My first month WB heating bill arrived.

Benchwrench Posted By Benchwrench, Feb 8, 2012 at 2:09 PM

  1. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench
    Burning Hunk

    Sep 1, 2011
    233
    35
    Loc:
    State of Confusion
    In the past our heating bill for natural gas hovered around $350 per month to just take the chill out of the air in order to heat this home during the winter months, this doesn't mean being toasty warm, it just means we aren't freezing our tooshies. If I spent $500 per month on natural gas then this place would probably be above 70.

    As an experiment, I wanted to see if I could actually heat this place solely on wood. It was a challenge to always keep a ready wood supply handy but succeeded in doing so.
    Our very first heating bill arrived last month from our friendly natural gas company now that we're solely heating with wood using our newly installed Quad insert and to my amazement our natural gas bill was a meager $28.71 .

    Can you say[​IMG] I sure can, that's what it is in the summer months when we're just heating water for dishes and showers.
    I figure at this rate in 5 years I'll be at the break even point of this wood burning investment and hope for many more wood heating years to come.
     
  2. Hass

    Hass
    Minister of Fire

    Mar 20, 2011
    529
    11
    Loc:
    Alabama, NY
    Congrats!
    Are you keeping the house warmer now too? :)
     
  3. corey21

    corey21
    Minister of Fire

    Oct 28, 2010
    2,245
    294
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    Congrats.

    I bet the place warmer.
     
  4. xjcamaro89

    xjcamaro89
    Member

    Feb 1, 2011
    112
    1
    Loc:
    New Castle, PA
    Its awesome! Last year, the first year i used a wood stove, i saved over $1200 in oil, and went from 4 fills a heating season, to one fill a year. My stove paid for itself in the first year, and is paying for new windows this year!
     
  5. Woodrow

    Woodrow
    New Member

    Jan 13, 2012
    63
    4
    Loc:
    Virginia
    I have a heat pump that's used for winter heating unless the fireplace insert is being used. When I started heating almost solely with wood, and my winter bill dropped into the $50/month range, it was flagged by the electric company's billing service due to "statistical anomalies." They actually sent a technician out to make sure the meter wasn't broken and/or to ensure I wasn't stealing from them. He checked the meter, scratched his head and then looked at my massive wood stack before the lightbulb went off. I had a real sense of satisfaction, pride and joy waving goodbye to him as he backed his truck out of my driveway. :lol:
     
  6. davmor

    davmor
    Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    200
    7
    Loc:
    Northern Michigan
    That's great, nice when you can stick it to the man :). I like to keep our NG bill around $50.00 in the winter if I can. It usually runs around $30.00 in the summer so I think we are doing okay. The only reason it is a little more is I let the furnace come on in the morning to heat the crawlspace. One nice thing is having a warm house in the winter.
     
  7. robertmcw

    robertmcw
    Member

    Aug 27, 2008
    130
    6
    Loc:
    Texas
    Before I got my insert, I would use a wheelbarrow full of wood and build the fire in my firepalce and use all it in about 4 – 5 hours. I still needed to use the propane to keep the place warm. Now I can use same amount of wood A DAY, in a 24 hours time frame, and on the not too cold days, that wheelbarrow full can last a day and a half or better and I don’t use much propane (for the hot water, the oven and on the shoulder months). I have found if I add one or two splits every three or four hours, the place keeps in the 75 - 78 degree mark pretty constant. I have a 1200 sq ft home with a lot of single glass windows.

    I save from $1,200.00 - $1,500.00 a year using my insert and I cut my own wood and I have used tools and a used insert from CL, and I have about $2,500.00 total for the stuff I need (the insert the log splitter) but that does not count the truck, my saw or the ax and the oil, etc. This year the costs will break even and next year I will save the $1,200.00 - $1,500.00 in my IRA or my savings or may give to my wife, but the point I am saving a lot every year. My time is cheep because I am retired and I need to save any penny I can and at my age (I am 61) I need to work out when I can so I don’t mold or rust.

    Sorry for going this on and on and on and .........................

    Robert
     
  8. plenzlerjm

    plenzlerjm
    New Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    23
    0
    Loc:
    Maryland
    Congrats! That is awesome! (Like sticking it to the man!) ;)
     
  9. Benchwrench

    Benchwrench
    Burning Hunk

    Sep 1, 2011
    233
    35
    Loc:
    State of Confusion
    Absolutely warmer.

    I found out our 3 cu ft. firebox is good for about 35-40 degrees difference from outside temps for nominal usage.
    If it gets down to the teens, the insert works hard all day just to try and get up to 65 degrees
     
  10. BobUrban

    BobUrban
    Minister of Fire

    Jul 24, 2010
    1,922
    1,133
    Loc:
    Central Michigan
    After working on my mountain of rounds(CSSing) this evening I walked over and took a look at the gage on the propane tank and it has barely moved from the full 80lbs and remains above 70lbs. By this time last year I was nursing the last of my second fill at around 600 a pop and would go through 3 tanks a year. I realize now that I will not be buying into the price cap next year because I wont be filling again for a year or more. I have about 3G into the chimney install and hearth and also plan to throw down the jack for an NC-30 in the next month or so as well as another couple pallets of the 100yr old brick pavers I used for the hearth to expand it at 80.00 a pallet so I will be in for about 4G but it is all paying for itself in a year or two. The best thing is I am not wearing 3 sweaters and a hoodie all the time with my thermo at 60 to try and save my money. Instead I am not even wearing socks on my feet and keeping the house in the 70's. I am loving this.
     
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire

    Feb 14, 2007
    27,815
    7,367
    Loc:
    Michigan
    That has to be a great feeling not having those monthly bills. The bad part of heating with oil or gas is that it is never ending. So, this will mean money in the bank for you once you gain the savings to pay for the wood stove.
     
  12. piejam

    piejam
    Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    230
    1
    Congrats on that bill!! That's impressive..Can a girl ask a silly question? Should one run the heating system once in a while to keep things moving? Is non usage bad for a furnace? ok that was 3 questions...

    Just want to educate myself-thanks...
     
  13. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie
    Minister of Fire

    Dec 18, 2011
    570
    258
    Woo Hoo!!!
     
  14. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie
    Minister of Fire

    Dec 18, 2011
    570
    258
    Not a silly question. Some homes have forced hot water and if it doesn't run there maybe places where the water sits in the pipes and if the pipes freeze, because the water isn't running and they're exposed to the cold air from something like an unheated garage or such, then when the water freezes it cause cause the pipes to burst open.. and ut-oh, that get's expensive.

    Not a bad idea to run the heat for even a few minutes everyday, if you have this kind of heat.. forced hot water, and any exposed pipes to outside walls or crawl spaces etc.

    Note there are other fixes for this.
     
  15. piejam

    piejam
    Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    230
    1
    Thanks for the courtesy-I have forced warm air..with a condensing furnace..good nite all
     
  16. Woodrow

    Woodrow
    New Member

    Jan 13, 2012
    63
    4
    Loc:
    Virginia
    I'm not the world's expert, but I don't think it's doing my heat pump any harm to leave it off almost all the time. I certainly use it in the summer anyway for A/C. Once in a while it'll kick on in the morning for a few minutes just before I get up and reload the stove. And there are times when I let the fire die down to remove ashes and I run it a bit to take the edge off of the chill before getting a relight going on. But that's another great side effect of heating with wood - the heater doesn't get as much usage which greatly decreases the hours on the unit, thereby extending both its lifespan AND time between failures. This makes both replacement and repairs much less frequent. That saves a lotta money right there and that's not even considering the daily energy savings! WOOOOO. HOOOOOOOOOOOOO. :lol:

     
  17. amellefson

    amellefson
    Member

    Jan 3, 2011
    122
    2
    Loc:
    Southern WI
    Funny...I came up with the same rough numbers for my house. I confess I have not burned 24/7 but it is still a great feeling to rebel against "the man".

    Tony
     
  18. piejam

    piejam
    Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    230
    1
    Being I don't know about these things I figure its like..hmm...a car..wouldn't you start it up and run every so often ? With all the motors and internal parts I was curious..especially if you have a condensing furnace...I just didn't know...
     
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart
    Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    32,491
    9,682
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Yep. Run it at least once a month to keep it in working order.
     
  20. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon
    Minister of Fire

    Dec 25, 2007
    1,837
    201
    Loc:
    Champlain Valley, Vermont
    Definitely, definitely worth paying for one call from your local heating and plumbing guy to look at the system you have and tell you. Mine, a somewhat fancy new hot-water boiler, got its valves all rusted up and non-functional after having it turned off over the spring/summer/fall. I discovered this when we had -20 overnight, the stove couldn't begin to keep up, and the boiler wouldn't produce much heat.

    Unless I flip the switch to turn it off altogether, mine runs for about 60 seconds two or three times a day no matter what the thermostat is set at, to keep its systems in working order. I could almost certainly get away with turning it off and putting it on manually for 10 minutes once a month or so, but I decided to let it just do what it thinks is best and not have it depend on my remembering. That was one really big scare, and I don't want to risk it again. (Not to mention the cost of the emergency call from the heating guy)

    Also around here, if the boiler/furnace doesn't run ever over the summer and fall, that chimney invariably ends up hosting a very large nest of yellowjackets or hornets, which is hell on wheels when the guy comes to do the annual cleaning and maintenance, or the chimney sweep to clean the chimney itself.

    Find out what your particular system, make and model and year, requires to keep itself in shape and do that. Don't guess.
     
  21. piejam

    piejam
    Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    230
    1
    Just got a new system..when I read what the OP said, and saw how low his bill was..the thought crossed my mind..Thanks to all..Always do get good advice here!
     
  22. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake
    Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    17,138
    3,582
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Not silly at all . . . I usually have my oil boiler (hot water baseboard) cleaned and inspected every other year just to make sure things are still good since this is my back up heat source when I am not home and I want to be sure it is in good working order.

    In the Winter I do not purposefully run the boiler every week or every month (the exception being when the temps dip below freezing -- at which point I typically run the boiler a couple times during the day to help move the heated water through the pipes to prevent frozen pipes and to help heat up the entire home better) . . . however at some point in the winter there will be a time when I do not get up early enough to reload the stove in the morning and the heat will kick on . . . I never worry too much about this since the usage is minimal and I figure it's a good way to keep things in good working order . . . but hearing the ticking of the radiator is an incentive to get out of the warm bed and reload the woodstove.
     
  23. kettensäge

    kettensäge
    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 18, 2011
    441
    16
    Loc:
    N.E. PA.
    Won't hurt to leave a heat pump turned off. Mine was off from early December until just last week. Gave her a little exercise since it was in the 50's out and a little too warm to burn.
     

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