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What we saved to date this year burning wood

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Apr 23, 2006.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    We just calculated what we saved on oil this year. Last year we burned roughly 1000 gallons of oil This year...300.

    We ran the Osburn starting roughly at Thanksgiving, and ending roughly March 15th. We burned about 4.5 cords of wood. The wood was mostly a mix of maple, elm (the mixed emotions of the wood burning world...burns great, sucks to split), oak, ash, apple and pine.

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    700 gallons of oil saved. Good job! So what was the cost of your oil? Looks like you will save even more the way oil prices are going.
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    locked in at 2.24/gallon. The peice of the equation I don't have...the number of heating degree days to do a real comparison.
  4. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

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    What do you figure the wood cost you?

    Did you keep your house warmer or colder than the previous year?

    -Dan
  5. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Nice job Warren!

    I was able to get my Osburn installed at the end of Jan. We burned all of Feb,March and a couple of days in April. My furnace runs more when its to warm to burn and to cool to go without heat. Anyway I was on the budget for my gas at 133.00 a month I called the gas company in Jan. and told them to take me off the budget and just pay monthly. I started with a 129.00 credit and after 3 months I still have a 85.00 credit!! At that rate my stove investment will pay for itself in about a year. Wood is free! Just some sweat equity!
  6. snowfreak

    snowfreak New Member

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    That's awesome. Plus you probably shaved a few pounds or kept them off from moving all that wood around. Was that all the wood you had for the season or did the weather warm that much that you quit burning mid march? You locked in at a really good rate, I averaged about 2.75 a gallon for kerosene without locking in. The minimum lock around here is 500 gallons and I didn't burn that much kero per year prior to installing a wood stove. Of course in a sub 1000 sq ft home you can tell the difference when the candles are burning :eek:)
  7. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    First off, my house was considerably warmer than in previous years. 68-70 vs 78-80. Happy wife!!!
    Second, I didn't loose any lbs...I think more because I tend to grab a brew or two while I'm splitting.
    Third, the wood was all free except for a replacement chain, and I figure about 3 gallons of gas, oil, and chain lube, total around 25 bucks of petrol products, and one maul handle.

    I'm now back up to a full compliment of wood for next year. There's about 7 cords out there all split and stacked, plus I have about 2 more cords of dead wood standing I still have to go cut, plus the old oak (worth about 3 cords I'm guessing), plus 3/4 of an acre someone want's me to clear this summer.
  8. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Heating degree days can be found online at NOAA. Check into www.weather.gov and click on your nearest forcast station. Somewhere buried in their menus is an area with compiled weather data, degree days should be in there.

    -- Mike
  9. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I can help you there - NY State Energy Research and Development Authority posts data for Albany and other cities throughout NY. Easy to read format too:

    http://www.nyserda.org/Energy_Information/nyepk.asp

    I have been accumulating data this year and am comparing to three years prior data when we had oil heat only. We still have the thermostat kick in at the same temperature as before, but we usually run 3-4 degrees warmer throughout the house when running the stove - this benefit is not accounted for in the results.

    Based on the heating degree day information through the end of February at my last update, I had to deduct 14% of our historical numbers to make it a fair comparison. I concluded we had saved 254 gallons of oil as of the end of February, and we are generally more comfortable due to the house being in the low 70s instead of 66-68.

    The attached plot shows a model I created in JMP to reflect the three prior years' average use corrected for the heating degree day differences in 2006 plotted in red, and this current year's usage is plotted in green. Note this also includes all domestic hot water use.

    -Colin

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  10. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Guys,

    I also saved about 700 gallons in this winter (the first one with the wood stove going 24/7. Used about 3 cords. My lockin was $2.53/gallon, so I saved about $1400. Sweat labor was 1 chain, 2 gallons of gas plus oil mixure, sharpener, gloves. About $40 in total. Plus I finally got rid of abour 10 old t shirts and sweaters that were too oldfashioned to wear but good enough for woodcutting.

    Next year will be more expensive, because I want (and got permission) for a woodsplitter. I want a Ryobi electric, but to test it I will rent a 'real' i.e. gas powered wood splitter first and see if it does all the wood I have. Then I will decide.

    Carpniels
  11. CrazyAboutOrchids

    CrazyAboutOrchids New Member

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    I used 411 gallons of oil for my 2500 sq ft colonial in CT; locked in at 2.31 pg. We spent 160 on a cord of wood, received 2 cords free. Have no idea how much we burned since we've added and subtracted rom the wood pile. I keep the thermostats set at 63 at night and 65 during the day. My family room where we spend the most time and where the Lopi Freedom is located was kept around 75 - 78 with the rest of the main level around 68 - 70. We do not have an open floor plan. Proir to the Freedom, we burned a minimum 800 gallons a year to keep the house barely warm. Our first year with the Lopi, I burned 600 gallons of oil along with running the insert, but we had a wicked cold winter where this once was quite mild.
  12. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Got a new oil delivery today and updated my analysis as shown in plot attached. Mean historical data pre-wood-stove is plotted in green based on a simple polynomial fit with corrections applied for heating degree day differences in 2006. Use after wood stove is plotted in red. (disregard year value in x-axis) Cost of the oil at our current contract price is shown on opposite Y-axis.

    Summary for year to date is 320 gallon reduction in oil use, saving $710 in cash outlay while also achieving moderate improvement in comfort levels.

    That probably works out to about $5/hr savings for my woodsplitting and hauling efforts after factoring in some depreciation for the stove/chimney... that's about minimum wage after taxes! Not so bad compared to a gym membership at least :)


    Misc. notes and assumptions:

    I have been accumulating data this year with the woodstove and am comparing to three years prior data when we had oil heat only.

    We still have the thermostat kick in at the same temperature as before, but we usually run 3-4 degrees warmer throughout the house when running the stove - this comfort benefit is not accounted for in the results. We also keep the house warm all day due to continuous burning as opposed to cycling down the thermostat during workdays. Some loss of efficiency in that regard.

    Results are corrected for heating degree days through end of March. (will update further when April data is released) Heating degree days for 2006 were 12% less than the average of the previous 3 years when I collected my pre-wood-stove oil use data. The historical use model has thus been adjusted downward to what we would have projected our use to be in 2006 with the warmer winter we have had.

    Overall I am very satisfied with the results - they are not out of line with efficiently burning ~2.5 cords of wood this year. A simple paper calculation assuming equilibrium in the house (we have good heat distribution) would suggest that we should displace ~400 gallons of oil assuming you maintain identical temperatures. Since we are keeping the house a bit warmer all winter, I am not surprised that we see a little less displacement in oil use than the simple calculation. We are certainly a lot more comfortable!

    Will continue this process over the next couple of years as we keep burning - with oil up to $2.70/gallon it's only going to look better for wood.

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  13. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    After improving my house of its defects, adding some insulation, and replacing a couple windows I went from 1,500 gallons/oil per year to around 800 gallons most of the savings attributed to repairing a major heat loss defect.

    I got my insert, and cut my oil from 800 gallons to 250/year. I bought 4 cords of wood for $680 and increased my elecricity by $100 for the year for my insert blowers plus had a chimney sweep come for $150. The oil saved minus the wood, electricity, and sweep nets me a savings of $252 for the year. Although it was a warmer than usual year, I didn't compensate for the 12% warmer because this being my first year using my insert I wasted around 12% more wood than normal while I learned and got to know how my unit works and likes things done.
  14. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    It's hard to believe, but warmer weather doesn't seem to have much impact on my wood consumption. At least in 25 years of burning wood, it never has. With a boiler, you've got a certain amount of "overhead" involved in just keeping the thing running, so that might have something to do with it. To be sure, I throw a lot more wood in the boiler on cold days than on warmer ones, but at the end of the heating season when I always total up my consumption, it's always in the range. The range depends on the house and the setup. In our last place, the range was between 10 and 12 cords. In our new place, it's looking more like 15-18. Back in the early '80s when we heated with a wood stove, it was around 5 cords per season. As I recall, the winter of '82/83 was especially warm.
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Same here. When you don't have oil, gas or electric to "come on" wood comsumption is pretty level no matter how the winter goes. We burn a little over five cords a year. year in and year out. Now that I moved my office to the basement of our house and installed the stove in it I figure two more cords a year will bite the dust.
  16. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    purchased our house last September, installed a brand new Oil furnace...1500sqft home..Calculated that we burned $3000 worth of oil!!!!!!!!! We average about $2.40/gal here..Needless to say we jsut ordered our new Avalon rainier woodstove and I already have 3 cords of hardwood cut and split..! I wont be paying that again!
  17. scfa99

    scfa99 New Member

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    Well guys, i gotta say i'm really happy. propane company just filled my tank and just called them for the final numbers. year before the quad, we went through 1744 gallons of propane. This year only 874.

    Difference 870 gallons at 1.89 / gallon = $1644.00

    Of course this doesn't factor the 10+ degree higher temperature in our house vs freezing before the quad.

    My firewood is free, yes I do harvest it myself and there is the time factor. However I enjoy it immensely so I don't factor that in. Even if I had to buy 4 cords a year it would be a win win. This year should be even better, attic insulation was about R10-R13 and I've stepped it up into the R40's.
  18. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    I figure we didn;t pay the gas company about 1200, but did pay the wood guy 350 for 10 face of split beech and ash that I used to start the scrounge pile.

    So maybe 7-800 really saved, amortized against a 3000 stove and install, but also a warmer living space. 4 seasons to pay off the wood stove isn't bad.

    Steve
  19. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    WELL, MY NEW aVALON rAINIER IS BEING INSTALLED MAY 22ND! WE SPENT 3000 IN FUEL OIL THIS WINTER..ALREADY HAVE 3 COORD SPLIT, GONNA HAVE ANOTHER 3-4 READY FOR BURNING THIS FALL
  20. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Rainier is a good stove, you'll enjoy it. And you'll enjoy the $$ you save as well I'd imagine.
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