Yet another poll. Do you need to heat with wood?

ckarotka Posted By ckarotka, Dec 9, 2010 at 12:16 AM


How many of us could afford to heat without wood but don’t?

  1. I would live in a van down by the river without my woodstove.

  2. I make my servants load the stove with gold plated woodstove tools.

  3. The budget is tight, wood heat allows some extras for my family.

  4. I don’t have to heat with wood or go broke but do because I like it.

    0 vote(s)
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  1. ckarotka

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 21, 2009
    Northwest PA on the lake
    I know alot of you guys don't have access to natural gas so it's fuel oil or wood.

    Just a thought. I know my budget is really tight and I know there be months that I would have to decide to pay the gas bill or another bill but not both. I would probably get a second job for the heating months.

    Now my second job is wood gathering, but I enjoy it to much to call it work, so in my mind it's not.
  2. NH_Wood

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 24, 2009
    southern NH
    I'm doing okay with the finances (not super by any stretch), and could afford to heat with oil if I had to. But, I KNOW I'd be cold in the house and setting the thermostat pretty low (we try to save wherever we can). I do enjoy working with wood a lot, so the 'free' heat is a big benefit, and does certainly free up some $ for other needed things. Cheers!
  3. branchburner

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 27, 2008
    southern NH
    Unless I fix the oil burner, I NEED to heat with wood. Unless daughter drops out of college, all funds head toward that, and the oil burner stays retired for now.
  4. gzecc

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 24, 2008
    Self employed, I would rather work for myself (processing firewood) than send my hard earned cash elsewhere. Its also warmer in the house with wood.
  5. Chargerman

    Feeling the Heat

    Oct 22, 2009
    SW Wisconsin
    My last house was heated with LP and when the prices shot up I decided all the free wood on the farm should not go to waste. I now live in town and have natural gas so the cost would be less. The problem is both my wife and I love the warmth of wood heat. I also enjoy working in the woods and get a little excersize in the process.
  6. TheGriz


    Dec 4, 2010
    Candler, NC
    Wood heat is my main heat source. No nifty furnace here.
  7. VCBurner

    Minister of Fire

    Jan 2, 2010
    Templeton, MA
    I'm 34 and this is my second year heating with wood. I don't know how we lived before! I get laid off a lot in the winter. Most years in November or December. There are very few years that I'm actually working through the winter. I'm still making it by the skin of my teeth. The free wood heat has become a lifeline. One thing I can count on is always being warm even during long term power outages like the ice storm of '09 brought us. We get 100 gallons of oil in November and the same in May. I would be spending at least another $12-1500 on heating cost without a stove. Do I need a stove? We made it without one before. But it certainly appears impossible to do without it now.
  8. dafattkidd

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 11, 2007
    Long Island
    I can remember this time last year my furnace struggling to keep the house above 65. In the winter I was burning 200 gallons/ month (sometimes more). Now the house is always warm, and I'm still waiting to see how much I save on oil this winter. I don't need the stove, but man is life a lot better with it.
  9. ckarotka

    Minister of Fire

    Sep 21, 2009
    Northwest PA on the lake
    Thanks for the replies all,

    I wasn't trying to pry into everyones lives, just curious to see how the current economic situation affects the decision for our heating needs. Around here there is always folks that really struggle more than I.
  10. firefighterjake

    Minister of Fire

    Jul 22, 2008
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I don't have to heat with oil . . . but when prices were running $4+ it sure was a motivating factor to switch to wood . . . and heck . . . now with prices just south of $3 a gallon it is motivation to stick with wood heat . . . that said . . . heating with wood does mean things are not as tight financially as they would be if we were having to pay that much for oil.
  11. OneCleanCutlass

    New Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Sanford Mi.
    I heat with wood because of how warm I need my house to be comfortable. I work in a plastics shop as a machine operator, and the temps of my machines run around 450 degrees, the shop usually runs around 80 - 90 degrees all winter and 100 - 110 in the summer. When we tear my machines down for cleaning, you are hovering over a very large chunk of metal at over 450 degrees scrubbing on it for hours at a time. Doing this for the last seven years has really made my tolerance for cold go away. I now freeze in a house with the temps anything lower then about 80 degrees, so I keep my house between 80 and 85 to stay comfortable.

    Four years ago was the last year we heated with propane, and we had three months in a row that ran about $450 / each month to heat the house, not to mention the other months of winter that were still also expensive. I can't even imagine what it would cost me to burn propane right now to stay comfortable LOL The previous years of burning wood I cut my own, but this year due to divorce and working on cars all the time (happens when you are a gearhead) I haven't had time to cut my own so I have been buying it. It looks like I will be able to keep my house nice and toasty all winter long for less then $500 and that is buying it already cut and split by the face cord or full cord. Next year I plan to buy a full semi load for about $1,500 and that should last me four or five years.
  12. Trktrd

    Feeling the Heat

    Nov 12, 2010
    I prefer to keep what little money I have and not give it to the electric company. Besides there is no comparison to the feel of wood heat.
  13. basswidow

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 17, 2008
    Milton GA
    I was going thru 500 gallons of propane in 3-4 weeks at ($ 1700 a fill up) $ 5500 for the season and my budget plan payment was $ 592 (I had to pay this 12 months a year).

    Paying this was putting me in the poor house. I could do it- but $ 592 is two car payments! Now I heat 100% wood that I scrounge for free.

    For me - it's all about saving money, beating the man, yet I love the heat, view, warmth, I enjoy the cutting and scrounging. It's turned me on to a new lifestyle and every home I live in from here until I die with have a wood stove. I am fully addicted.
  14. cptoneleg

    Minister of Fire

    Jul 17, 2010
    Put in a new central heat and Air last summer and had a 950.00 bill last winter ( 2 month bill ) This winter have a new stove did alittle insulating in attic and cut lots of wood. So far electric furnace has not kicked on yet, new wood stove is great. Yes wood is a must to stay warm, and a pleasure to burn.

    Thanks to this site for knowlege of my new stove

  15. billb3

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 14, 2007
    SE Mass
    Oil is main heat and hot water.
    I use the wood stove on the weekend because I am home ( might be outside, but I am home) and if it is cold during the week if I don't work too late.

    I can afford the oil, just don't like opening the yankee wallet .

    Figure I'll save the money for when I 'm too feeble to do the stove and wood thing.
    The way my 401K went I may need every penny of it.
  16. Badfish740

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 3, 2007
    I live in New Jersey where houses are expensive and property taxes are insane. If we had to shell out $1500-2000 per year on oil (like we did the first year in our house) things would get awfully tight.
  17. mainstation

    Feeling the Heat

    Jan 4, 2009
    Yes, it is imperative. Good dry firewood is cheap insulation. I need to gut and insulate an 80 year old farmhouse and burning extra wood is the answer till I get the time and money together to do a re-insulate reno.
  18. Flatbedford

    Minister of Fire

    Mar 17, 2009
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    Burning my free wood in the new Fireview saved us about $1700 in propane last year compared to the old smoke dragon the year before. I can't even imagine what it would cost to keep the house comfortable without a wood burner. The money saved sure does make things easier for us.
  19. Slow1

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 26, 2008
    Eastern MA
    We burn for a host of reasons. The financial side of it for us is a matter of being able to choose where we spend our money. I am very happy that I now have a choice of fuel to heat our house as oil was the only option before (well, I suppose we could always buy a few electric space heaters but the economics of that is far from reasonable).

    With oil at $4 when we made the decision to buy the stove it looked like a rapid return on investment even if we bought our wood. Heating oil fell to less than $2/gallon and it was still worth burning as I found ways to scrounge and collect via CL. Now oil is back up (just over $3) this winter so I can see that we'll have some good savings.

    It seems that wood prices are much more stable than the oil - so I have to say the stability of heating costs is another financial appeal to me. I don't like knowing that oil prices go up 15% or more and pull a correspondingly higher amount of money out of my family's budget from one year to the next. (Average MA cost for heating oil week of Dec 7 went from $2.74 to $3.19 in the last year, a 16% increase)
  20. raiderfan

    Feeling the Heat

    Dec 1, 2008
    Western MA
    NG for me (with a high efficiency boiler).

    but heat the basement room with a wood stove. I know one thing: that basement room is warmer and cozier than the rest of my house throughout the winter!!
  21. Stump_Branch

    Minister of Fire

    Nov 12, 2010
    Graduated college, student loans
    bought a house
    got married
    do all the renovations myself
    change my own oil
    basically do alot myself to save costs

    we have oil, cost about 500 to fill the tank. its really for emergencies. I simply dont have the money, although I probably would heat with wood if I did, as of now it is a necessity. I most certainly wont always be in such a dire position, this just affords me by some beer every now and again. take a dog to the vet, buy the wife some flowers for no reason. Its tough just starting out as everyone tells me. wood is free for me so this is one way I am able to 'save' on something.
  22. Badfish740

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 3, 2007
    Good point-if I didn't do my own auto repair, home renovation/repair, landscaping, heat with wood, etc...we certainly wouldn't be able to make the mortgage every month! Case in point-my wife bought new tires a while ago and our schedules got crazy, her car was way overdue for an oil change, the check engine light was on, and I was working two jobs at the time. She went through the paperwork and saw that she gets a discount on oil changes and free rotation since she bought the tires at the local shop so I told her to take it in, get the oil done, get the tires rotated, and have them scan the computer for the check engine light. They called me back and said it was the mass air flow sensor-$250 to replace!!! I politely said no, logged onto E-bay, found the sensor for $75 with free shipping, and installed it the following weekend ;)
  23. Monkey Wrench

    Monkey Wrench
    Feeling the Heat

    Nov 16, 2009
    On The Farm
    I got the insert becuase my wife wanted it.

    My house has oil fired hot water radiators thru-out
    All bathrooms and bedrooms ALSO have electric base board heat
    In 2006 we installed [2] 4 ton 18 seer heat-pumps 1 for upstairs 1 for down stairs
    In 2009 wife [we] had the Hampton insert installed.

    She got the insert I got 3 new Stihl Saws and a splitter. Fair deal!

    We use to burn over a 1000 gallons of oil per year. Now we use 150 gallons for hot water only. And about 20 gallons to fire up and test furnace.
    The heat pumps ran efficiently but the heat was always chilled even when the house was 70 Deg.

    The insert saves at least $2250 per yr. cost.

    Which means we have to make $3000 pay taxes, to net $2250.

    We have a large wood lot so wood is free.
  24. tjwarren

    New Member

    Apr 20, 2009
    My wife suffers from Raynauds disease and anything under 70* she's cold and hands are going numb. It's either play tug of war with the thermostat and pay through the nose to " The Man " each month . Or I can burn wood which warms to the to the bone . A happy wife is a happy life the choice was simple for me.
  25. kathyfitz

    New Member

    Oct 24, 2010
    Palomar Mountain, CA
    I could afford it, but it would stretch the budget to use the furnace and heat with propane. I don't even want to think about what it would cost and who knows what they will be charging when they fill the tank next time. We had it go up a dollar per gallon from one fill to the next a few months later, how do you budget for that?! I could afford it, but would rather spend my money on other things!
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