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How many cords do you think I need

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by fabsroman, Aug 4, 2011.

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  1. fahmahbob

    fahmahbob Member

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    1 gallon of No 2 heating fuel has 138,000 btus, so 100 gallons would have 13,800,000 btus.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yep, I agree but now it is Aug. The OP Has has two on hand (furnace make it worse)....I went through this last year with the gf son putting in a insert in Dec. with no wood...lol But he now has 5 cords of big rounds that will get split Saturday. Hes moving in the right direction. ;-) Oh and he's ot his very own chimney sweep and learned how to use it and know when it needs it....lol Scramble Time..........I do better under pressure! :lol:
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Teach him well Jay.
  4. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    that's a monster house. Lotta wood, even down there in MD. Most here use 3.5-5 cord no matter where they are in the US, but it'll be more to heat a castle and it'll be really tough to circulate the heat through that area.
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Hes doing better..He and his buddy got over 12 cords with 5 still needing split. I think they turn the corner but working through 90 degrees is not the best way... ;-)
  6. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    A couple other people on here have said the same thing about my house, and the furnace rep said "whoa, that is a big house" when I told him the square footage. He set me up with the biggest furnace they have with the biggest blower motor possible. Anyway, around this area, my house is considered average, if not small.

    I am going to cut as much as possible this summer to get ahead of the curve. I just hate having to cut wood during the summer. We had been planning on going with the current heating/cooling system for another year until we tried to turn on the AC in June and it didn't work. No sense spending money on it to fix it since it is 24 years old and we wanted to get away from heating oil anyway.
  7. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    The wood is getting stacked at the end of the asphalt driveway. The wind here is non-stop because we are on one of the highest points around here and there are virtually no trees on our lot. From the end of the asphalt driveway, there is a hill that goes down to the basement/porch which is under the deck. Figured I would stack up the seasoned firewood under the deck and right by the basement door for easy access.

    The entire seasoning thing is what is getting me, because I don't think the wood is going to be ready come December. I am splitting it and stacking it as soon as I cut it, but I still don't think I it is going to get to where I need it to be.

    The one thing that might save me is that a client has a bunch of trees that have been down for 3 years. I am hoping that they are seasoned pretty good from just sitting there. He also has 3 locust trees that fell down during a storm a couple weeks ago. Probably going to cut that wood toward the end of this month. At that point, I will have a better idea of what I have on my hands. My dad has 2 cords of pretty well seasoned wood, and the only thing he uses it for is a fireplace, so I might trade with him for the really dry stuff since he is wasting most of its potential anyway. My brothers might have some seasoned wood too because I help cut and deliver it to them a couple of years ago and all they use it for is a romantic fire in their fireplaces once in a while. Might have another connection in Florida around Thanksgiving for some wood that he has had sitting out for a year or so. Depends on whether we head down to Tampa for Thanksgiving. I have a lot of things in play on the wood front.

    If things don't pan out with this wood this year, then we can just use the natural gas until the wood I get this year is seasoned for the 2012/2013 heating season. No sense burning wood that isn't seasoned. That would just be a huge waste.

    I can cut a lot more wood during hunting season. I dove and waterfowl hunt mostly. With waterfowling, I only hunt in the morning and the afternoon. I can cut wood during the slow period. Of course, it would be miserable to see geese and ducks land in the decoys while I am cutting wood, but such is life. On the days we limit out in the morning, it would give me the entire afternoon to cut wood. One way or another, I can skin this cat in the long run. Short term is a different story.

    Finally, the entire reason for this thread is to determine if it makes sense time wise to do this. My dad usually cuts and splits with me, and I like doing this stuff. However, I don't like it enough to have to cut, split, and stack 8 cords a year if that is what we ultimately end up using.
  8. shawneyboy

    shawneyboy New Member

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    I disagree, I think the 90 degrees will help them learn that lesson even more so. !!!

    Shawn
  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    The furnace actually has a thermostat hooked up to it that controls the burn rate. When the target temp is hit, the thermostat closes off air to the fire so it is a slow burn. When the temp in the house drops, the thermostat calls for heat, the damper opens up, the fire gets going full blast, and the blower comes on to start cycling the air through the house. We shall see how this goes. Furnace is being delivered tomorrow.
  10. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yea I know been running a furnace for 6 years. It somewhat of a lifestyle and you must become one with the saw.... ;-)
  11. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    I already learned the lesson and understand it full well. My dad taught it to me when I was a teenager and he had us cutting wood on a 100 degree day. Actually, it was a couple of 100 degree days. We felled some trees for a customer of his.

    Thing is, this furnace purchase wasn't really planned for this year. Heck, we didn't even get into the house until February 14th. The contract for the house wasn't ratified until January 11th. I have been busy as heck for quite a while now and things are just starting to settle down. I'm an attorney/CPA with a pretty healthy solo tax practice. Moving during tax season wasn't optimal. In fact, it was a nightmare. The move took about 5 days between loading up two 26" u-hauls and getting them unloaded. I finally got all my reloading equipment out of the boxes last weekend and on shelves and am about to set up the reloaders this weekend and do some reloading. My garage is still a nightmare. Don't worry, in a year or two I will be ahead of the curve if I determine it actually makes sense to cut the wood versus paying the natural gas bill. My cheap self will probably have 20 cords cut and stacked by the time next winter gets here, but who knows.
  12. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Just bought a MS261 and MS660. The MS261 might not be enough saw, but we shall see. Everybody else has been telling me to be very, very careful with the 660 and making fun of me for buying it. I can't wait until we get to a 30"+ tree and I actually get to use it. Then again, I will not be looking forward to splitting that thing, but a tractor is in my near future too.
  13. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yea kinda drives the point home, if the job gets done right. Next year is always better! :roll:
  14. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    So, a cord of hardwood is about equal to 250 gallons of heating oil BTU wise. Am I correct about that? That, I can live with.
  15. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Here is a chart to compare cost, but I think a cord is closer to 130 gallons if I remember right?

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/



    Hickory, Hop hornbeam (Ironwood), Black locust, White oak, and Apple are equal to 146 gallons of fuel oil ($314), 174 therms of natural gas ($73), and 3,800 KWH of electricity ($304) . - Mixed wood $55.00 - $80.00

    Beech, Sugar maple, Red oak, Yellow birch, and White ash are equal to , 133 gallons of fuel oil ($287), 160 therms of natural gas ($67), and 3,500 KWH of electricity($280).- Mixed wood $60.00.

    Gray and Paper birch, Black walnut, Black cherry, Red maple, Tamarack (Larch), and Pitch pine are equal to 114 gallons of fuel oil ($246), 136 therms of natural gas($57), and 3,000 KWH of electricity($240).- Mixed wood $60.00.

    American elm, Black and Green ash, Sweet gum, Silver and Bigleaf maple, Red cedar, and Red pine are equal to, 103 gallons of fuel oil ($222), 123 therms of natural gas($52), and 2,700 KWH of electricity($216).- Mixed wood $60.00.

    Poplar, Cottonwood, Black willow, Aspen, Butternut, Hemlock, and Spruce are equal to 86 gallons of fuel oil ($165), 102 therms of natural gas($43), and 2,200 KWH of electricity($176).- Mixed wood $60.00.

    Basswood, White pine, Balsam fir, and White cedar are equal to, 73 gallons of fuel oil which costs about$163.67, 87 therms of natural gas which costs about $36.65, and 1,900 KLWH of electricity ($152). - Mixed Wood $60.00.


    Looks like brotherbarts website!




    http://www.tdc.ca/wood.htm
  16. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Based on those numbers, it doesn't make sense for me to cut wood when I can pay $70 for the equivalent energy in natural gas. Just dealing with the saws, the diesel to get to where I need to cut wood, and my time, I might as well spend $70 on natural gas because the difference between the cost of the natural gas and my cost in oil, gas, diesel, chains, etc. will make the difference very small.

    Does cutting wood ever make sense when natural gas is available, unless of course the wood is in your backyard? Does it even make sense to pay $150 to $200 for a cord of wood when you have natural gas available? I might have learned another lesson in all of this. Research, Research, Research, and then Research some more. I should know better. If it turns out that I can heat this house for $500 or less with natural gas, I am going to be sick to my stomach. Even if I go out and cut wood, my total cost for cutting the wood with diesel, saw maintenance, gas & oil for the saws, gas for the splitter, etc. has to be over $100. That means the difference is merely $400 or less. Then, there is the time and "hard work" aspect of it all.

    This is going to be a learning experience over the next couple of years.
  17. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Oh yes wait till you see the surcharges......and the more you use the more you pay because you used there pipe line. Your not looking at the whole picture and may take a couple 600.00 a month bills to sink in. Short answer and if the gas Company sold it to you in a very small amount you would be right. They have figured a way to sell in reverse bulk if you will! ;-) They have a delivery charge and the more 70.00 shots you buy the more it cost to get to you. They really dont like to explain that one very clear!

    I had 5 months in a row in 2005 over 600.00
  18. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, it cost us $500 to heat the townhouse last year, which was less than 1/2 the size of this place and only had 2 walls exposed to the elements. In fact, the area heated with gas was only 1,200 sf and we had a separte electric heater/AC unit for the 400 sf on the 4th floor. Here, we have 4,600 sf with a ton of walls exposed to the elements. I would guess heating with natural gas would be somewhere around $1,500 to $2,000 a year. That is enough for a nice new shotgun every year.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    It really piss me off the way they do it. Seems like the people who buy more should get a better deal! I would be looking at the bills on the house last year that will give you the number that you really need and be able to stop it Now rather than paying the bill and doing something at the same time!
  20. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Sure it's worth it.

    I burn about 3 cords of wood per winter. That is ~$200 of wood, plus some time. The most I have spent on wood was last year, $220 a cord, but I needed it for that year. This year I cut trees down (free) picked up free downed trees from people and bought some cords at $100/cord. I have 12 cords total this year and I paid $800 for it in total, so ~$65/cord. Sure I have some time into it, but the exersice certainy isn't bad for me, and any excuse I can use to not be sitting on my ass in teh house is good for me.

    Natural gas... first year I was in house it cost me ~$1250 to heat from October to April (more or less the heating season).

    Last year my gas bill was about $50/month (garage heater, water heater and kitchen stove) So $350... so I save about $600 a year. PLUS house is at 75-80* while when on natural gas 68* (Brrrr).. oh and when the power goes out, I just laugh as I'm throwing wood into the stove.
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    One huge difference we usually see between heating with wood vs. gas or oil is that the home is much more comfortable to live in when heated with wood.


    I also throw out caution when a stove or furnace has a thermostat so the draft closes (or partially closes) off the air as those seem to usually have more creosote problems. Just one more factor to consider.
  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Its really just a draft induction system. You have your normal draft and when the house calls for more heat it will blow extra air in there. Furnaces burn best hot and I have never clean my chimmey in 6 years. I do check it.

    The Pic is on a 20 degree day! I get very little smoke but that is a very nice stack system.

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  23. Bspring

    Bspring Feeling the Heat

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    I tend to heat my house as hot as the wife wants it when using wood but If I am paying a monthly bill it will stay on 65. I also place a value on the exercise that I get from processing the wood. I could buy a splitter but would rather do the work by hand. My wife likes to help so it is time that we get to spend together.
  24. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Hows she like the 044? Mine has ran the 880 many times now.
  25. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

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    How do you like that Yukon Big Jack furnace? I bought the Yukon Eagle - Polar with natural gas backup. It is supposed to get here today. I also want a JD 3x20 tractor too. Been looking at the 3520 and 3720. The tractor is going to happen after next tax season or the one after that. I'm even thinking about the 4120, but that might be way too much tractor and not fit in the garage. I just got a MS261 and MS660 too. Now, where we really differ is in the wife category. My wife has no desire to split wood. She barely even helps stack it. I am waiting for the kids to grow up a little to help with chores around the house.

    So far, the day isn't going too well. Batting 0 for 1 today on deliveries. Got 5 Stihl chains that I ordered off e-bay and not a single one of them is right and one is used and filthy dirty. How somebody can screw up an order this bad amazes me. Hoping the furnace delivery goes smoothly.

    As far as exercise goes, I ride a road bike and mountain bike. When I was a teenager, I used to race against some of the guys you see in the Tour de France now. I picked college instead of going the pro cycling route. Still get out about 2 to 4 days a week and have 800 miles in so far this year. Before the kids came along, I put in about 4,000 to 5,000 miles a year. When I was a teenager, I road about 10,000 miles a year. When I am not riding, I try to get out in the woods/marsh/field and hunt or out on the water and fish. Exercise for me isn't an issue. I am active one way or another, except for when I am working which requires me to mostly sit on my butt.
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