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How much $$$ am I saving by burning wood vs oil or gas heat?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by NewtownPA, Sep 11, 2007.

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  1. NewtownPA

    NewtownPA New Member

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    I am just curious as to how much money is saved by burning wood verses oil or gas heat. I have no idea how expensive it is to burn oil or use gas, but my wood cost is about $450 / year (2.5 cords) + $100 chimney cleaning.

    Has anyone calculated how much money they are saving?

    -Nathan

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  2. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    Depends on what you pay for your primary fuel. Don't forget you probably are in a 70 degree plus room vs freezing your a$$ off in 62 degrees!!!
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I save approx. 1000 gallons of propane per year by burning wood. @ $1.52 per gallon that is $1520.00 a year. There is some minimal cost to wood processing (pickup truck, saws, splitters, etc.), but if you spread those items over the years of service they will give, it is a very small % per year for expense vs. savings. Did I already say 1500 bucks :) .
  4. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    If you don't know how much oil or gas you use/would use in a year, there's no comparison to be made, really. You can "guesstimate", but nothing accurate, because in order to extrapolate that from your wood cost, you'd have to know how many BTU's you're getting from your wood, which is more or less impossible.

    I haven't burned oil in 6 years, so I have no recent oil cost to compare my savings. Just call it "lots" and smile.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Do you have neighbors with a similar size, construction, furnace, and family to you? Ask them what their bills look like to compare.
  6. NewtownPA

    NewtownPA New Member

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    Actually everyone I know uses electricity. I recently bought this house and I've always used wood (three winters). I was just curious about the difference in cost.
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The best way to compare fuel costs is to use a calculator such as:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/

    Certainly there are a lot of variables...all discussed here previously, but the calculator will give you a BTU to BTU comparison.
  8. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

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    When I first bought our house about 4 years ago, we burned about 1.5 cords for kind of "recreational" woodstove use and used about 700 gals of heating oil for the winter. This past winter we burned about 5 cords and used around 100 gals heating oil. This coming winter with an EPA approved soapstone stove, I would hope to burn less than 50 gals of oil and burn 4 cords or less. My wood is free. I could make a reasonable case that we would use 800+ gals of heating oil which would cost about $2.30/ gal so $1850 approx. Therefore, I can easily say we save $1500 to $1800 per year and we are never cold! :coolsmile:
  9. Greg123

    Greg123 New Member

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    For me it’s not a matter of the savings but more about comfort you just can’t beat the heat from a wood stove. When we used our gas Furness as a primary heat we would keep the house at 62 to 65 degrees and where cold all the time and had sweaters on all the time. Today for the same amount of money after buying the wood (Actually a little less) we keep the house at 72 or above all winter, and occasionally leave windows open.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Just a SWAG, but we've always figured to save anywhere from $1500-$2000 as a minimum and very likely more. That is because I do not want to feel cold when I am relaxing in the house. We keep it real warm, cut our own wood, on our own place, etc.
  11. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Prior to purchasing a new stove 5 years ago I would burn approximately 800 gallons of fuel oil. Over the past two years I have reduced the fuel oil usage to about 125 gallons for the entire burn season. October and April account for most of the oil do to the fact I'm not burning 24/7 during those months. Also, certain times during the coldest days in the winter the furnace will kick on in the early am . After I rekindle the stove it won't come on again untill the next morning.
  12. kevinlp

    kevinlp New Member

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    Last year was my first year with my stove.

    '05-'06 we used 1 gallon of propane for every 6.8 degree days.

    '06-'07 we used 1 gallon of propane for every 16.2 degree days.

    With a total of 5552 degree days for us during the period measured last year. That equated to a savings of 468.4 gallons at $2.35 and $2.65 per gallon depending of the time of the fillup. Total dollar savings of $1,221.69.
  13. kellog

    kellog New Member

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    We used 750-800 gallons less oil burning 6.5 cords per year. At $2.50/gal that’s at least $1875. We spent $500 on wood (a grapple).

    You have to figure in $1500 for a chimney, $300 for the homemade cordwood saw, $400 for the Stihl, $1500 for the splitter, and a significant amount of labor. There is still a good savings.

    But heck with the savings, I just love wood heat.
  14. Gibbonboy

    Gibbonboy New Member

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    I can't really call mine "savings", because there's no way I'd heat with oil again. But comparing past usage in our house give me the following rough estimates:

    House is 1400 sq. ft., 2-story Cape, built in 1835 with no insulation, new replacement windows, and the stove/furnaces in the basement.

    Oil-fired hot air(first few years we had the house): 1970's furnace, poor condition, maybe 70% efficient, and that's with me constantly adjusting it. Used about 900 gallons of oil. Much cheaper then, but current pricing would leave me using $2,025.00 at $2.25/gallon (no idea what exact price is now)

    Coal Stoker (Alaska Konsole II): Used approx. 5 tons of rice coal (anthracite) at approx. $90.00/ton. I bought and picked up my own coal in the summer, would be much more outside the "anthracite belt", and even more for delivery. Did not do a great job due to the stove being in the uninsulated stone basement. So about $450.00 or so for coal, but not great heat. Savings of $1575 (bought stove used for $300)

    Wood furnace (paid for with money from 2006 flood ruining my oil furnace and coal stove): Burn lots of wood, maybe 10 cords, less this year due to insulation added in basement, and fact that it's not trying to heat all the masonry down there, just the air in the plenum. Cost: Gas, Chains, and 1 bar ($15 from Baileys with a chain) Total direct cost to me: far less than $100.

    So after all that, I guess I could say I'm "saving" $1925.00 by burning wood vs. oil. But to me, the point is moot because I would never return to oil. I just couldn't, in good conscience, pay over 2 grand for something that they suck out of the ground halfway around the world, and ship it here, with the profits going to some of the nastiest, most hateful people on our planet, when I can walk 20 feet out my back door and find a renewable fuel source that doesn't really cost anything. Even if I had to pay for wood, or switch to pellets, I would rather do that then give Big Oil my hard-earned pennies.
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