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Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Mid Michigan, Dec 24, 2009.
Western NY, 130yr old house 1600sf, DHW, 5cord Oct1 - May1.
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"Does not matter what kind of wood you are using. Takes about the same effort to cut, split, stack, carry, and finally burn whether it is oak or maple or pine"
This is a key variable. Probably more important than which boiler you are using. Wood is not wood. 7000 btu/lb is nice in theory but seldom works out in the boiler shed.
Carry a round of locust 30 yards over brush as opposed to aspen, split a round of elm as opposed to ash, stack a cord of apple instead of hickory, cut a cord of beech and see if your loop is as sharp as cutting a cord of basswood. etc.
Then, of course, moisture content...
Insulation is the key in IMHO. We had closed cell foam sprayed in our 190 year old house last year and wood usage dropped to 5-6 cords of beach, sugar maple and ash from 9-10 before.
I was asking if the poster of this thread was going to summarize the responses. So that folks could benefit from the collective set of information. That would be a wonderful thing, much better than a collection of responses.
You could perhaps show the results as part of a calculation such as square foot/cord.
Well insulated modular ranch with a fully finished basement, heating 3400 square feet plus DHW. I burn from mid November to early April, this is my third season, but my second with my system optimized. My first season was a struggle due to lack of storage and learning curve. I am burning 8 to 9 cords per season. House is a constant 75 Deg with a .2 Deg deadband. Used to be 74 Deg, but the wife bumped it up, she is very spoiled. Warm wife = happy wife. Burning Ash, locust, maple, apple, and cherry, all very well dried and split small.
1st season with Woodmaster 4400.. cs&s 7 cord this yr...think ill be using closer to 9-10. No dhw. 1300sf poorly insulated(2x4 walls) older home.
Next summers project is to foam insulate some of the walls.
I certainly could create some chart showing what I have learned. It would be easy to come up with an average wood use for the year. The question is will that be enough.
Maybe to keep it on the fun side I should give away a prize for the most efficient. Even one for the worse efficiency just for encouragement. I have a lot of aqua-stats... that could be a nice price for the winner. Just have to drive hear and get it......just kidding.
2700 sq ft 110 yr old farmhouse, foam in some walls (R28) First year with new boiler, 3 cords so far. House at 72
This is so true... I think the Btu content of a species of firewood must be directly proportional to the amount of elbow grease required to process it. Most of the wood I cut and split last spring was gnarly Hickory. Ugh... terrible terrible stuff... hard on chains and chainsaws, hard on splitters, just plain hard. It does pump out the Btu's though.
I've conceded that if I am going to buy wood already processed, it's worth the time to look for someone with the good stuff... it means less handling for me without much added cost over junk firewood. If I am going to cut, split, haul, and stack it myself... I'll take what I can get, and have no issues splitting up some nice soft maple, poplar, or ash, even if it means processing a little larger volume for the yearly requirement.
3400 sq. ft in Vermont, with DHW from Sept.1 2008 - 9/1/09 4.5 cords (and 23 gal. oil, I'm sorry I only fired once a week from May 15-Sept. )
Nothern New Brunswick, Canada. 1700 Sq. Ft. space heating. DHW for 12 monthes. ..6-7 Cords.
Garn WHS 1500
Mid Michigan, I think you can crunch the information and show a set of data points which should be very interesting; outliers will be interesting. You can also show results versus brand and or location. There is a free browser application that maps user versus location. It is kinda fun to look at where everybody is, you can use map icons that are performance based and therefore the map location would also contain performance versus location.
I will look of the app. for you.
Here it is and it is a cool setup
This example is a International Harvester map, check it out.
Googlemaps has a pretty handy map feature where you can pinpoint markers and share with friends.
6 cords oct 1 2008 - may 15 2009, 2700 sq.ft. plus 24x28x13 high garage domestic water in heating season , Prince Edward Island thermostats are set at 20-21 c 2.5 cords so far this year
First full season this winter will prob go through around 5 cords.
2600 sqft ranch, DHW, and around 70 all the time.
God Bless and Merry Christma, All the best for the new year!!
Southern Tennessee, an inefficient 4800 sf, no storage or DHW yet, Humm.... Burning poorly seasoned oak and hickory so consumption this first season high. But extrapolating from 6 weeks of operations.... 6-8 chords.
My first winter so this is just an estimate.
Central NY, brand new house well insulated (SIPs), 1680 sqft+ heated basement (also well insulated), side arm for DHW, radiant floor and radiators, a comfy 68 in the evenings, approx 1.5 cords so far, guessing 3.0-3.5/yr.
Central Maine, Tarm Solo 30 with 670 gallons unpressurized storage, also heating DHW year round. 2500 sq ft plus basement, approx 5.5 cords.
Northern In. Heating 1600 sq. ft. 100 year old farmhouse, DHW & 550 sq. ft. boiler room.Burning
mainly ash. little over 3 cords so far.
Western Washington, 1700 sqft, Essex 1000, SIP construction, 500 gal storage, 3 cord/per 6 months rate, softwood