Paid $1.65 gallon home heating oil.

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,709
NNJ
At what point is burning wood not worth it?
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,996
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Worth what? The cost per btu of heat? Well that depends on how much you paid for the wood, efficiency of your systems, and whether you want to charge yourself for the time you spend with wood heat.
 

gzecc

Minister of Fire
Sep 24, 2008
4,709
NNJ
Worth all the physical work, cost and effort that goes into heating with wood?
I guess some would heat with wood if oil was free?
 
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Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
700
SW Missoura
It's not available here but propane is. Just like propane.... supply and demand...and law.... cause fluctuations in price. One vote for wood from me.... as it has been pretty stable here as the price for one cord has only risen about fifty bucks in my lifetime which is 32 years. Cant hurt to burn oil while it's cheap tho and keep stashing wood for hard times.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,775
Downeast Maine
I did some quick math and $250 worth of oil is equivalent BTU to a cord of mixed hardwood. Assuming the oil appliance is 90% efficient it's more cost effective, and much easier, to burn oil if you have to pay for firewood. If your firewood is free or the oil appliance is less efficient, or just less "comfortable" than wood heat, then maybe firewood seems like a more attractive option.
 
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PA. Woodsman

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
2,098
Emmaus, Pennsylvania
I think it boils down to when are you tired of doing all the work to get it? Like you said, some would probably burn wood if oil was free, but it depends on can you still get your wood for "free" or do you have physical limitations where it is starting to grind on you, so you may think "heck, I'm tired of doing wood, oil is cheap now, I'm done with wood". But that is very cheap, I pre bought oil at $1.99 about 6 weeks ago and thought that was a good deal but you've really topped that!
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,453
Woolwich nj
I would consider a change to non wood burning for the following reasons. If I had to pay for wood, if the work becomes difficult, if it becomes to time consuming. A combination of the list would cause me to burn less. I do take breaks here and there towards spring shoulder season, I have 2 gas fireplaces and there on a thermostat. Im sure down the road I'll be burning less and using the gas or oil more. Im super lucky being that I have unlimited access to free premium wood and I have alot of equipment for moving, hauling my wood. Part of this is I dont look at the cost of burning wood.. like all the toys I buy.. because I just like to do wood. What would I be doing anyway.. sitting watching TV. I dont spend alot of time doing wood anyway..
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,996
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I place no value on the work/time (some people actually pay for gym memberships!)but I wouldn't pay extra to burn wood if I had a central furnace that could make heat for the same or less cost per btu than I pay for wood. It's also not an either or proposition. I would want to have "pleasure" fires and be sure that the woodburner was working even if it did cost a bit of money. Having more than one heating system is a great idea that allows you to take advantage of cheaper variable fuel costs.

I buy logs and catalytic converters so I have an actual cost for heat with wood. It's really low.
 

Dabster13

New Member
Nov 27, 2018
48
CT
I burn wood for multiple reasons.

1. Greener than burning oil
2. I like the scrounge and organizing my wood
3. I like the comfort of a fire in the hearth.
4. It's cheaper (all my wood is free)
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,529
NE Ohio
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,125
Eastern Ontario
I was trying to round in favor of firewood, but at $1.65/gallon it's hard to justify burning wood for primary heating.
I'm retired own 200 acres of mixed forest
labour no cost (exercise)
wood no cost( paid for 35 years ago)
cost of getting wood one tank of fuel in the truck
5Galons for saw and splitter
Enjoying the bush, fresh air, wildlife, and sunshine at no cost
Heat with wood He double L yes
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,775
Downeast Maine
I'm retired own 200 acres of mixed forest
labour no cost (exercise)
wood no cost( paid for 35 years ago)
cost of getting wood one tank of fuel in the truck
5Galons for saw and splitter
Enjoying the bush, fresh air, wildlife, and sunshine at no cost
Heat with wood He double L yes
If you were 75 with nobody around to help I think your tune might be different. I cook with firewood, so I'm definitely on the side of firewood here, but can see the appeal of burning oil at $1.65/gallon, especially if it is radiant heat.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,222
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I'm not sure I really have a set price in terms of at what price per gallon of heating oil would I stop burning wood.

I mean to say for me personally it's mostly just the time I invest to cut, split, stack, etc. the wood as I have not paid for a single stick of firewood in over 12 years with the annual cost being gas, oil, occasional file, etc.

I suppose if I was unable to physically process wood and had to pay for firewood . . . and even then I am not sure . . . we lose power far too often to not want a woodstove for back up heat.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,125
Eastern Ontario
If you were 75 with nobody around to help I think your tune might be different. I cook with firewood, so I'm definitely on the side of firewood here but can see the appeal of burning oil at $1.65/gallon, especially if it is radiant heat.
I'm 71 and still pretty spry
When the time comes to quite wood it will
be propane I will use no matter what
the cost. Oil here is too expensive to burn
and Insurances companies that serve rural properties
charge a premium for coverage.
A woman down the road had her tank leak 200 gal. into
her basement. Got into the ground cost the ins co over
6 million dollars for clean up and that was 10 years ago
Also, oil here is almost 4 $ a gal.
 

Mutineer

Member
Dec 13, 2018
66
NE Ohio
I am on a 12 month fixed contract for natural gas at $2.69/mcf and I still don't ever want to turn on the gas furnace. I usually make it to after Thanksgiving before I turn up the thermostat, and that's usually because deer season opens in PA the Monday after Thanksgiving and my wife is a little softer than I and since I'm out of town for a couple of days she sneaks it on. Now the PA first day of deer is the Sat after Thanksgiving so she might get the furnace fired up a couple of days earlier.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
I'm 71 and still pretty spry
When the time comes to quite wood it will
be propane I will use no matter what
the cost. Oil here is too expensive to burn
and Insurances companies that serve rural properties
charge a premium for coverage.
A woman down the road had her tank leak 200 gal. into
her basement. Got into the ground cost the ins co over
6 million dollars for clean up and that was 10 years ago
Also, oil here is almost 4 $ a gal.
Wow, someone walked away with a pile of cash from that insurance claim. A hoe and operator for a few days plus a handful of truck loads of contaminated dirt to dispose of isn't close to $6 million. Spilling a tank truck of oil in a road ditch likely wouldn't even come to a million $.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,125
Eastern Ontario
Wow, someone walked away with a pile of cash from that insurance claim. A hoe and operator for a few days plus a handful of truck loads of contaminated dirt to dispose of isn't close to $6 million. Spilling a tank truck of oil in a road ditch likely wouldn't even come to a million $.
They had to move the house off the foundation Heritage home
build her a new house, dig out the foundation drill 4 wells. Put
in a system to keep the oil out of a river. Build a new foundation
reinstall the house and restore it. Took 4 years. Just the permits,
inspections and clearances were well over a million
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,621
Indiana
The older and more broke down I get the less appealing cutting and splitting is...there is no health benefit anymore...lol..no help as the kids are gone..I installed a Woodstock Fireside Franklin propane heater last year to take some of the work load off of me..it has made a big difference...the time is coming for me to give it up..I wont give in easily as I love wood heat! The wife cries foul with propane heat....just isnt the same..
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,996
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Just buy the wood cut , split, and could even pay them to stack it. Or buy the compressed wood blocks, they come on a pallet or one by one. People complain that wood heat requires wood processing, not true!
 
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Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,621
Indiana
Just buy the wood cut , split, and could even pay them to stack it. Or buy the compressed wood blocks, they come on a pallet or one by one. People complain that wood heat requires wood processing, not true!
I did just that this year for the first time...a local 17 year old was offering split locust for $160 a cord...I was all over this as locust is hard to come by period here and the Princess loves it! I was shocked by this young mans desire to make extra cash! Told him what I wanted and he cuts it to length and splits to my preference...I am going to buy all i can from him and take it easy this winter and maybe next year as I have 3-4 years worth of oak in the wings...
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,996
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I did just that this year for the first time...a local 17 year old was offering split locust for $160 a cord...I was all over this as locust is hard to come by period here and the Princess loves it! I was shocked by this young mans desire to make extra cash! Told him what I wanted and he cuts it to length and splits to my preference...I am going to buy all i can from him and take it easy this winter and maybe next year as I have 3-4 years worth of oak in the wings...
Great price and service. That’s barely more than I pay for raw logs of Doug fir!
 
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BigJ273

Feeling the Heat
Feb 15, 2015
311
Maryland
Paid $2.20 a gallon the other day. Not as cheap as $1.65 but a lot cheaper than the $4.50 I was paying about 7 years ago when I first started burning wood. I honestly don’t mind letting the oil baseboards kick on once or twice a day. It’s good heat, and it keeps the water flowing daily. I’m also not a big fan of burning when we’re not home. So I budget some oil expense every year. Wood burning has obviously drastically helped tho. And as we all know, it’s an obsession.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,222
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Since July I've burned approximately 23 gallons of heating oil . . . which is more or less normal as I tend to rely more on the oil boiler in the shoulder seasons when my wife just needs to warm the house up for a bit. I still cringe though every time I hear the oil boiler kick on . . . knowing that I have a huge stock of solid fuel just sitting outside, ready to go.