How much wood will I need?

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Dajolu

New Member
Nov 27, 2023
62
New York
I have been burning wood in outdoor/indoor fireplaces all my life but never have really kept track of how much wood I go through a season. I have always just bought wood green or not and burnt it without thinking to much about it. I am going to be installing a Hearthstone stove in a newley constructed dining room and should be burning more wood. My idea with the wood stove is to use from Saturday morning to Sunday night while I’m home from work (temperature permitting, I will probably not burn with outside temps over 45deg). I live on Long Island New York and lately the winters have been pretty mild. So far this year I probably would have only run the stove a few weekends. Does anyone have any idea how much wood I will go through? I think I will be burning mostly Oak. I want to start hording wood now because I know it takes Oak 3 years to season. So far I have a face cord of freshly cut/split Oak with more rounds I have to split I will probably have close to a full cord when done. My plan is to gather a good stock pile and try to find season wood to use or kiln dried until my stash is seasoned.
 
Assumptions - averaged sized house, average insulation, & average efficiency stove. In your area, I would estimate 3 to 4 cords of average firewood for a full-time wood burner during a normal winter (maybe less?). You will only be burning about 40 hours a week so let's just say 2 days a week.

The math: 3.5 cords is to 7 days of wood burning as X is to 2 days of wood burning. So, X = 1 cord. Dry Oak is better than average wood, so 0.8 cords - final answer (give or take depending on many unknowns).
 
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Assumptions - averaged sized house, average insulation, & average efficiency stove. In your area, I would estimate 3 to 4 cords of average firewood for a full-time wood burner during a normal winter (maybe less?). You will only be burning about 40 hours a week so let's just say 2 days a week.

The math: 3.5 cords is to 7 days of wood burning as X is to 2 days of wood burning. So, X = 1 cord. Dry Oak is better than average wood, so 0.8 cords - final answer (give or take depending on many unknowns).
I was figuring a cord so happy with this confirmation. I guess time will really tell.
 
I’m in Mass and work from home so I’m burning mostly during the day into the evening. Stove is too small for overnight loads. I don’t light a fire over 40 outside. I use my mini splits or NG. My house is very efficient so don’t need a lot of wood to keep the house warm. I use just over a cord in a season burning mixed hardwood. I keep 4 cords in rotation. This year might have 5.
 
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What do you have for heating currently?. Oil, gas or propane?. Once you pull out those bills its not that hard to come up with good estimate.
 
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1 cord to be safe. but probably a bit less.
 
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Try to also get some hardwood if you can that seasons quicker like, cherry, maple and Ash. Get ahead on your stash now so you have seasoned wood in 3 years.
 
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I burn through 3-4 cords a year heating 1600 SQ ft full time with wood. Lately it's been closer to 3 cords with the mild winters. I suspect a cord should do you nicely.

I agree with folks above. If you can get your hands on some other woods it'll really help your burning. Oak is King in the northeast but it does have its downsides. It coals a ton and can be finicky taking off from questionable coal beds and on cold starts. Having some faster seasoning/burning options is helpful. Cherry, maple, poplar are native choices. Ash somewhere in the middle.

Trust me. Cold starting a maple/cherry stove is way more enjoyable than oak. Oak likes a nice hot coal bed. I reload 50-75 degrees sooner when I'm burning all oak.
 
I have slow reload starts with oak and locust too. But no problems with oak in a good top down set up with some extra kindling/sleepers especially if starting with bigger splits.

Good suggestions above to mix in pine, maple or the like if you have slow starting.
 
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My key to quick cold starts is a top down fire with smaller splits. I use oak every morning mixed with maple but it is split on the smaller side. This morning I was up and cruising at 600 STT fairly quickly. I always use lumber kiln dried scraps as sleepers for air flow.
 
All great info thanks! I think the Oak that I am splitting myself I will try to cut down to fairly small cuts to maybe help with start up and with seasoning. I will look for some other wood species as well.
 
If you have a good storage spot and split on the small side you can get really nice dry oak in 2 years in here in the North East. Regular sized and big boy splits need the full 3 years to season though.

There's also good information on solar kilns all over these forums. You can power season any wood in one season this way if done correctly.
 
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All great info thanks! I think the Oak that I am splitting myself I will try to cut down to fairly small cuts to maybe help with start up and with seasoning. I will look for some other wood species as well.
My oak splits are mixed in size. I use my larger oak splits on very cold nights usually before bed. I like to give oak 3 years in the stacks. 2 years for smaller stuff.