Q&A BTUs of oil burning stoves

QandA Posted By QandA, May 26, 2007 at 6:40 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    Howdy - We have an oil-burning stove in our cabin. It is approximately 4 ft high by 5 ft wide by 3 ft deep. Inside it has 2 round tanks. You can light one or both tanks to provide heat. This is an old model, and heat simply radiates from it (no fan.)

    What I'm trying to get a handle on is the BTUs this generates, and how a wood burning stove would compare. I'd much rather have a wood burner in there for a lot of reasons - however I want to be reasonably assured that I'd get the same (or more) heat from a stove as this old thing.


    The easiest way is to work backwards from how much oil it uses. Oil contain 140,000 BTU per gallon. If the unit is vented, you can assume about 60% efficiency, so you'd see about 85,000 BTU in the home for each gallon burned. If it took 4 hours to burn a gallon, then you are operating at just over 20,000 BTU/Hour output.
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