So when is enough , enough

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Feeling the Heat
Hearth Supporter
Mar 1, 2009
403
Eastern NE
For me the busy time of the year is over. Already been six years since I {retired } from my town job and came home to take care of the farms. Harvest around here wasn't good 50 percent bean crop and 75 percent corn crop. We had a very dry year. So here's the question. I kept pretty good track of how much wood it took in the off season to heat my domestic water. Right at three cords of mostly hedge. I installed the Garn in Nov 09 and other than the two leaks in 2019 and 2021 I have ran it year around. Once in a great while the LP water heater kicks on if I am lazy and don't feed it. I have never enjoyed making firewood but its a needed evil to get farms cleaned up and use the wood. My two helpers are in there sixty's as I am. Is it time to shut down in the spring and just burn LP during the off heating season? I am not worried about cost of wood vs LP. Probably would only save a day or maybe two making that three cord. My total burn is 10-15 cord a year to heat my shop, house and domestic.
 
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I’ve been a plumber for 15 years now, if it was me I would get rid of the Lp water heater and install a heat pump/hybrid water heater, it’s the cheapest way to heat water and in the summertime it dehumidifies and cools the basement, im in Maryland and Delmarva power is offering a 700 dollar rebate with the purchase of a hybrid water heater, not sure where you are but that be worth looking into. I had an LP power vent in my house when I moved in, the first thing I did was yank it out, installed a 30amp breaker and ran some 10/2 wire over to the the hybrid. The energy guide sticker on new 50gal LP water heaters is$555 to operate a year the hybrid is $110. Hope this helps.
 
For me the busy time of the year is over. Already been six years since I {retired } from my town job and came home to take care of the farms. Harvest around here wasn't good 50 percent bean crop and 75 percent corn crop. We had a very dry year. So here's the question. I kept pretty good track of how much wood it took in the off season to heat my domestic water. Right at three cords of mostly hedge. I installed the Garn in Nov 09 and other than the two leaks in 2019 and 2021 I have ran it year around. Once in a great while the LP water heater kicks on if I am lazy and don't feed it. I have never enjoyed making firewood but its a needed evil to get farms cleaned up and use the wood. My two helpers are in there sixty's as I am. Is it time to shut down in the spring and just burn LP during the off heating season? I am not worried about cost of wood vs LP. Probably would only save a day or maybe two making that three cord. My total burn is 10-15 cord a year to heat my shop, house and domestic.
If you don’t care about the cost, then why are you hearing with wood at all? Why are you heating water with wood in the summer? Is there any drawback to letting your wood system go dormant?
 
what would you do if you didn’t have to process 15 cords a year? At some point you will be looking for options that are physically easier. I don’t see the point saving 3 cords when you but that much but at some point even 3 cords might be more than you want to process.
 
For the last thirty years I've been cutting 10 cords for my mother in law and 4 cords for myself. What makes it fun is having good equipment to process that wood!
Big saws for big wood .
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Small battery saws for small wood


Big battery saw for medium sized wood>


Medium size gas saw ( 562xp) for 30" log .
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The wood splitter is also a good one!
May 24 2018 (8).JPG

I guess for me, firewood is fun and a hobby!
 
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I have an old 25 years flat plate solar hot water system. It supplies me all the hot water I need about 7 months a year when I am not burning wood. It has one DC circulator pump fed from a solar panel and a check valve and that is it for moving parts. In the winter it preheats my incoming water by switching two valves.

Keep an eye on craigslist, frequently used SHW systems are free for the taking. As long as they are copper heat exchangers they usually are repairable.
 
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I also mostly like putting up firewood. But way too many other things competing for my time now. Especially since we got into our summer place at the ocean a half dozen years ago. So the less I burn the better. My system can heat DHW with wood about as efficiently as it could be done but I don't do it in the off season. Electric resistance there. Have 2 heat pumps in the house, supposed to be getting a third hopefully in a month or so. IMO it's not so much the cost but what else you can do with your time. Not just in putting the wood up, but everything else related. Like making a fire every day, getting rid of ashes, etc.. I get kinda tired of that routine by the time wood heating season is over.

Personal choices and options...
 
I burn from mid Oct to May depending on weather
I heat my domestic water with electricity.
I did want to heat it with the boiler but the guy who designed my system the way i wanted it convinced me it was a bad idea for my home.
At the time i had two wimonz living with me.My septic system is in clay.
His idea was with unlimited hot water the wimonz would take showers that could go on for ever, but with an electric water heater they would be limited to what hot water it could make.
Unlimited hot water would but an extra strain on the septic system that is in clay.
Made complete sense to me.
Septic system is 27 years old and still working fine
 
Absolutely no way is hot water worth the effort of processing drying moving and loading 3 cords of wood to me. I wouldn't even do it at one cord.
 
I second the HPWH suggestion. Pays for itself and gives you the added benefits of cooling and dehumidification. Not to mention the time you will save not having to feed the boiler.
 
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Love my HPWH...it uses the "waste heat" off the Kuuma wood furnace being nearby in the winter, and summer it keeps me from having to run a dehumidifier...all for peanuts per month.
 
I have an old 25 years flat plate solar hot water system. It supplies me all the hot water I need about 7 months a year when I am not burning wood. It has one DC circulator pump fed from a solar panel and a check valve and that is it for moving parts. In the winter it preheats my incoming water by switching two valves.

Keep an eye on craigslist, frequently used SHW systems are free for the taking. As long as they are copper heat exchangers they usually are repairable.
This is in my goals. 6-8 panels to heat the boiler water during those 6-7 usable solar months. DHW and possibly some shoulder season heating as well.
 
I agree that can't make hot water heater cheaper than a HPHW but I wouldn't rip out a functioning propane hot water heater to switch over to a HPHW. The cost of entry is pretty high these days. Last time I looked they were pushing 2k. When I bought mine a number ( 5....maybe ) of years ago it was 1k. Good love "greedflation".