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Cost of cord wood versus wood pellets

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by PassionForFire&Water, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
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    Loc:
    Billerica, MA
    Any information available, or cost comparison, on cord wood versus wood pellets per Lb or BTU content?
    Is cord wood less expensive and how much less expensive?
    The conveniece of wood pellets not taken into accoutn!

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  2. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2009
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    Loc:
    southern NH
    Hard to say for certain. A ton of pellets likely contains roughly the same BTU content regardless of soft or hardwood, or who makes them. A cord of wood on the other hand is quite different. For instance, a cord of oak with yield many more BTU's than a cord of red maple. You can search the site for a BTU table for different tree species (available on chimneysweeponline for instance) and get an estimate of BTU/cord. You can figure the type of wood you are most likely to burn, estimate the BTU's/cord and compare with the BTU's per ton of pellets - then figure the cost for a cord of wood vs. ton of pellets and figure the cost/BTU for each fuel type.

    Keep in mind, wood is the only fuel you can find for free! That makes all the difference to me! Cheers!
  3. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
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    Loc:
    Alabama, NY
    Cord wood is typically less expensive if you buy it green, and season it yourself. (Better if you buy a truckload, and buck/split it yourself)
    Even better if it's free.
    If you have to buy true seasoned wood @ $350-400/cord (what it goes for around me), then pellets get cheaper.
    Plus pellets are readily available, low moisture content.
    I was thinking about buying a few bags and giving them a dry this year. I just have to make a basket... but I also thought about just dumping them on the firebrick, and pack the whole stove full minus room for air space.
    Who knows what I'll resort to :p
    Some say they get short burn times with pellets, I think it will depend on teh stove.
  4. stejus

    stejus Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Central MA
    Cord wood prices vary by location. If you are in an area that has abundant wood, you will most likely find green wood at a lower cost than a ton of pellets. That said, if you live in a city, good luck finding a cord of wood for less than pellets. Other factors to include is power and maintenance (it's mechanical) to run pellet over the winter vs no or limitted power to run fans on a stove. Supply for pellets was a problem a few years back as the economy tanked. Pellets are made from saw dust and because the building and furniture industry tanked, so did the raw materials for pellets. That said, there is more of a price flux with pellets then there is with cord wood. I've been paying $130 a cord for years now and it's all oak and black birch. Local big box retailers are selling pellets for around $185 minus shipping.
  5. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Ton of pellets would be about $400. Cord of wood is about $150.
  6. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    Alaska
    haha! 150$ where you buying it at? i aint bought none yet, but if i were the prices are not that cheap.
  7. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I didn't pay that much for the wood I bought this year. I bought 7 cords in total, spent $670. Did have to cut some of it and split it all though.
  8. bsj425

    bsj425 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
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    Loc:
    North Pole Alaska
    That is about the going rate up here for a chord of green birch rounds you got to split and season. Is even cheaper if you buy whole logs and cut to lengs and split. You can get a chord of split and "seasoned" for right around 200-225 but then there are those craigslist guys who think their wood is made of gold and ask like 400 but of course the colder it gets the more it is. In the summer a cord could be had for just over 100.

    Also there is a new pellet factory here in North Pole a ton is $300.
  9. greythorn3

    greythorn3 Minister of Fire

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    Oct 8, 2007
    Messages:
    972
    Loc:
    Alaska
    ya i been trying to find it in the log form, but i think im gonna go get a permit and cut on state land near sutton i think it is to get a few years ahead. i believe its 35$ for 2 cords then.
  10. Redbear86

    Redbear86 Member

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    Loc:
    SE Idaho
    a ton of pellets will give you the same amount of BTU's as a ton of oak or a ton of pine, that's right pine will give you the same amount of BTU's as oak PER LB* just so happens dried oak is much heavier than dry pine- a pellet stove my be able to capitalize on the BTU's more though because they are not heating a chimney but in the same note most of them run an exhaust blower AND a heat blower so some of the extra BTU's may be negated by the cost of running the exhaust blower and auger motor.

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