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Started my first wood pile

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by Crash11, Apr 13, 2009.

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  1. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    I have thought about this...... but if my bark is on bottom it leaves the split sides to get more air... and yes rain as well but if i stack bark up isn't harder to get moisture out? if split side is more avail to "weather" ... people say once wood starts to dry any rain will dry off in a day or so... so wouldn't it make since to expose split sides to the sun/wind more as that will be the side where the moisture is wicked from??????
    sorry to hijack the thread and i and just confused!!

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  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    I'm not seeing the bark-side-down logic. The top of one split touches the bottom of the other so I don't see where it makes any difference which side is up WRT air flow except for the very top course. Bark adds moisture resistance so it is a natural protection for the wood under it.
  3. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    yeah... i guess my top row the bark is up facing the sun..... the rest the bark is all down to the ground
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    The only time it really makes a big difference is if the pile is never covered at all. And you are correct in that after a rain, the wood dries very fast. It is not a sponge unless it is punky to start with.

    My method of stacking probably comes from 60 years ago when I was a kid and the wood piles never got covered. We were just taught to stack with the bark up as much as possible. At that time we also never split all the wood before it was stacked. It was a nightly chore of mine to split wood and fill the woodbox on the back porch from the time I was about six until I left home. Then I found later that I really missed that chore! Life can be strange at times.
  5. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    How do you manage to only burn a cord a year? Brand new tiny house with super insulation? What is your other heat source? When I leave at 7a.m. , I load the stove and hope there are still coals going when I return at 6p.m. I only burn about three cords to heat a 1200 sf house in southern new england, but still, one cord?
  6. stockdoct

    stockdoct New Member

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    I thought the same thing ....


    I started this year thinking I would burn a cord , maybe a cord and a half. But once I caught "the bug" I burned through 2 1/2 cords as a supplement to my natural gas furnace. Next year I'm certain I'll go through 3 +. One cord is more like fireplace wood for weekend night's ambiance.

    Be careful, those 3 cords might not last as long as you think.
  7. Crash11

    Crash11 Member

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    Yeah 1 cord will be enough for a winter. I have geothermal as my main source of heat, which is really efficient. The problem is it just doesn't quite have the output to keep up in the dead of winter. Also, I only burn when I'm home from 6 pm till 6 am. I just turn my thermostat down when I'm gone.
  8. Dune

    Dune Minister of Fire

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    Well that is just cool. Good for you. Care to expand upon your description of the Geothermal system at all?
  9. Crash11

    Crash11 Member

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    The theory behind geothermal is that it uses the ground temperature (which is fairly stable year-round) to heat or cool the heat exchanger inside the unit. There's a number of ways you can do this though. The simplest is called open loop, which is where you pump water from the ground into the heat exchanger and back outside (either into a pond/stream or down into another well). Then there's closed loop, which is where you use a circulation pump (similar to the ones used for baseboard heating) to pump a water/antifreeze mix through a bunch of pipe that is buried in the ground. There's 2 ways to do open loop: horizontal or vertical. Horizontal is where you bury a bunch of pipe in trenches at around 5-7 feet deep throughout your property. Vertical is where you hire a well driller to drill a few wells around 200-300 feet deep. Then you run the pipes into the well. Horizontal costs less but isn't as efficient because the ground temp isn't as stable. Also, with horizontal you need a lot of area to bury the pipe.

    This system is identical to a heat pump other than how the BTU's are extracted. Heat pumps suck in air from outside, which is simpler but not as efficient when the air gets really warm or really cold. Living in Michigan means I can't use a heat pump in the dead of winter as the air temp is so cold the unit could never get enough heat out of it. However, the ground temp where I am is 49 degrees on average. So the only major electrical draws are the compressor, fan, and circulation pump, and the best part is that a single unit can do heating and cooling. Also, because all of the piping is buried underground and the unit is obviously indoors, there is nothing exposed to the outside elements. Very little maintenance. The only problem is it costs about 3 times what a conventional system costs.
  10. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Which configuration do you have? Any idea what size unit it is and how much electricity you consume?
  11. Crash11

    Crash11 Member

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    I did the entire heating and cooling system in my house. Currently I have a horizontal closed loop setup. I started open loop, but after a couple years the rust build-up clogged my lines. My unit is a nominal 4 ton with a 2 stage compressor. So it effectively behaves like a 2.5 ton when it's just maintaining temperature, but a 4 ton when it has to change temperature. I average about 1900 kW-hr in the coldest winter months. My electric bills this winter for Dec-Jan-Feb went $200 - $250 - $165. Those are by far my 3 largest bills every year. Most of the time I'm around $60 - $110. The beauty of it is that's my only utility bill.
  12. Crash11

    Crash11 Member

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    Update:

    I'm done!!!

    I don't burn nearly as much as most of you so this should last me about 3 years.

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  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Gives you a nice feeling when you finish a nice wood pile! Now think of the enjoyment you'll get while that is heating the house. Nice work.
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