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Does heating with wood really save money??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Swedishchef, Oct 8, 2012.

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  1. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    My house came with an old smoke dragon insert, that was a sunken cost. All I had to recoup was $135 every two years to sweep the chimney. When that insert needed replacing, I had to decide if the cost and benefits were worth spending almost $5k for insert, liner and installation. I have a good job, I can afford to heat my house with propane, I like programming a thermostat and coming in to a warm house, but buying a new insert was still an easy decision:

    I live on a wooded lot, I have to pay a tree service to take down trees that are threatening my house, it costs me extra to remove the wood, my wood is not just free, burning it saves me money.
    My chainsaw paid for itself the first day I bought it - to remove fallen trees from my driveway.
    I need backup heat, to keep us from freezing to death if we get snowed in for several days with no power.
    Someone upthread mentioned the satisfaction of being a white collar worker finally seeing something tangible for your labor, that's me chopping wood.
    I get to fool myself into thinking burning wood offsets the carbon footprint of unnecessarily large cars.
    I get to sit drinking beer in shorts and t-shirt while its snowing outside.

    My wild ass guesstimate is that supplementing with wood at weekends saves about $500 every year, and costs me less than $50, plus my time. If I valued my time at my overtime billing rate, it's a massive loss-making hobby.

    I can't see the savings from wood ever outweighing the convenience of automatic heat, I would never choose to heat with wood exclusively, but I could never live without it.

    TE





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  2. greenbrierwv

    greenbrierwv Member

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    when i first moved into my new house i didnt have any wood supply ready so i depended 100% on my propane boiler to heat the home. It cost me id say almost $2000 for the winter easily. I burned 24/7 the last two winters and maybe burned $100 in propane in that amount of time. i cut all my own wood and process it. i kinda like the work as i dont have cable tv and it keeps me outside. So yes, im saving piles of money by not using my boiler and burning with wood. Enough to pay for my brand new Woodstock Progress this season, which is working very well. Theres really nothing better than sitting by a warm stove and watching the snow come down outside.
  3. Cluttermagnet

    Cluttermagnet Minister of Fire

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    Sorry, Sprinter- I just noticed your post #122 and direct question. It's been busy here lately. Last month, I had to take apart a huge Poplar tree that fell in my back yard.

    I may have been exaggerating slightly on the oil costs, but in a bad year, it might actually go that high. Remember, back then I was still heating my entire house. I'm using probably around 2-3 cords of wood in an average winter. In all, quite manageable, and not that much of a dollar outlay. Better insulation might cut that in half. They didn't insulate very well in my area in the 60's. Fuel was cheap back then.
  4. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    I don't care about electric or oil,wood or gas heat is the best by far,and I'd rather be as self sufficient as possible without relying on utility companies ,who have way too many people at their mercy.JMHO I'd go to coal before resorting to any other source of heat other than wood,coal will be king if Romney wins,as it should be.
  5. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

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    I don't care about gas,oil,or electric for heat wood beats them all in my opinion,besides it's too costly in most cases. Coal would be my next option if not for wood,coal is a resource we can't ignore and must be exploited to its maximum potential.
  6. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    Until you can figure out a way to heat with coal by flicking a switch, coal (or wood) will never be king.

    TE
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Half the folks I work with have been without power since Monday, thanks to hurricane Sandy. Most of them are cold and miserable. I was only without power 24 hours, but even if not, my home is toasty and warm. Thanks to my wood stove.

    What amount of money is that worth?
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  8. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Joful buddy: that is priceless.

    Ohlongarm: I think coal is one of the dirtiest heating methods around. I may be mistaken. I understand that it is a huge part of the economy where you live however I don't know if it should dominate the heating choices of a modern society. Do they make EPA coal stoves?? Where else in the US is coal mined?
  9. CT_Sub_Officer

    CT_Sub_Officer New Member

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    $.052 per KWH seems very low to me. Is that total or supply or distribution? In the states it is not uncommon to pay $.07 to the electricity supplier then $.07 to the electricity distributor (all in the same bill). That is actually exactly what I pay, about $.142 per KWH.

    I did some calculations on my own and came to the following:

    My house requires 1.12*10^8 BTUs per year (based on last year's oil usage)

    -White/Red Oak costs me 200.00 for 24.2M BTU so I need about 4.5 cords for about 900.00 per year.
    -Oil (my other option) costs me 3.56 per gallon for 140K BTU per gallon. I need 800 gallons for just under 3000.00 per year.
    -Electric .142 per KWH, costs about 4600.00 per year.

    Conclusion is pretty obvious that wood makes the most sense. That said, I cannot heat with wood alone, my house is too big and spread out. My goal is to cut Oil consumption by 50% or more and to scrounge 2 cords per year.
  10. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    With taxes I paid $0.077/kWh. In your case it is quite clear that wood is certainly cheaper...
    "
    Amount due by November 1, 2012
    Montant à payer au plus tard le 1 novembre 2012
    122,61 $ for 1590 kW/h"
  11. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    ??

    So another non-renewable resource that burns dirty and requires massive amounts of other non-renewable resource to extract, process, and deliver should be king? How exactly do you process and stock up on coal without relying on some "company" to do so for you? I can cut down my own trees, which will grow back. I'm not about to dig my own coal mine.
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  12. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    When I was young I thought if I dug a hole in my backyard I would end up in China. I would have hit a coal mine on my way there....
  13. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    If the coal debate wants to be continued, there are other rooms on here to keep it going in a new thread.

    Otherwise, I think the original poster's question has been well responded too.

    Closing it down.

    pen
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