New to wood heat..

Dakotas Dad Posted By Dakotas Dad, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:12 AM

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  1. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Mar 19, 2009
    Central Kentucky
    Ok, 1st, hello!

    now, on to the good part.. noob questions...

    I live in central Kentucky, based on my electric bill my heating season starts in Nov, peaks in Jan and is all done by April. (two lowest electric bills last 4 years are Oct and Apr)

    Heating 2000sqft, with a Hearthstone Homestead.. Thanks to cleaning up after the ice storm, I have cut, split, stacked close to two cords, figure I will be at about 4.5 once my property is cleaned up enough to be walkable. 11 +/- acres of mixed hardwoods. At what point (about) will I be putting up "next years" wood? or is there any reasonable way to guesstimate that?

    Thanks, and thanks for the site.. read tons in the last couple weeks..

  2. SolarAndWood

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Feb 3, 2008
    Syracuse NY
    Welcome DD. It really depends on the winter, I go through 8-10 cord a year heating 24/7 with a stove. I heat about the same space but have 2 more months of heating season, a bunch of glass and am on a windy ridge. Too much dry wood is never a bad thing.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage
    Minister of Fire 2.

    Feb 14, 2007
    Welcome to the forum DD.

    Yes, it is difficult to tell how much wood you will need. You definitely are not in a cold area so I would say your needs should be on the small side. Also the stove is another factor and what type of wood you are burning.

    We used to heat with a big Ashley stove and used as much as 7 cords but usually much closer to 6 cords and sometimes as little as 5-5/12. Then we put in the Fireview and last year was just a little under 3 cords. I haven't yet figured this year but then, we aren't done heating yet either. Teens again this morning.
  4. Corey

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Nov 19, 2005
    It's going to depend a lot on factors specific to your situation. How well is the house insulated, how warm do you like it, how 'easy' is your layout to heat, do you plan to heat 24/7 or just when people are home, etc.

    As a reference, I have ~1600sf ranch w/ full basement, so-so insulation (3" in walls, 14" in attic) and heat from ~5pm at night to ~7am in the morning and 24/7 on the weekends (only when someone is home) A few 'chill chaser' fires in October, then Nov-March, and a few chill chasers in April. This usually winds up at about 2 to 2-1/2 cords.

    4+ sounds about right if you plan to heat ~24/7 all winter. You could get an approximation by figuring how much energy you used to heat. If you're looking at electricity, 1kW = 3414 btu @ ~100% efficiency. Then figure the approximate amount of wood to replace that electricity. 1 cord oak = ~24 million btu, or ~15 million btu in your house when burned @ ~60% efficiency.
  5. Bigg_Redd

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Oct 19, 2008
    Shelton, WA
    Just peck away at it. With 11 acres you ought to pretty much be able to cut up dead or down or diseased trees and not run out.
  6. CrappieKeith

    New Member 2.

    Feb 17, 2009
    Northern Mn.
    If a 3000 s/f home needs about a cord of hardwood a month burned in an efficient furnace ,you should expect a number a bit smaller or less then that.
    Although there's a ton of varibles....put up 5 cords and see what you have gone through after your 1st season.
    You could put up's only gonna make more btu's the dryer it gets.
  7. jadm

    New Member 2.

    Dec 31, 2007
    I burn mixed hardwoods too. Had a smaller insert with a 1.7 cu.ft. firebox and it went through about 2 1/2 to 3 cords a season depending on the weather.

    Last winter I upgraded to what I have now that has a firebox that is about 3 cu.ft. in size. I expected to burn a lot more wood but did not. Our winter was very mild this year which contributed to how little wood I actually used. I figured I burned as much as I did in my old insert.

    My yard space holds 4 cords of wood. I fill it to the 'brim' in March and feel less anxious about running short if I only ordered 3 cords which seems to be the average of what I have burned in the past. I figure the longer the wood sits the better it will burn and most will be burned within a 2 year time frame.

    Sounds like you have a good start on your wood supply. Time and experience with your stove will tell you how much you will go through in a season.

    Remember to stack off of the ground. It makes a big difference.

    BTW Welcome :coolsmile:
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