heaters, although there are some. That's also a high temp on a curve. Wood stoves don't put out steady BTU's like other heat sources, they rise and fall in output, so it's not like the stove is being run on "high" for 16 hours a day. They're also somewhat unpredictable. It's not easy to predict exactly where the high temperature will plateau.

    I don't like anything over about 75 °F , and prefer something around 70 °F . When the stove is doing the heating, the room temperature will vary between mid 60's and mid 70's, but if the temperature outside goes up, the stove doesn't quit heating. Not to mention the fact that wood stoves are space heaters. The room the stove is in may be 85 °F , but the rest of the house will be cooler. If that's the room you're spending your time in, it's way more efficient than heating the whole house to that temperature with a furnace.
  4. CHIMENEA

    CHIMENEA New Member

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    I'm not sure the energy efficiency of a big green egg chimenea vs an electric stove, I have no access to gas.
  5. CHIMENEA

    CHIMENEA New Member

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    I understand wood doesn't have a steady btu curve, but it seems from posts here wood burners have a peek
    burn temperature that they run on cycles that they wouldn't otherwise if it was billable by btu.
  6. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Chiminea,

    Welcome to the Hearth, I'm wondering what it is that bothers you about wood burners heating their houses to the temperature of their liking? Most forum users have EPA stoves which are very efficient as far as gas emission. Wood is a renewable energy source. Most people who are burning wood and are on this forum are generally pretty responsible as far as taking care of the forest, even after cutting trees. Many of us scrounge wood, and have nothing to do with the cutting down of the trees.

    Is it just the principle of conservation and moderation that you feel is being disregarded? I don't know how much of the forum posts you've read but most of us are very resourceful people. We tend to reuse things that most people regard as trash. Look around the forum a bit more, I think you'll find that most folks here practice an abnormal amount of green behavior even if they aren't intending to be green, just trying to be resourceful and make use of materials on hand.

    Just FYI: I never have my stove room above 73* It's usually between 69-71. We don't like it too warm in our house, and it saves wood.
  7. soupy1957

    soupy1957 Minister of Fire

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    I gauge my comfort zone for temps, based upon the heat getting to the rest of the house. Once a get a good base temperature (by feel) in all rooms, at THAT point I feel "comfortable" and don't like to let the house get away from that saturation point. Otherwise, I have to start all over again (like in "shoulder season" when the wife doesn't want the stove running all the time), to get things back in balance.

    It's not based on the temperature, as much as it is the successful warming of the whole house. The temps in the room where the wood stove is, are bound to be higher, but that's when opening a window, utilizing the blower in my forced hot air system, and turning on ceiling fans, comes into play.

    I honestly don't check my thermostat for room temperature, unless I'm glancing at it to confirm that "yea, it's cold in here" is reality, and I'm not "sick."

    That being said, ........the only thermostat I watch with relative interest, is my flue pipe thermometer.

    -Soupy1957
  8. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I'll run my woodstove as hot as I please thank you. This thread smacks of algore ruling class left wing attempt to dictate my lifestyle and it has angered me a bit.

    I say throw it to the ash can.
  9. Bobbin

    Bobbin Minister of Fire

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    I, for one, wouldn't want a home in the 80s all winter long! But I make no bones about preferring low 70s to mid-60s! As pointed out above, I most certainly do pay for every split of the wood used in our stoves. It's just that the "check" is written with blood, sweat, planning, and patience, and for that reason I am loath to "piss it away" to sustain interior temperatures that rate as "overkill" for my own comfort. I regard the wood used in our home as every bit as precious as the heating oil in the tanks, but I am not by nature a cavalier and wasteful person (I turn out lights when I'm not in the room, turn off the water when I brush my teeth, run the washer in "off peak" hours, etc.).
  10. tkasek

    tkasek New Member

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    Here in Connecticut it's not about being green it's about taxing something. I'm all electric, which by liberal standards is green. They tax the crap out of my electric bill, so now I'm looking to go pellet and maybe wood stove too. It's stupid they're going to give me a tax credit to pollute more and my electric bill will go down so I'll pay less state tax on that. If they can tax it they will!!
  11. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    Do wood burners take any responsibility ???? WOW !! Considering wood burning is carbon neutral, renewable, and one of the few sustainable energy sources that has near zero effect long term on the environment, I would say Yes we do. Now mind you I am not a green-freak, but I do try and do what I can do. All things being equal if I want my house at 85 so be it, but I can say this, whatever temp I keep my home, if I achieve that temp using my wood-stove, it is far more environmentally responsible than keeping it at the same temp and using my fuel oil.
  12. liv2hnt

    liv2hnt Member

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    I am not real sure that this post is even worth a response since it seems to have been placed just to start a fight, but here goes. This is my first year to burn wood and I have been a stalker on here a little longer than that. Last year I paid out almost $3,000 for propane over a 3 1/2 month period in an attmpt to keep my family warm in a new house that we just moved into. I didn't have a wood stove at the time and the cost was tremendous not to mention my thermostat never made it much above 68 degrees.

    I, like so many other people on this forum, have spent the last year preparing for this winter by scrounging wood that has been discarded by others or that was destined to be burned in a burn pile out in the back yard just to get it out of sight. In the last 12 months, I have gathered close to 10 cords of this discarded wood with only 3 cords having a moisture content too high to burn this year. If I am lucky that will get me through the next two winters here in OK and reduce my propane bill to less than 1,000 per year not month.

    Granted I am only an Environmental Consultant of 10 years and have only been working with Sustainability Practices with my clients for the last 5 years, but I think that makes me, like many others on this forum, pretty damn GREEN. Not only will I be reusing a renewable resource that was disgarded by others as heat for my home for many years to come, I am also reducing the amount of fossil fuels that I am consumng for many years as well.

    P.S. My thermostat is on 73 degrees right now and I am guessing that if you took an average thermostat reading from every wood burner on this forum it would be less than 73 degrees.

    On a last note, Chimenea's are not very environmentally friendly or efficient.
  13. bimmerFAITH

    bimmerFAITH Member

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    I keep my house warmer burning wood than if I were burning my natural gas furnace. It is both a money thing and a comfort thing. I, too, pay for my wood with long hard hours with the truck, trailer, chainsaw, splitter, tractor, woodpile, etc. 68F using my furnace would run me about $250 / month while burning wood uses only the opportunity cost of my hours vs. how much $$ I could earn during the same amount of time. When I factor in the enjoyment I get, the comfort level my family enjoys and the money I save, I consider my wood burning decision to be very responsible. Would I keep my house at 85 ? ? ? No. But, burning wood to keep my living areas around 75F while the bedrooms are at about 69F bears no burden on my conscience.
  14. Magus

    Magus New Member

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    My comfort level is not freezing my hind parts off this winter. Last year when everyone would leave the house, the house would be 55-58 degrees. While we were in the house we did not put the heat up past 62 degrees. I used 20% less gas from my local Energy Company, yet I was paying 30% more. Is this fair?...HELL NO! No one should have to freeze in their own dang house. No one is stopping the Energy company form Jacking up their rates every year AND they have no competition. So any money I dont have to give thoes RAT BA$ta#@! the better.

    This holiday, instead of a Seasons Greetings sign. Mine is going to say Welcome to the Bahamas!
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Why is it you feel that people are wasting this energy?

    No, we are not paying for it. I pay for mine only. Leave the "we" out of it.

    Yes, it is easy to reach 85 degrees. However, you will find that almost all of those threads talk about reaching those temperatures in the early fall or late spring; usually early fall. In addition to that, most are new wood burners who have not yet learned the correct way to run their stove. They will find the right way but it takes some experimenting. Is that wrong? I doubt it.

    Methinks most wood burners do take environmental responsibility, so, yes.


    As for what temperature I keep my home, that is for me to determine and not others. My comfort level seems to require higher temperatures than most folks, including my wife. So is it wrong for me to keep my home warm enough for my comfort? I think not. But I do not require 85 degrees for this comfort.
  16. raiderfan

    raiderfan Feeling the Heat

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    I heat with NG and normally would keep my Thermostat at 65* when home (now with a 1 1/2 yr old I keep it a few degrees warmer). But when I crank the stove in the basement, I'll get temps into the upper 70's (although, probably not with the really cold winter weather) and that doesn't really bother me. Anything over 80 would be way too much, though.
  17. fjord

    fjord New Member

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    Understand that this is from one who has a central furnace, similar to the majority of homes, where a whole house "needs" to be heated and remain at a steady 72 F. Think of it as an accustomed mindset of reality.
    Not really his fault since it is reality for him and most here also. Google "gestault".

    Some posters here bragg about their 85 F temps running around bare a$$ed, some need a bedroom at 72 F at night, most North Americans have adjusted to whole house "comfort" levels,and only a very few here wood heat much more than a single room with some variety of central furnace with zones set at ~ that comfort level.

    So why the annoyance with this comment ? Explain HOW you use wood for your energy needs...it's a better way.

    Even on this site, I've gotten a silly flame from some gibone with experience (sic) posting here, denying the possibility of heating a home with wood stoves. Forrest Gump stuff.

    So just explain, illustrate the methods of your gasification wood boiler, furnace, stoves. The how. You've worked for it.
  18. krex1010

    krex1010 Minister of Fire

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    I love how green is the term used for being enviro-friendly. Ever notice how any "green" option for anything, generally costs more? Must be a funny coincidence that the color of our money is green. And is heating with oil or gas or electric really any "greener?". May e at the point of use I. E. My house but what about at the places where the extract oil and gas from the earth? Or where they use oil and gas to generate electricity or the environmental abominations that are hydro-electric dams, yes much "greener" than me heating with a renewable resource, which I either gather from dead or fallen tree or comes from trees that other people decide to cut. I am not saying everyone should heat with wood, and I am not saying there is anything wrong with heating with gas or oil or electricity or coal or whatever. I love my woodstoves but I also use a heat pump at times and an oil burner at times.

    To answer the original question I set my heat pump at 68 in the spring and fall, I have my oil burner set at 65 in the winter and I run my woodstove generally between 70-75. Hope that doesn't make me an environmental degenerate

    Welcome to the forum chimenea, kinda funny that name, and your questioning the enviro responsibility of wood burners. Kinda like going into a forum for wine lovers and having a name like beerbonger69 and then calling the a bunch of alcoholics.
    By the way this is a provocative thread you started, nice job! These are the best kind of threads, good discussion!
  19. branchburner

    branchburner Minister of Fire

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    Yes. Many wood burners are scavengers, burning only what is already dead or dying or otherwise unwanted/unused. I'd say scavenging is about the most environmentally responsible existence any creature can pursue. So I'd respect wood heat at 80F over oil heat at 50F (my own comfort zone is 75F and 65F, respectively, and lower with oil only 'cause I'm cheap).

    Of course "environmental responsibility" is a loaded phrase that has definition only in arbitrary, cultural terms. It is devoid of intrinsic meaning. It is a concept mainly used by members of societies that have standards of living so high that the only way to be truly environmentally responsible would be to cancel your membership in that society. Or turn that society over to environmental totalitarians (coming soon?).
  20. WOODplay

    WOODplay Member

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    I would say the same, like others have said on here… the BTU’s are not steady. So I find that at night when I get home from work, I like to have one hot fire somewhere around 650. I’d say maybe use 3 or 4 logs. That in turn, heats the house up to a nice 80 to 85. I don’t keep feeding the fire and let it burn out. By morning the house is around a nice 72 degrees to wake up to and go to work. Then after work the cycle starts all over again. It’s not like your keeping your house 85 degrees the whole time, well at least I’m not, and that would be crazy.
  21. Danno77

    Danno77 Minister of Fire

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    Without my wood stove running in the coldest of winter I set my thermostat to 65 because the NG furnace can't do more than that without running until safeties kick in a and shut it off. With the woodstove running full blast on the coldest days I can set the thermostat on 70 and the furnace will cycle on and off.

    Slowly tightening up the house where I can is helping a little bit more every year. Some day I'd like to get to a point where I can run the woodstove as primary heat, but the furnace will kick on and maintain at those times when the fire is just starting or dying down. With this big house I don't think I can manage to burn with wood 100%, although I know that some others could.

    Sometimes I fantasize about having a newer and smaller house that is much more energy efficient (without the work to get there). In that house I have a centrally located wood stove and an open floorplan that minimizes the use of fans. Then I'd burn 4 cords of wood and that's all it will take. no NG, no electric heaters. ahhhh, what a fun dream.

    But, alas, I'd go crazy in a house like that. I prefer the romanticism of this 150 year old beast of a place that I live in. i don't know if I'll ever live in a house that isn't "really old" again. maybe that will change when I'm old.
  22. CHIMENEA

    CHIMENEA New Member

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    It doesn't bother me in itself except when I start to see huge cord numbers for one winter but, I understand people can do whatever they want. It was just starting to seem like a lot of the posts I was reading were people heating in a totally different manner than they would if they were using oil, propane, electric etc. because wood is so readily available for most.

    I'm in the process of installing an insert so I'm not anti wood, but I also dont plan on heating any different than I do with the heat pump, like your above temps.
  23. Later

    Later New Member

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    70 on a bright sunny below zero day seems fine to me. Otherwise upper 60s daytime, upper 50s night.
  24. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    As far as heating differently in my home with the stove.... HELL YEAH !! My house is now much warmer.... I do heat differently, to my comfort level, not below it, the way I used to when my primary heat was fuel oil.
  25. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Define "huge cord numbers". What this statement says to me is that you think that anyone using more wood than you think they should use is "wasting" energy. It is a rude and narrow minded statement.

    And, yes, I burn differently then when I was using oil. I got tired of having the house at 50-55 degrees when I work from home and 60-65 degrees at night and still have an outrageous oil bill.

    The stove rooms will be kept at 75-80 degrees all winter with 70-75 in the rest of the house.

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