Q&A PRICE OF NATURAL GAS vs. WOOD

Posted By QandA, Oct 5, 2001 at 2:20 PM

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QandA New Member 2. ```NULL ``` Staff Member

Nov 27, 2012
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Question:

I am going to purchase either a gas or wood stove this week to save money on my heating bill and make my house more comfortable.

>Because of skyrocketing energy prices a lot of us in California are asking our local stove retailers which is cheaper to use, natural gas or wood. I have gotten conflicting opinions. After exploring your web site I devised my own formula and came up with a startling cost difference that I want to share with others and get feedback on any mitigating factors to add to resolving the question of which is cheaper.

>From data on your web site, I learned that 1 cord of oak equals between 24,000,0000 and 26,000,000 BTUs. With that information I developed the following formula using the lower number of 24,000,000.

>1 cord of oak costs \$300.00 in California >1 therm of natural gas costs \$1.91 this month. Next month it will increase.

>24,000,000 BTU of Wood =240 therms of Natural Gas >240 therms X \$1.91 = \$458.00

>Conclusion: Natural gas costs \$148.00 more then Oak to produce the same amount of heat.

>QUESTION!! Does anyone find fault with the conclusion or have considerations to add to the considerations within the parameters of COST FACTORS??

>Other then the ability to turn gas on and off at command, I can't think of any other cost factors that would lower the additional expense of gas.

>Does anyone have any other ideas to contribute??

Larry, \$300 a cord is incredibly high, probably the highest price I've ever heard. You might be able to do much better by either burning other woods (even softwoods) or buying quantity of wood.

Your calcs do not take moisture content and efficiency fully into account. When all is said and done, figure that the wood is 70% efficient and the gas 80%+

The hassle factor with wood has also to be thought about.

Another factor is that space heating, like a wood stove definitely is cheaper than central heat because you don't have to warm the entire house at one.

Hope this helps.