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How much did you invest in order to burn wood, and save money? Where is your break even?

Post in 'The Gear' started by mywaynow, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    Loc:
    Northeast
    We all have needs and wants to assist us in the processing and burning of wood. Below is my list of goodies:

    VC stove and parts to update- 475
    Replacement NC30 stove- 800
    Stove pipe- 850
    Husky 359 w/bars- 585
    Stihl MS211- 210
    Husky 28 ton splitter- 1500

    Total investment 4420

    Have not had heating oil delivered since Nov 2010. Given normal conditions, would have deliveries in Jan, May and then Nov, Jan and May again. Typical deliveries were 800-1000 dollars. To date I have avoided 4 deliveries totaling 3200 minimum savings. Staked my oil tank last month and had 260 gallons left. I should be good for next winter as well with oil. Break even is just around the corner. Right now I could sell the equipment and have no wood issues for 6-7 years easy.

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  2. ClassicSWC

    ClassicSWC Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    York, Pa.
    Chimney: $1500
    Homelite saw: $250
    Electric splitter: $300
    Vigilant stove: $200 (Which has been replaced with a free Nashua)
    This is my 4th year burning. My house is total gas. Went from 184c.f. of gas down to 18c.f. in January the first year.

    I think I'm past the break even point. On top of that, for some reason, 72 degrees using the woodstove feels much,much better than 72 using the furnace.
  3. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,965
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    I replaced my woodstove in 2009 - $1800

    I replaced my saw last summer - $1000

    That's $2800 in 3 years spent solely to heat with wood

    I figure I'd be out an extra $150 per month 6 months out of the year if I heated with my baseboard heater (this is just a guess as I have never heated my house with electric heat), so. . .

    $150 x 6 = $900 per year

    I figure I'll have broke even early next winter.
  4. blacktail

    blacktail Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    559
    Loc:
    Western WA
    Closed on my house in August. Spent $2300 for insert and install in September. $400 for new saw in October. I don't care about the dollars and cents of it. I like wood heat.
    There's only been a few times my electric heat was running when I got home this winter.
  5. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    2,017
    Loc:
    Near Williamsport, PA
    Took the plunge into wood heat 3 years ago. Wood boiler, SS chimney liner, system install, 22 ton splitter, axe, safety gear, wood shed, pickaroon ,cant hook and finally interest on loan taken out to purchase system probably have me at around $15k. Excluding fuel and normal maint. on my friend's saw I think this year is break even for us. I have about 150 gallons of oil in the tank and expect to use only about 25 gallons or less per year.

    Expect to spend a few bucks more this year on a smoke hood for the boiler and maybe my own 70cc+ saw. May even look at heat storage tank in the next few years but there are so many other things we plan to spend $$ on that this will be low on the list....unless we win the lottery.

    The folks on this forum along with the fun and exercise I get from all this.....priceless :)
  6. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    Loc:
    Western PA - Steeler Country!
    Hmmmmm, not sure if I want to add it up...this counts as a hobby as well, right? :)

    Quad 4100i with SS liner installed: $3500
    Stihl 361 and bars: $680
    Ariens 27 ton splitter: $1500
    I'm not including the truck as its used for other stuff, but wood was the main reason for purchase
    I'm also not including the few bucks in oil and gas used each year.

    Grand total: around $5500-6000 invested...however, the ability to keep the house warmer with no gas is PRICELESS IMO.

    I'm saving around $900-1200 per year using the insert. Figure I need around 5+ good years to get to my break even point...I'm on year 3 already.
  7. jcjohnston

    jcjohnston Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    Livonia MI
    sure would not want to add anything up as it would likely prove my neighbors right, hard to show a savings. Of course one is or will be there, but as I have never ever in 25 years of marriage ran the natural gas furnace to 77 degrees, impossible to compare really. With wood, anytime someone wants to it can be 77 in here (and is regularly). All without any arguing over what the tstat is set on!! Wearing shorts year round; priceless, sitting here now with no shirt on; priceless, its 22 degrees out and every gas vent of every house in my neighborhood is puffing out fossil emissions; priceless. While our furnace has not been on all week and then some. Neighbors get together and we all talk most are paying 3-400. to keep they're house chilly while they sit around bundled up to keep warm. Neighbor kids come in here to play with our kids and comment it is so warm in here. So after 4 years of heating with wood, we count ourselves way ahead of the game.
  8. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,995
    Loc:
    Rochester,ny
    Is nobody's time worth anything?
    I know, you enjoy the exercise.
    Kenny
  9. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    1,369
    Loc:
    Northeast
    There are few ways to better use your time. Being outside, keeping the woods clean, making yourself as independent as possible from oil and making use of what nature is offerring; priceless.
  10. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,995
    Loc:
    Rochester,ny
    I agree. Many romantic aspects to it.
    Kenny
  11. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I look at it as Gas heat still isn't all that warm - Electric is really expensive to run and not that warm - Wood is really warm and cozy looks good and I get exercise doing it so wood it is.

    That said we spent 2300 the first year in our house the second we installed a used us stove wonder wood and chimney for 1300 and cut the gas bill in half so it didn't save anything the first year.
    the second year we installed a new Vogelzang Durango because we did not have a lot of money it was 600. We saved well over half on the gas bill with that stove over the next few years until it had a major meltdown ( China stove = Junk ) so we bought a Harman last December which had terrible customer support and tech support that got sold! Now we have had a Jotul F-50 for a few days and it is going to be here for the long haul. Not really sure if we have saved much but it sure is warmer in the house now!

    Pete
  12. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6,770
    Loc:
    Syracuse NY
    2 pretty cast iron stoves that were woefully incapable of getting the job done - don't want to talk about it chalk it up to learning
    8" Class A - $1600
    BK - $2100
    Used dump trailer - $1000 (used for many things other than firewood as well)
    LR E tires after LR Cs failed - $300
    Revived/Repowered some old splitters that hadn't been used in decades- ~$300
    Saws, new little one, revived the middle one that sat for a long time and bought big one used - $1000
    30 yo 4wd 30hp Ford with a loader - $6500 (used for many things other than firewood as well)

    Previous owner of our house we bought in 2005 was going through 4000 gallons of propane a year and not keeping the house warm. We haven't burned any propane for heat in 6 heating seasons. Paid for itself year one even with all the learning experiences. Savings since have paid for all the improvements to the house to reduce energy needs.
  13. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    703
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    Spent $3,600 on the insert and re-line, got $1,000 back on taxes.

    Cheap 18" saw, an 8 pound maul, and an axe less than $200

    Had an old pick-up that was re-purposed for wood scrounging so the wood is basically free (except for the labor of manual splitting).

    Should I add in the savings by cancelling the health club membership?

    Before the insert I used about 800 gallons of oil/year to keep the house 68Ëš in the morning, 65Ëš during the day, 68Ëš for dinner, and 58Ëš overnight.
    With the insert I use about 200 gallons a year for DHW (3 kids & a wife that like long hot showers) and keep the house in the low to mid 70s all day.

    Refurbished an old coal stove and I spend about $250 a season on coal for the really cold days, so that is another $625 spent over the first two and a half seasons.

    This year alone, with oil at $4.00/gallon I saved $2,400. Last year with oil at $3.30 I saved about $2,000. The first season the stove went in in January so I only saved about 300 gallons of oil at $3.00, $900. Total outlay $2,800 plus $625 for coal. Savings so far are $5,300 for oil. I am ahead $1,875 in two and a half seasons for a much warmer house.

    KaptJaq
  14. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    3,687
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Chimney was about a grand. Spliiter was about a grand. Saw was 300. Stove came with the house.

    Prev owners of the house were burning 1500 gallons of propane a year, so i broke even on the first year. I could recoup most of the saw and splitter money if i sold out.
  15. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,854
    Loc:
    Amanda, OH
    I tell people all the time. I don't burn wood to save money. I do it it because cutting wood, using chainsaws and tractors is my hobby. If I looked at the cost I would be in the hole. The grapple tractor was 20K by itself.
  16. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,881
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    All my saws but one were free, the newest one was 200.00 with a store credit. We replaced our old woodfurnace that came with the house 3 years ago, which the new one was around 1200.00 total after credits. So 1200 for the furnace, 200 for the saw and 400 for the chimney liner. Prior to us buying the house, they used around 2 1/2 tanks of propane without wood. So within a season everything paid for itself, easy investment.
  17. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,965
    Loc:
    Shelton, WA
    Sure. For me it's about $900 per year.
  18. wellbuilt home

    wellbuilt home Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    NY
    my costs was 2300 for stove and ss pipe in 1993 +- .
    We always scrounged wood and hauled it in my work truck( Pickup )
    I split by hand with a 20lb maul 20 bucks until 02 and then popped for a 27tn yard machine 900
    I removed the oil tanks and furnace the same year .
    3 years ago i bought a equinox from hearthstone 3000 bucks .
    I bought a Supper split the same year for 2200 .
    All my saws trucks and trailers are used in business so no cost to burning .
    I started burning because we payed to dump the logs all the time .
    Now we get paid to remove trees and either give away the wood or stock pile it in the yard or sell it .
    I'm in the game for 9000 bucks @ about 500 per year but my equipment is all new and good for 15 + years .
    The last time we bought oil it was .69 gallon .
    I think it would cost me 3/4000 a year now for heat.
  19. woodsmaster

    woodsmaster Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    Messages:
    2,526
    Loc:
    N.W. Ohio
    I have a lot of spare time in the off season at work so all though I don't make/save as much per houre as if I was working
    It still saves me about $3,000/year.
  20. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    2,830
    Loc:
    Commonwealth Of Massachussetts
    Used stove $75.
    Used class A pipe free.
    New class A tee and one section of pipe, $240
    used chainsaw, Jonsered 455 $80 16 " Sthil, free.
    Tune ups (both saws) $59 each.
    New chains about 2 a year at $16 each.
    files about 2 a year at $5.
    Fiskars splitting axes; $150 for 3
    half dozen wedges, $1.00 each
    Used splitter, $100 plus ongoing costs, likely the same as a new one in the end, but more efficient and cost effective.
    Used truck, already need one.

    Savings in oil? Thousands every year, so much so that burning wood saved me enough money to insulate the place. Payback was by the time I didn't have to fill the oil tank the very first time.
    I had scrougned up at least five cords of wood by the time I installed the stove.
    Haven't run the oil burner since '08.
  21. JoeyD

    JoeyD Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Messages:
    516
    Loc:
    South Jersey
    I've spent a little under $6000 so far. At the end of this season I figure I would have saved at least $7000 in fuel. So as long as I can keep myself from buying another saw or some other necessity ;-) I will be in the black.
  22. Hass

    Hass Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    529
    Loc:
    Alabama, NY
    Stove w/ options and tax $4300
    Chimney $1400
    22 ton Huskee Splitter - $1100
    Stihl 390 (used) - $200

    Plus misc gas, chains, bars, axes, etc...
    I absolutely love the exercise, fresh air, and the pride of heating my house all by my own doing...
    Plus it's much nicer to be in a 72-74 degee house instead of 66-68... and not cringing every time I hear the propane stove light up!
    My new stove is where my old propane stove was, so it's quite impossible for it to turn on now ;)

    Total ~$7000

    I was spending about $1800 in propane per year... Now I'm estimating $200-250 per year since I'm only using it for cooking, dhw, and dryer.
    So saving about $1500/yr, 4-5 year payback... Probably about the same time I'll be buying a new house (Having kids in a 1br house might prove to be difficult!)
    I'll probably take the stove with me when I move... and drop a cheap $200 stove in it's place ;)
    A new homeowner won't appreciate the difference between a $4k stove and a $200 stove I think.
  23. WES999

    WES999 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2008
    Messages:
    929
    Loc:
    Mass north of Boston
    Great deal on a used stove $250
    About $800 for chimney.
    A few hundred for saws, all were used, some were free, some were very cheap, some were non runners I rebuilt.

    So far I have been able to scrounge plenty of free wood, never needed to pay for any wood.
    It probably would cost around $1000/ year to heat my house using just oil.
    I haven't purchased any oil for about 3 years.
    I think that the furnace may have run maybe one time this year( only for a short time).
    So I figure I am ahead after a bit more than the first year . :)
  24. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,716
    Loc:
    WNY
    Quite honestly, I don't know. We already had the saw and truck to haul scrounges with. We needed a heat source no matter what, so it was the stove or a new boiler/radiators. We've also never heated the Cottage with propane, so I don't know how much it would cost to heat with propane. We picked up another saw for @ $120. We had to buy wood and ecobricks this year, but have several cords css'd for next season. All things considered, as a guess, I'd say we're even this year and will be ahead starting next season.
  25. oilstinks

    oilstinks Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    457
    Loc:
    western NC
    Took me a year and a half to break even no more than 2yrs.

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