1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Heating costs. Is wood really worth it?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Swedishchef, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,362
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    Hey folks

    I am simply sitting here wondering if heating with wood is really *financially* worth it (especially where I live). My average rate for electricity is $0.0716 / KWh.

    When factoring in the cost of a stove, chimney and the install, I was wondering if financially it is worth it. My stove, chimney and install was $3400. That is a LOT of heat. I don't have access to a wood lot. On average, I pay $175 for a cord of hardwood (I buy it in 8 foot lengths for $125 a cord and rent a splitter).

    I love my stove and love the wood heat. Not to mention the independance if the power goes out in -25.

    Just looking for your input/thoughts. Too much time on my hands to think, it's raining and the kid is in bed!

    Cheers

    Andrew

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. mainstation

    mainstation Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2009
    Messages:
    342
    Loc:
    N.Ont.
    I love my stove and love the wood heat. Not to mention the independance if the power goes out in -25.


    I think you just answered your own question.
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,795
    Loc:
    Michigan
    If I had NG available to me I would've probably never looked at wood for heat it would've only been used for fires in my fireplace. I have propane so it's a no brainer for me, even if I had to purchase wood. 4K a year for propain and the pay back happens really quick.

    Now that I have heated with wood I'm hooked. If I ever sell this joint the next place will be heated with wood regardless of the type of fuel available to me.
  4. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,022
    Loc:
    Missouri Ozarks
    Financially worth it is a simple calculation. Profit or loss varies for each. For me, the intangibles are a positive factor for wood. I probably will not save any $, but it gets me off this chair and has the potential to keep us warm in the power outages that follow ice storms and tornadoes. I have had worse ways to occupy my time.
  5. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2009
    Messages:
    3,331
    Loc:
    Tuscola, IL
    and
    +3 I don't even think about whether I am saving or not, at least not anymore. I did in the beginning, a long time ago. But now it is just "the price of admission" I enjoy it, period.
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,036
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    The question always has to be asked, did you include the delivery charge in that KWH number. Ours fully loaded is .1477 per KWH. It would cost over four hundred a month to heat this joint with electric heat. Thus 25 years of heating it with wood. I would dearly love to just have to drag my old bones out of the chair to adjust the thermostat. Just can't afford it.

    Take another look at that electric bill.

    Edit: I just took a look and WOW you guys in QC have the lowest rates in Canada or on the planet for that matter.

    http://www.hydro.mb.ca/regulatory_a...utility_rate_comp.shtml#residential_bill_calc
  7. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,284
    Loc:
    Antrim, NH
    It would cost us a LOT to heat our old house without wood, let alone keep it as warm as we can with our stove. It's a no brain-er for us.
  8. ROBERT F

    ROBERT F Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2009
    Messages:
    547
    Loc:
    CENTRAL COLORADO
    For me the cost of two stoves, two liners, and the splitter have already been covered in three years of heating at this house. The three saws I started out with were paid for many moons ago heating the last house. The trucks and trailers I own regardless of heating with wood. This year I bought a floor model 455 rancher for 250+ bucks, and 2 still chains for 30. I enjoy the time I spend cutting wood, and so do my kids. For me each cord now averages about 30 dollars. That's factoring in lunch and drinks and fuel and maintenance on equipment. So even if I burned 10 cords a year that's 300 dollars. That's less than one month heating with propain, and about one month with electric. Plus if I didn't spend time cutting wood I would be throwing tons of money at the quads, dirt bikes, ski boat, 4X4's and off road car. So the savings there are enormous.in themselves!
  9. fishingpol

    fishingpol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,052
    Loc:
    Merrimack Valley, MA
    The cost of the stove, liner and wood spread out over the years that we are in this house is negligible. I've already saved that in NG heating costs over the years. I have my house temperature running 10 degrees warmer using wood than if I was using NG alone. I can't imagine what my NG bill would be if my thermostat was set at 78 degrees without wood heat. I will admit that sometimes it does feel wrong to have an excess of heat in the dead of winter when people are struggling to make their heating bills and freezing their butts off. It was a good decision to heat with wood as a supplement to NG, especially when the wood is free.

    To have friends, neighbors and family melt into the furniture on a cold winter day and share the warmth is too me... priceless.
  10. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,362
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    BB: yes, we have very low rates. That is why I was asking the question: from a financial perspective ONLY. I won't ever go without wood heat, ever ever EVER again. That is because I love it. It's like people who love trucks. You love a truck for the odd time you need it and you're ready to pay $1.30 a litre and get 15 MPG. WHy? Because you love a truck. I love wood heat and won't go without it...
  11. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,362
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    From what you guys are saying: if you own a woodlot and have all the equipment available, it is worth it. But what if you spend $250 a cord?

    I was questioning the financial aspect alone. Not the moral, happy "let's sit by the fire and melt away", I am sweating my balls off fun winter heat ;)

    Andrew
  12. Biff_CT2

    Biff_CT2 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Loc:
    Central CT
    Heating with wood is a fairly marginal way to save a buck. On an hourly basis, you make more as a Walmart Greeter.

    You have to enjoy the work. Personally, I consider burning a hobby.

    I save $1500 to $2500 a year in oil expenses and try not to think about the hours I spend cutting, splitting, hauling, and stacking.

    My neighbors think I'm nuts. They're likely correct...
  13. egclassic

    egclassic Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    257
    Loc:
    SW Ohio
    The satisfaction I get by not giving that money to Duke Energy every month is worth every penny I paid for the stove and installation. Even if I spend the same amount a month on cord wood as I would on NG, I am still not giving it to Duke and I enjoy a much warmer house. Plus I like the work invovled with c/s/s my own wood.
    If cord wood were $250 here I may not use it as much, but would still burn. I am sure, if you look hard enough, you can scrounge some wood throughout the year, every little bit adds up come fall!
  14. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    9,226
    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    Years ago I did it to save money, but hearth.com turned me into an addict and I can't stop buying new stoves and other toys to keep them burning. I don't even keep track of any savings anymore. :-S
  15. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    5,740
    Loc:
    Northern MI - in the mitten
    For me, the answer is simple.......yes.
    Natty gas would run me about 250-300/month avg. for the winter. The wood only runs me under $400/year.
    When I supplement the bought wood with stuff I cut around here, it's even cheaper.
    I'd rather work at cutting wood, than work at making money to pay for other ways of heating this place.
    Being semi-retired helps.
  16. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,465
    Loc:
    Virginia
    Yes it's worth it, I couldn't stand being online chatting with folks about what to set the thermostat on.
  17. ihookem

    ihookem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Messages:
    587
    Loc:
    Allenton, Wisconsin
    If you insulate a house very good it is most likely not worth it to buy an owb or a gassifier. I can heat my house for 1,500 a year with NG. I spent 9400 on a gasser. That is 6 years to break even and not including labor. Insulate the house very well and not have a mcmantion and it won't be much to heat.
  18. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,362
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    The common denominator here seems to be the enjoyment out of wood. I guess I am one of the few, more than likely the only one, with cheap electricity rates. Any decent cost comparison calculators out there to see if" financially" it is worth it?

    I am fortunate that my utility company is state owned, has some of the biggest and cleanest electricity production sites (windmills and hydroelectricity dams) that it sells to those south of the border....

    I will never give up my wood. There's nothing like cutting wood on a nice fall day. And for those who live in Quebec and lived through the Freezing Rain storm of 1998 (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_ice_storm_of_1998) a wood stove is essential in life along with food and water.

    Andrew
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Electricity is just shy of 17 cent a kilowatt hour for me.
    Oil ranges from $3.80-$4.00+ a gallon

    I have an oil furnace so I am unsure what electricity would run me to heat the home.

    I would go through about 1500 gallons to heat this place to 70 degrees all winter.

    Oil at $3.80 a gallon:
    1500 x 3.80 = $5,700.00

    Oil at $4.00 a gallon:
    1500 x 4.00 = $6,000.00

    Wood burning costs:
    8 cords of wood, split per year = $960
    4 stove purchased so far (3 in use) = $2,150
    Liners for three chimneys = $5,750.00

    I did not purchase any oil last year. I will purchase 100 gallons this year as a back up.

    I am too far into the rum to break it down any further, but unless oil drops to 50 cents a gallon I will remain far ahead of the game. When I am sober I can probably show that the stoves and liners have already paid for them selves and already saved me money even with purchasing stoves each year and installing a line each of the last three years.

    And I bought all my wood this year (and will do so in the future.)
  20. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,022
    Loc:
    Missouri Ozarks
    :lol:
  21. RIDGERUNNER30

    RIDGERUNNER30 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    221
    Loc:
    Eastern, Kentucky
    I saved some money, I cut and spilt my own wood, but above that i can remenber when i was little kid just old enough to talk having a stove in my parents house , things were simple then and i did'nt have the worries i have now and having the two wood burners i got now gives me enjoyment and keeps me busy and my mind off all the troubles that life dishes out. You got to have hobbies and things to do or you become a very dull person.
  22. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,362
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    LOL
  23. FPX Dude

    FPX Dude Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2007
    Messages:
    162
    Loc:
    Sacramento, CA
    spec it out...what do you come up with ? I get PRICELE$$!!!
  24. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,057
    Loc:
    Huntington, West Virginia
    When you have a naked lady hop out of the shower and run down the hallway to get dried offed and dressed in front of the stove, it's priceless ;)
  25. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Messages:
    1,849
    Loc:
    Colorado- near the Divide
    Propane here is $2.20/gallon already, and it's only August. Last year was $1.96/gal. I would need 4 fills at a minimum a year, at 400 gal. a pop. Last year, the BK pretty much paid for itself. This year will make up the difference in equipment and fuel. Next year clears the way for all the stuff associated with getting the NC-13 operational. Locally, a cord runs $125 delivered. If I burn 7 cord a year, and actually have to buy it, I'm still ahead=vs. propane. I really hate to say that for the time saved, I'm thinking of doing that. (3 months of nice weather, yeah... I kinda' want to enjoy them doing things other than cutting wod.) In a nutshell, I believe burning wood will save you money.

Share This Page