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Does this happen to you?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by gibson, Aug 11, 2009.

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  1. gibson

    gibson New Member

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    I have just finished neatly stacking and covering my pile of wood that I bought in March. 3+ cords, exactly what I burned last year. I stare at the pile..."Will it be enough?" hours pass...

    If I assume to run the stove better without it running out as much and if the winter is consistant with what it was last year. will I burn more or less wood than last year.

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  2. runandjump

    runandjump New Member

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    That is the $64,000 Q! From what most say you should do better due to more experience. You get a little better from year to year. the first few years is a steep learning curve.
  3. jadm

    jadm New Member

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    colorado
    It used to happen to me until I figured out that the max my wood storage space in our back yard is 4 cords. I now fill up all the space and usually have about a cord left over and I love having that cushion because, as we all know, weather can and does do strange things.

    I hope to use less wood as I get more experience with this insert but I don't want to drive myself nuts in the process. My goal is to stay warm and to enjoy the fire and to get the secondary burn to last as long as possible.....

    What is bugging me now is wondering how all the rain we have had this summer is effecting the seasoning of my wood. (We are usually bone dry all summer so this is another first for me.)

    I NEVER used to worry about these things before I found this forum. Ignorance was bliss.
    8-/
  4. Skier76

    Skier76 Minister of Fire

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    Yes. I probably have about 2+ cords out in VT now. In theory, that should be enough since we'll be up there on the weekends...and a few long weekends and maybe a week or two sprinkled in during ski season. It's our first winter there and we have a brand new stove. So I have no idea how much wood we're going to use. But as I say, better safe than sorry. So I'll continue to scrounge...just to be safe. I'd rather have leftover wood when the season is over.
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Yup . . . but my solution is to keep cutting, splitting, etc. so I know I have some more wood in reserve just in case . . . and the woodshed I'm building should have 1 1/2-2 cords extra . . . I figure this will either be the "back-up" supply or the start of next year's wood.
  6. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Surprisingly, when you compare one year to another, they all tend to average out over the seasons. Sure you have some cold spells and some warm spells, but it tends to average out. To see this look at the HDD year over year for the same location. The difference in HDD from one year to another is typically so small that the difference in wood usage should be within a very small amount of wood...

    For instance… Looking at say Groton, CT for Nov-Apr 2006/2007 (a typical 6 month heating season) there were 4830 HDD (base 65F), for that same time period for the 2007/2008 season there were 4884 HDD. Since the BTU content of wood pellets is more consistent and easier to quantify than splits/cord wood, I'll use wood pellets as an example. If I used exactly 3 tons (150 bags) to exclusively heat my home during the 2006/2007 season, I would have averaged about one bag of pellets for each 32.2 HDD. So to make up for the colder 2007/2008 season, I would have used about 1.68 bags of additional pellets for that colder season. We don’t know what the 2009/2010 data will be for the same time period, but even if it turned out to be say 200 HDD colder, that’s still only about 6 additional bags of pellets for the season given my example… certainly not a huge difference.

    We burn wood, not pellets you say? Well in terms of oak cord wood, one ton of pellets contains about 16.5 million BTU, but a cord of oak contains about 24.5 million BTU per cord. So one bag of pellets is equal to about 0.013 cords of oak. Using the example above, and assuming we had a really bad winter which turned out to be 200 HDD colder, I'd need about a measly 1/12 of a cord of oak worth of additional wood to make up the difference.

    Any significant difference in wood consumption you see from one year to the next is much more likely to be because of changes other than climate. Wood quality, stove changes/practices, interior temp changes, changes to the home, etc are much more likely to contribute to significant changes in wood usage from one year to the next than climate. So if you used say 3 cords last year, and your house, wood quality, and stove are all basically unchanged, you should use about the same amount of wood this year... assuming you operate the stove the same way and keep the house the same temp. ;)
  7. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    BTW, get a year or two ahead and it becomes a non-issue. :cheese:
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree, if two years ahead and you end up burning more there is no problem. If you burn less then you have more for the next year, etc.

    As for varying the amount of wood you burn in a year, a lot of that depend upon the stove. With our old stove we burned anywhere from 5-7 cords and I'm sure we went over that in one or two years. After two years with the Fireview, and the second year being much colder, we still burned pretty much the same amount (3 cords) each year.
  9. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm wondering how I'll be this next year too... I have between 4 and 4 1/2 cords ready for this winter. Went through about 3 1/2 last year (last week of Oct through end of season). This year will be the full year... whenever it starts. So it will be my second year burning (in theory less wood, right?) but will be the full year (more wood) and a new stove (more wood due to learning?) but a better burning stove (less wood?)... So... I have no idea in the end if I'm going to be cutting it close or not.

    My 10/11 supply has a good bit of poplar that has been split and stacked for a couple months now so I suppose it may test out near 20% by spring and be burnable if I had to...

    So to answer the original question - I don't think you are alone! I ponder my pile every day I look at it. I troll CL hoping to find more 2 year old wood just about every day 'just in case'.
  10. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

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    Cut another cord. The worst hting that can happen is you're one cord ahead for next year.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    It would have to be some pretty darn good weed for hours to pass ...
  12. chachdave

    chachdave New Member

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    Last year was 1st year with insert and ran out of wood mid Feb. I had about 3 1/2 cords, wife is home all day with kids and I load it up at 11Pm before going to bed. This year got 5 1/2 cords for this winter and starting to build up 5 to 6 cords for 10/11 winter. As my wife says "you can never have enough wood". Now I just need more time.
  13. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I wish mine would say that!!! :mad:
  14. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

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    Last year was my first season burning. I bought almost 4 cords of cut, split, and not so dry wood and thought I would be good. After looking at it I figured if I get 3 more cords I'd have enough for the next season. Then I thought I needed at least 2 more cords just to be safe. Bottom line is I burnt almost 3.5 cords and scrounged another 7 just to get ahead. I figured I would be good until the 2011-2012 season. Now I figure if I get just 2 more cords by the end of the year I'll be safe again. Right. ;)

    Room is not a problem for me but the neighbors think I'm weird.
  15. Bubbavh

    Bubbavh Feeling the Heat

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    I'd have 30+ cords if my wife thought that way!!!!!
  16. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    Covering your wood already? I plan to leave mine out in the open until sometime in October.

    -SF
  17. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    its easy to rip on one and stare at your pile for hours, picking at it, looking at it. thinkin' when you should cover it, and if you should get more..
  18. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    I haven't had a good scrounge fix in weeks.
  19. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    NEVER!
    I GOT WOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  20. Ratman

    Ratman Feeling the Heat

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    Bedford, NH
    this thread is great!

    my wife kindly reminds me about last years necessity to burn slightly seasoned wood, dropping hints about burning dry wood ONLY!
    Ok honey...twist my arm. I will saw, load, split and stack as much as I can shove into my trucks for free.
    God willing I will have a minimum of one and a half years ahead from now on.
    My youngest son (18) who lives for today, thinks I'm insane.
    I think it's because he has to help sometimes.
    :)
    He splits better than me but I got him beat cuttin and stackin
  21. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    ha ha!!! hey, who's that in the avatar pic?!
  22. Ratman

    Ratman Feeling the Heat

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    Henry Rollins
  23. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    So this is your first full year with the Fireview?! Warning: when we started heating with the Fireview our wood needs were cut in half!!!! That is nice.
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