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Thinking about switching back to wood

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Jafo, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Jafo

    Jafo Member

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    I currently have an Astoria Bay pellet insert that I have been pretty happy with. I recently acquired a lot up in the Adirondacks that has been in the family for a long time. It is loaded with hardwood. I had a small section of it logged out this year where I was building a camp and just from what the loggers left behind on the ground, I cut enough wood to heat the camp for the next 3-4 years. The ground is very rocky and the trees never get a great grip on the ground, so it comes to be that every year there is enough firewood from trees that just fall down so that I would never even have to fell a tree and yet still get tons of firewood.

    My sons and I really enjoyed cutting the firewood up at camp, and I really think this is something I would like to do every year because it really keeps you in shape. I must have lost a good 25 pounds this summer just from working up there alone. So this is leading me to consider selling the pellet stove next season and put in a wood stove insert from the proceeds. I like the idea of having heat when there is no power, not worrying about maintenance so much, and of course consuming basically free fuel.

    What do you guys think? Also, what do you think I could get for the stove after 3 years of use?
    Jack Straw, Realstone and ScotO like this.

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Anyway to do both? Use the wood when its convenient for you and the pellets when you are away/busy! Best of both worlds and no coming home to a cold house IMHO.
  3. Jafo

    Jafo Member

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    Well I only have one chimney, and am not really keen on popping a hole in the roof. I think I would have to have one or the other.
  4. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    what about direct vent through the wall?
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Come back to the good side of The Force Luke. ;lol
  6. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Will get you one of these days! :p
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Im with doing "Both". You can go up a few feet, then straight out the wall, then up the outside of the house.

    Pellet stoves and wood stoves both have there Pros and Cons. I like the Pellet automation and convenience of long burns (stays burning as long as hopper is full). Wood will stay burning, but not as long as my Pellet stoves. On Low, my 2 stoves in the house can go 2-4 days depending on temp setting and outside temp. I can get 10-12 hrs out of wood. Then thats it. Cold house :(

    If its there and its "Free" (yeah right, Free wood/ Time, equipment, gas, maintenance, work, etc). Then I see it as a viable option. Will someone be there to keep the home fires burning?

    (Used stoves can dramatically lose value. Especially depending on brand, location, and demand)
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    What do you mean "one of these days"? Still two tons of that Stove Chow you talked me into last summer left down there in the basement. :confused: But that three years worth of oak on the stacks keep drawing me.
  9. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Just made it so that your thread shows up in both the pellet and hearth rooms.

    As you know, there are merits to each. I say, if you have the boy around for a while, and it's doing you both good to process the wood, that you might as well make the switch. Also, do you have to move the wood far to get it from your cabin to your home? If so, that could be a drawback as time goes on and your wood demands require many trips (unless you have a large dump trailer or something else big to haul wood with).

    If you think this would only be for a few years (like the boy will be gone to college, etc) then perhaps just put the pellet insert in storage and buy yourself a wood insert that isn't too hard on the pocket book now, and can be sold in a few years.

    Doesn't hurt to play around.

    pen
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hard to beat quiet heat. Welcome Jafe.

    We had a pellet burner for about 5 years and it was good. I liked coming down to a warm house in the morning that was not running on propane. But now we have that with wood and I like the silent, power failure proof heat even more.
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    How big of a stove would you need? How many cords would you go through in a winter?

    Hard to say. The pellet guys would know more about the value of the used pellet stove.

    Going from a pellet stove to a wood stove I would look at the Blaze King so you still get the long cycles between feedings. If you went to a stove that only gives you 6-10 hour burns you might not be happy with the results.
  12. Jafo

    Jafo Member

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    I work from home, so I can keep the fires burning, and we also have electric heat in the house in case the stove(s) go out. I was thinking I could get about $2,000 for the insert, which would cover a nice wood stove insert that would look more like a real fireplace too. The camp is only 20 minutes from my house and we are up there just about every weekend during the spring/summer/fall (not accessible in the winter except by snowmobile). If we take a trailer load back with us once in a while, I would think we could get the wood home without much issue. My plan is to basically split up about 10 cords of wood and if that indeed does happen (lol) then shop around for either a stove or an insert. I guess I can mull over a second stove and see what I come up with.
  13. joescho

    joescho Feeling the Heat

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    If it were me, I would keep the pellet stove in storage and get the wood stove as you want, and just store the pellet stove or something. There's going to come a day where you just can't do that type of physical work anymore, and you can then replace the stove with the pellet and sell the wood stove. I would rather work with bags of pellets than wheel barrow loads of firewood. ( I do both every year). Just my 2 cents.
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, but that day could be 20-30 years from now. I would think 20-30 years from now pellet stove technology may improve quite a bit and the electronics on a 20-30 year old stove that has been sitting in storage all that time would probably need a lot of work.
    mfglickman likes this.
  15. greenbrierwv

    greenbrierwv Member

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    get a good stove and burn the wood. u dont have to be home to feed it all the time. i burn 24/7 and never get up at night or have to come home during the day to feed the stove. plus you are at the mercy of the pellet industry with pellet stoves. maybe i am bias but id go with wood given your ideal scenario. i just installed a woodstock progress hybrid and have completed a few break in fires this week. this is a very very nicely built stove and seems to be easy to operate with high efficiencies.
  16. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    You may want to wait one more year to be sure all that wood is well seasoned before you make the switch. We woodburners will happily welcome you.
  17. Jafo

    Jafo Member

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    Right, this won't be until next season (not this coming one). I already have logs down from over the winter that should be plenty for next season.
  18. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I'll buck the trend and say scrap both the wood pellet stove and wood stove idea . . . heating with fuel oil at $3.60 a gallon -- that's the ticket! ;)

    On a serious note . . . I suspect folks like me that looked at both solid fuel burning types (pellets and wood) and then made their decision will give you pros- and cons- to each and then justify why they went the way they did with their final decision. My own belief: both are a helluva lot better financially, environmentally, geo-politically and a few other "-allys" than continuing to burn heating oil . . . at least in my own case.
  19. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    It depends on one's health and ambition IMO.

    My 80 some year old grandmother still loads up her fisher for the coldest 5 weeks of the winter. She'd use it more but it's in the basement, and those stairs aren't the nicest(I'd rather her not burn at all, but I dare anyone of of ya's to tell her that ;lol )

    My buddy's 90 year old grandmother just removed her 2nd wood stove and has conceded to only burning 1, 24/7 this winter.

    Just do what whatever works, when you can.

    pen
    BrotherBart and HollowHill like this.

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