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Unhappy with your stove/fireplace... and using wood? Do tell...!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Mr. Kelly, Nov 15, 2009.

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  1. MovingOffGrid

    MovingOffGrid Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
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    North Cascade Mtns
    Mr. Kelly ... so this thread is where the party is eh !

    2500 sq ft home
    Cascade Mountains, now freezing outside - first snow at our elevation is on verge
    One wood stove, big central chimney and good dry wood
    Furnace is off - we leave a few windows cracked all winter - fresh mountain air inside, and we're always toasty warm
    I enjoy the grunt work and stay fitter because of it
    Wifey loves the heat and doesn't ask me to help with dishes

    It's the simple things in life
    must be a primordial thing :)

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  2. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    I pay about .18/KWH. Electricity is a lot more expensive in CT!
  3. tiber

    tiber New Member

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  4. CowboyAndy

    CowboyAndy New Member

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    are you my son!?!?!?!?!?!?


    in all seriousness... i know im late to the party... but my 2 cents.


    mr kelly, nor you or your wife will regret this when you are opening windows in january because its 90 in the house and even though you are wearing shorts and a t shirt you are still hot.


    for me, we made the switch out of nessicity. our oil bill was around 4k a year, to keep the house at 66*.

    we dropped 5500 on a wood oil combo furnace and new ss chimney liner. it will pay for itself by the end of this month. yes, i went out and bought 2 saws, chains, gear and a trailer totalling almost a grand (not all at once).

    me and my 2 older kids spend the majority of late winter and early spring cutting, stacking and splitting wood in the snow, mud and rain. we burn 8 cords a year, and that much firewood SUCKS.

    but relaxing on the couch in a tshirt and shorts in feb is AWESOME. average temp in out house now is 74.
  5. woodsprite

    woodsprite New Member

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    Loc:
    sudbury, ontario
    Mr. Kelly, your wife just might surprise you! Not ALL women hate the work that comes with wood burning. I am a single woman and am in the midst of stacking the four cords that got delivered today...ran out of daylight before done...grrrrrr! Like a lot of people I saw post on here, it was the incomparable warmth I was looking for. My 80 yr old house was never warm enough...and it is horrible having to go outside in the winter when you are already cold. I decided this year that I would be WARM. So far we are loving it, and for the first time since I was a kid I am actually looking forward to winter! The fact that I am saving money on my heating bills is an added bonus. Once she gets a taste of that bone warming heat and the ambiance a stove adds to your home, my bet is she'll be hooked, especially since she has already helped you stack wood. I agree with the other's suggestions tho...keep the mess down as much as you can if you want to stay on her good side!
  6. mtj53

    mtj53 Member

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    Loc:
    Northwest Illinois
    I've only been hanging around here for a couple years, sure learned an awful lot, new fireplace this year and for the first time in 20 years our house is as warm as we want it, would never go back to the old days! That being said, it is alot of work, tell your wife though not to worry, you'll help her with the wood once in awhile
    ;-)
  7. Mr. Kelly

    Mr. Kelly Member

    Joined:
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    Hey Ms. Woodsprite!

    Fancy meeting you here!

    Yes, my wife is slowly coming to terms with it. Not sure she'll really "get" it, until she's sitting in a room at 72degrees (21C), which would have previously been 65 degrees!

    She's actually seen me go through the whole process of doing a pathetic amount of research, be on this site hour after hour, and make trip after trip to dealers. She just says, "Why don't you just pick one out and BUY it!". I tell her I'd hate to make what would turn out to be a $4,000 mistake. So I continue to ask question after question, and keep on keepin' on.

    So, it will likely now be another month, or so, until I can get all the installation problems ironed out, and I get all the other problems solved, but with only 3 cords of wood stacked outside, starting late may not be such a bad thing!

    How much do they get for kiln-dried wood up there in your neck in Ontario? Never even seen it advertised down here in MA.

    Cheers!
  8. woodjack

    woodjack Minister of Fire

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    I like to do a lot of research, too. But, sometimes it's such a relief to “Why don’t you just pick one out and BUY it!”. If you're checking out top of the line stoves you'll probably fall in love with anything you bring home .
  9. woodsprite

    woodsprite New Member

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    It's good that your wife has seen how much research you've been doing...it shows that you are approaching this really carefully.

    Another MONTH? Jeez, that must seem like a long time to wait!

    I paid $120 a cord for what I just got (yellow birch and maple, split, kiln dried)...it is pricey, but because I waited so late to get my wood it was pretty much my only option to make sure I got dry wood. There was absolutely no dry hardwood to be found by the time I started looking. Next year I'll be better prepared. I think I'm going to stock up in the spring so it will have all summer to dry. An added bonus is my gigantic wood pile is effectively blocking out the view of my nasty neighbours! :) I've been wanting to put up a fence for ages...imagine my delight when I figured out my woodpile is doing double duty!
  10. Mr. Kelly

    Mr. Kelly Member

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    Geeze... that's quite a bargain for kiln-dried wood. We pay at least $250.00 a cord for what is being called "seasoned" wood around here. It's pretty well known on here that if your wood hasn't been sitting for, say, 2x years, that it's probably not going burn as efficiently. Not sure what to do with the 3x cords that are out there waiting. Not sure I could convince wife for us to spend another $700.00 to get 3x more cords delivered for seasoning!

    btw, you call it being careful... she calls it obsessive!
  11. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    You must be talking face cords. That'd be $360 for a real cord.
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    WS, why not get wood now, for next year? More drying time :)

    I, too, am building my stacks to use as a fence from the neighbors. It's shaping up nicely !!!!
  13. woodsprite

    woodsprite New Member

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    Yes, it is a face cord...no one seems to sell "real" cords up here. And Eileen, I agree that it would be good to start my wood for next season now, but I just paid cash for my new stove AND all the wood I just bought...I have to let my pocket book recoup a bit! Glad to hear you are enjoying the double duty woodpile/fence, too!
  14. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Weird what a difference 780 miles makes. They only talk real cords here.
  15. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Then you are forgiven [​IMG]

    Put the word out, you're looking for wood. Friends, neighbors ( well, not the wood fence neighbors [​IMG]), you get the drift !!

    Mr. Kelly, these convo's could be your Mrs. convo's ;-)
  16. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    South West, VA
    Burning wood was the hardest work I had ever done back in Maine. 8-10 cords a year. Back ache. TIME. Takes alot of time. And I was in my 30s and 40s. Now I'm in my mid-50s, getting back into it, and after stacking a couple cords of bought wood and pondering the whole process of cutting, splitting and stacking myself I hope my back holds out. All those years of using a Monster Maul (which I still have) can put some muscle on you. Not to mention every other part of the process. At this point I believe a log splitter will be part of the budget. And some kind of vehicle to get the trees off the mountain.

    So, yes, it is a ton of money, and a ton of time, and a ton of effort. But, it takes us "off the grid" in a major way. AND wood heat is very nice. I am just thankful I don't live in Maine anymore.
  17. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    What's wrong with living in Maine?
  18. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    8 - 10 cords of wood every winter for 12+ years is what I found tough about living in Maine. Not to mention 100+ inches of snow every year, and piles ten feet high with nowhere else to throw it. Not to mention 30 million types of bugs, which all bite. It's the only place I have ever been that has bugs in the dead of winter all over the snow. The only ones the DIDN'T bite. Too cold to open their mandibles or something.
  19. maverick06

    maverick06 Minister of Fire

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    I have oil, central heat pump, and a wood insert. I like to use the heatpump until the high doesnt hit 45 for the day, then i switch to the wood insert. Since I am buying my wood I figure this is a good temerature to switch. The wife and i really enjoy the wood stove, its great. Couldnt be better. Between it and the heatpump our heating costs are surprisingly low! And I love the aspect that the majority of my power is coal/nuclear and the wood is all locally sourced, no dollars going overseas! And the wood is mostly stuff from landscapers so it would have been disposed of if not burned.... both methods release the co2, so I guess I am saving money, not giving it to foreigners, and minimizing the carbon in the air.... all the while keeping myself warm. Thats pretty good.
  20. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    HehHeh . . . you must have been living in the County!

    Now you didn't hear this from me since we all have a concerted effort to make folks from away believe Maine is a barren, snow-covered wasteland that they should only visit in the Summer and leave tourist money behind. ;)

    My experience . . . last year I burned 4-6 cords of wood (I didn't keep track too well) . . . snow was deep in places and the winter was long (perfect for me since I love snowmobiling . . . and when we had enough of it we went to the Bahamas for a week) . . . no bugs spotted in the winter.

    That said, I do hate one time of year . . . Black Fly season. Those 2-4 weeks are the worse weeks of the year every year . . .
  21. grommal

    grommal Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Eastern PA
    I'm in my 50s now as well. I used to split everything with axes, wedges, sledgehammers. Not only a lot of work, but dangerous (especially the wedges part!). If you can wait for late spring, you might be able to get a great deal on leftover splitters. Stores were clearing them out, sometimes for 70% off, around here when the weather warmed up last spring. I snagged a little 8 ton gas splitter for $241, which has worked well for a fair amount of splitting this past summer.

    This is my 24th season of burning. Is it a lot of work? Yes, but it's good, honest, healthy work. Does it cost a lot of money? No way! Even if I purchased every piece of wood I burn (I don't), and even taking the costs of the stove and other equipment into accout, it saves me a bundle compared to the system in my all-electric heat-pumped house. But, it saves me even more, since I scrounge some of my wood, or buy really cheap yet really nice oak dropoffs from a pallet company when available. I also do my own stove maintenance and chimney sweeping, so that cuts those costs to almost zero.

    I'm working on staying healthy and active enough so that I'll still be burning my beloved new Oslo after another 24 seasons, or more!
  22. STANG302

    STANG302 Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Osceola, WI
    A little late to the conversation. But your wife sounds like my mother. Only she has been afraid of fire since her house burned down as a child. Some how my father convinced her to put a quadrafire 3100 in the living room. Well that didn't last and don't think it got used 20 day's in 4-5 years. She thought that it was just to dangerous and to much of a pain to load it all the time. She did like the heat just not how it got there. So after my aunt and uncle put corn stove in there farm house. She eventualy started liking the idea of a corn/pellet stove. And found it labor free and safe enough in her eyes. So they pulled the quadra fire out and put in a pellet stove. She's finaly happy and the stove runs 24/7 and is the primary heat source for there house. But does complain that it gets to hot! why I don't know? It will get the upstairs over 70 degrees without flinching.

    So the quadrafire awaits install into my house next summer!
  23. REF1

    REF1 Feeling the Heat

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    Firefighterjake,

    I found Bangor to be an interesting place for Maine. Three hours North of me (I lived on the NH border in Fryeburg). I didn't go there in winter many times, but when I did it always seemed warmer. Flat too. Seemed so flat for Maine, but I lived near the mountains, so my surroundings carved my image of Maine.

    To me, Maine was a place to harvest mosquitoes. I had no idea just how unbelievably evil mosquitoes can be. Hundreds, thousands swarming, trying to get through the deep woods Off, the Cutters, and any other Deet product available. Black flies were not our problem. They could be found in millions just 15 minutes away, but the mosquitoes ... hell on earth until the heat killed them off. But then the noseeums came out, and the other flies, and ... I had enough. Then there were the mosquitoes that hibernated in the wood pile and flew around the house when the fire wood got brought in. Mosquitoes in January!

    No one ever did tell me what those snow fleas actually are called, or what they actually are.

    If I never see another snowflake, I shall not complain. No one living in moderate climates realizes how far 25' to the wood pile is, when it's trudging through a couple feet of new snow.

    But the sugar maples burned well. All 33" of it in my 36" Cat Elm. N
  24. Mr. Kelly

    Mr. Kelly Member

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    What took you away from the great north? Where exactly are you? You must get some snow there, no? Are you, for the most part, mosquito/blackfly free down there? I remember a few years ago, when I lived in an urban area near Boston, you wouldn't see a MS/BF if your life depended on it. I forgot the novelty. Then, we moved to the boonies. HELP!! It's only 30 miles away, but you'd think you were in the outback of northern Ontario - at least as far as bugs go in the summer. Uggghhh.
  25. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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    Yup, they're snow fleas....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snow_flea

    I saw 'em a few times growing up in MA.
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