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How many cord of wood are you burning?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Snow4days, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. Snow4days

    Snow4days New Member

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    I posted this earlier in The Wood shed forum. I meant to post here. Just wondered how many cord per year anyone is burning with their gasser boiler. And how many sq. ft. you heat? I know there are other factors, but just looking for a general comparison. thanks

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  2. tom in maine

    tom in maine Minister of Fire

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    1- 1.5 cords a year. 1100 square foot house plus the basement, which is 600 sq.ft.

    Just started the first fire of the year an hour ago.
    Didn't need to do it, but it seemed like a good time to play with some fire.
  3. b33p3r

    b33p3r Feeling the Heat

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    NE Pa
    I used somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.5 cord from dec 10 - April last season. I'bb be burning more in the shoulder seasons this year so I'm expecting somewhere in the 5 cord range. 1800 sq ft + 1800 Sq ft basement in N.E. Pa
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    4 cords or a little more of pine and aspen last winter; 1500 sq ft; 14' sidewalls; maintain 60F air temp with radiant in-floor. Last winter had temps down to -36F in two periods, lots of nights well below 0; some days that never got above 0; heated from mid-Sept and last burn was May 15. Tarm Solo 40 with 1000 gal pressurized storage.
  5. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

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    Not sure but I'm guessing about 8 cord for house, shop and DHW. This will be first year heating everthing with gasser.
  6. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

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    apprx 4.5 cords burning from early Oct to late April, heat for 2200 sq ft and dhw. Been chilly last few nights and may be burning wood a bit earlier this yr. or perhaps use some of that 2+ yr old oil.
  7. lampmfg

    lampmfg Member

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    What is the impact on total wood consumption/yr. if you use a super efficient furnace like our Vapor Fire?

    Here are the important numbers that need to be examined: 1 gal. #2 fuel oil = 140,000 BTUs; 1 gal. propane - 91,500 BTU's; 1 cord paper birch wood = 21 M BTU's; 1 cord red oak = 25 M BTU's.

    VaporFire furnaces were tested to have an overall efficiency as high as 85%, 99.4% combustion efficiency, less than 1 gr/hr of emissions, 99% smokeless burn cycles, internal flue temperatures 285-400 degrees F., and external flue temperatures 150-250 degrees F. VaporFire furnaces have been used for over 25 years with no condensation issues whatsoever, because the flue temperatures are still high enough to support a natural draft system when installed according to our written directions.

    A good estimate for oil usage for a heating season would be 500-1,000 gal., with lots of variables. We'll take a look at an average home using 750 gal. of oil for the heating season. 750 gal = 105 M BTU's. If a wood furnace was 100% overall efficient, which is not possible, it would take : 105 M BTU's /21M=5 cords of birch or 105 BTU's/25M=4.2 cords of oak.

    Our VaporFire furnace at 82% average overall efficiency would be; 105 M BTU's/(21Mx82%) = 6.09 cords of birch or 105 M BTU's/(25 M x 82%) = 5.12 cords of oak.

    Most manufacturers struggle to hit 60% overall efficiency, but we'll look at their results based on 60%. 105 M BTU's/(21M x 60%) = 8.33 cords of birch or 105 M BTU's/ (25M x 60%) = 7 cords of oak.

    Therefore, as you can see, using our efficient VaporFire furnaces will, without a doubt, use less wood to deliver the same amount of BTU's you'd require in oil or propane for the heating season then a less efficient furnace would. The other big advantages are minimal air pollution, longer more even burns, and minimal creosote accumulation from 99% smokeless burn cycles. The safely aspect is also huge in saving homes and lives.

    I'm quite sure alot of manufacturers will be very surprised to see their furnace test results when regulations come into effect in 2013-14. They're not going to believe how much air pollution and wasted wood their so called efficient furnaces have produced. Many manufacturers will have to fold or redesign their furnaces quickly. I'm thankful that I invested the time, effort and money in preliminary testing so that our company is prepared for the future. We knew the regulations were forthcoming.
  8. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

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    Well, that's strike 2 on lampmfg. But they posted the same thing in 2 threads, so would that be a foul or is it strike 3 ?
  9. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I will have to look at these - are you saying it can be run on natural draft - no air fan required?

    EDIT: OK, looks like it is a hot air furnace rather than hot water - I'm looking at hot water. Thanks anyway.
  10. ohbie1

    ohbie1 Member

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    WESTERN NJ
    West Central NJ - 3600 sqft + 231 sqft greenhouse. - 8 cords (2 of which are low BTU Poplar). Greenhouse sucks a lot of heat at night.
  11. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    IMO..Craig will take care of this? Hope so.
  12. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    I went from 1000 gals of oil a yr to 6.5 cords of wood. Now using 7.5 cords a yr. But the house is a lot warmer. I love my set up.
  13. lampmfg

    lampmfg Member

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    I will have to look at these - are you saying it can be run on natural draft - no air fan required?

    EDIT: OK, looks like it is a hot air furnace rather than hot water - I'm looking at hot water. Thanks anyway.[/quote]

    Yes, it's forced air... Sorry.
  14. Pat53

    Pat53 Minister of Fire

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    UP Mich
    About 8 cords/year burning from November thru April. 3K sq ft home +large energy gobbling sunroom.
  15. lampmfg

    lampmfg Member

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    I have a 3200 square foot home and usually buy 5 cords of birch and maple wood a year. The cost is $75 - $100 per logger's cord and I cut and split it myself. My total cost then is about $500 per year or less and this is approximately 1/4 to 1/3 the cost of using another fuel such as gas, oil or electricity. The heat is much more constant using wood, that's why I like it. Our backup heat is electric baseboard. I live in Northern, MN so it's quite the long heating season and I like my house at least 72 degrees.
  16. timberr

    timberr Member

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    Hill, NH
    7 cords Mid September to Mid April. 1,800 sq.ft and outdoor hot tub, 150 gal @ 104*.
  17. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    I don't burn wood but I have 4 boys that do so with appliances that cover the whole spectrum of wood burning.

    Kid number 1. House is mid 1930's with several later additions and totals about 2,800sq ft heated space. Insulation would be at 4 on a 1-10 scale but doors and windows are decent. Domestic hot water for a family of 6, two of which are under 3 years old. He heats with an H4 Hardy that has been in service since 2002. Average wood consumption is 16-18 full cords per year. He burns all summer too. Heat distribution is via a water to air exchanger in his duct system.

    Kid number 2. House is ancient and about 1,300 sq ft. We peeled off the old wood siding last summer during an exterior overhaul and we could see clothes hanging in the closet upstairs from outside the house. There was no insulation in the walls of any kind. I would say as of today we have an average wall R-value of around 6 with minimum 25 in the attics. He burns about 4-1/2 full cords per year in his little Lopi space heating wood stove. It is always 75*+ in their house. Their bulldog just lays there and pants on the tile floor.

    Kid number 3. 1,900 sq ft well kept farm house with average insulation and windows. Older style balloon construction but has full basement. Very unusual for a house of that vintage around here. He heats with an Econoburn 150 using 500 gallons of well insulated storage via an STSS collapsible tank<(sweet rig)located in the house. His family member count is 5 and the boiler sits in an unheated/uninsulated garage about 60 ft from the house. We started out with a coil in the plenum of the oil furnace the first winter but graduated to about a half dozen panel rads with some tubing under the tile floor in the kitchen. The house heats great and is always at about 75* He will use around 8-10 full cords per year. No domestic hot water hook up as yet. That's on dad's hit list for this season yet.

    Kid number 4. We built his house in 2005 and used a combination of panel rads and Viega Climate Panel for the whole place. Not a heating duct in sight anywhere. The house is about 5,800 sq ft plus he is keeping a lightly insulated 1,800 sq ft pole barn at 35-45* all winter. (nice place to let the Kubota thaw out.....) His house is R-22 in the walls and averages R-30 in the ceilings. (some areas are ceiling/roof combination) He has a Garn 2000H sitting approximately 220 feet from the house (in the pole barn) He's also doing domestic hot water for a family of 7. The Garn will consistently digest about 10-11 cords per winter while serving that load. He can let the Garn drop all the way down to 110 before firing again and still have plenty of heat available for heating use with his low temperature system.
  18. rkusek

    rkusek Minister of Fire

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    I burned about 3 1/2 cords last winter heating 30x60x14 well insulated pole barn (R19 walls, R38 ceiling) and 2 yr old ranch with 2200 sq ft main floor & 2200 walkout that is insulated but just 1 big room now (kids playroom). House is R19 walls and ~R49 ceiling. No storage so heat pump handled the shoulder seasons except when I would burn a load on a cold night. I'm just using a water to air HX now. If I add storage to handle the shoulder season, hours when fire burned out and heat pump took over, and domestic hot water I will probably be looking at close to 5 cords.
  19. EffectaBoilerUser (USA)

    EffectaBoilerUser (USA) Member

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    I burn approx. 16-17 face cords of hardwood in my effecta lambda 35 and heat the following:

    Approx. 3,000 sq. ft house and 1,000 sq. ft garage (insulated and this is where the boiler and 1,000 gallons are located). I also heat a jacuzi 350 gallon hot tub all winter. I usually begin heating in October/November and go until March/April.

    Mr. Effecta
  20. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    My boiler (tarmsolo40) holds 5 cu. ft. in the firebox.
    If I load it once a day, (most do two), for a 5 month heating season, (most have a longer season), that comes out to 6 cords of wood.
    I think I would freeze to death burning less than six cords of wood a heating season. I just don't know how it is possible for anyone to heat their home and domestic hot water, keep the house at a comfortable temperature, and burn less than one full load of wood a day.
  21. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Cord in my post refer to a pulpwood cord. This being 4" x 4" x 8". Not a "rick" which is 4' high by 8' long by whatever length you cut your wood.
  22. chuck172

    chuck172 Minister of Fire

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    Standard cord

    Standard, full, logger and pulp cords generally refer to a pile of 8’ lengths that measures 4’ high by 4’ wide. This is a volume of 128 cu. ft.
    That comes out to about 25 full loads of wood into my boiler.
  23. ewdudley

    ewdudley Minister of Fire

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    Please, no math until later in the morning!
  24. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Up here, I've never heard 'cord' used any other way than to mean 4x4x8. Never heard anyone here say or mean 'face cord'.

    Anyway, I'm a bit disppointed at some of the numbers I'm reading. I have 1500 sq.ft. on main floor, 1200 on second floor, and full basement under all of first. Basement is 95% insulated with no heating zones, rest is all slant fin baseboard. Have a Benjamin cc500 oil/wood unit in the basement, radiating heat off that keeps the basement warm enough (not living down there). It does our domestic year round, using oil in the summer - or actually I guess May-October, wood the rest of the year. I am using, by my rough calcs, around 8 cords of wood a year (sometimes not the best quality), and around 150 gallons (Canadian) of oil. That's being careful, with the upstairs and half the downstairs setting back during the day, the other half of the downstairs setting back at night, and the hot water temp set only to 'just adequate' during the off season. And some occasional sweater usage. When it is at the coldest outside, the cc500 can barely keep up, and on occasion, I'll have to turn the oil on and run both for a short time to help the wood side 'catch up'. I know now this unit is about the most inefficient unit I could have selected, wood burning wise, so was hoping that a new gasser and storage could cut my wood use by, well, a lot. But I'm reading numbers close to mine with way more efficient boilers. Not discouraging, so still planning, just disappointing.

    Keep the feedback coming, some great info here.
  25. willworkforwood

    willworkforwood Feeling the Heat

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    Don't know anything about your boiler, but IMO it doesn't sound THAT bad, especially if the wood is not top shelf. In planning for a gasser, you're a bit up against it with your present combo unit. You would either need to replace with another combo (Wood Gun, ...); buy a new FB to be used only for backup/Summer DHW; or keep Ben just for oil. And the last 2 would require a bunch of piping and control changes as well. And if you throw in the cost of storage, you're looking at a hefty investment. My guess is that it would take you a long time to pay that back, with the assumption of saving 2 or so cord a year. How about just putting in the storage in order to maximize Ben's efficiency? (and make operation easier as well)

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