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Heating with Wood

So, we have electric heat and, of course, the winter time bills are outrageous. The biggest bill we had last year, heating 2100 sq/ft, was $730 for January.

Well, this past December I installed a Hampton HI300 wood burning stove insert in the living room fireplace. Since then we have gone from 5,188 kWH last January to 2,886 kWH this January. The bill was still for $434, but with the recent increase in electric costs, this bill would have been closer to $800. We only use the heat at night as supplement.

So, I was just curious if there was anyone else in the DP family that is heating with wood?

Edit: What kind of stove are you burning?

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You could just move to Texas. :)

The downside is that, in the absence of off-grid SHTF TEOWAWKI crisis playing out, Texas summers are intolerable.

But if you want to 'go survivalist', Texas is a great place to be in the winter. In a truly harsh winter down here we generally only run our central heat about 30-40 days per season. Autumn is very pleasant. The whole month of November is sunny and fair. Winter is mild, and it only lasts three months.

Late January is usually lukewarm with light rain showers. For example, yesterday, I was running the air conditioner because it was too stuffy--at 11 PM at night.

Support the Constitution of the United States

In North Florida

I have a Vermont Castings Encore stove. Wood runs $130 a cord for oak around here, be it live, water or otherwise. We also burn wood directly cut from our land as well. It's more stove than we need, but it's capable of holding enough fast-burning wood to make it through the night w.o re-feeding.

I have no other heat source, it's been 'necked down' to a 6" flue pipe and draws against a two-story home just fine, heating the farthest flung bedroom even during the coldest nights here (low 20's). If it didn't I would put in a floor register to increase heat flow.

More often than not it runs us out of the house.

Our heating costs for the entire winter run around $200, from late October to around early March. I had a propane stove before that. That would run us much more than that.


Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under. -- H.L. Mencken

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We heat with wood

I pestered my husband for years for a wood burning stove and he finally relented and put one in our greenhouse a few years ago. We blow the heat into the house and my son's apartment. I have a solar set up to run the fans but the sun hasn't been shining enough this winter to do much good.
We have experimented with a vertical wind generator but it is still in the works.

He hooked up with a guy that does excavating, we get more wood than we can ever use.
We had a king stove but my son broke out the glass on the door, the stove was a bit small anyway so I found an old sears parlor stove on craigslist for $150. It works okay but the top loading feature takes a bit to get used to.

One thing nice about having the greenhouse when the sun does shine the greenhouse heats the whole house without a fire.

Just a little adder to your wood stove info

Here's a Stirling engine powered fan. It runs from nothing more than the heat of the stove to move air where you want it.


thanks for link

I think this fan would work well with this sort of solar heater: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRZvAAqzXIw&feature=related


Thank you back! :)


you can have different heat....

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Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Has anyone here built a Rocket Mass heater?

I bought the book so I am going to be putting one together at some time.

very interesting . . .

it is people like you who keep new inventions coming; let *us* know how it goes!?

I need to stop bumping this thread; there are other things to be discussed--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

90% with wood, with tiny

90% with wood, with tiny electric heater for bathroom and bedroom. My heater is an old thing, no real brand name or anything.........


It works though.

Electric bill is $60 a month w/ 2600 sq ft.


good going--

those 'old things' with no brand name were the 'real deal'--


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Put out good heat, but for

Put out good heat, but for some reason it's been so warm this winter I haven't really used it much.

Warm is lows of 20 and highs of 45 or so, no reason to heat with that, so long as the sun is out.


Masonry Heater

I heat with a masonry heater. I build them for a living. I recently wrote a book about them published by Chelsea Green Publishing Company which you can buy on my website at www.masonryheaterstore.com.

I burn two fires each day that last about 2 hours each. The rest of the day we get gentle radiant heat from the surface of the heater. It's never too hot to touch and no one needs to be home all day to keep a fire burning. And there's no fire burning when we're in bed at night. Does not create creosote. We have never had the chimney cleaned in 15 years and it is still as clean as new. Check it out! And buy my book!

We use about 3 to 4 cords of wood each winter and never turn on the gas furnace. Wood heating is carbon neutral too.


nice website

I'll definitely check out your book.

My cousin

is a master mason and has built these among his many other talents. He also builds bread ovens (outside). His name is Dale Hisler. Look up his name if you have the chance. He is not hooked up to the net though. He built my sister a bread oven.

Thermal mass

There are a few of us that are designing houses based on this system.I have one on paper for my "Bug out" property.Concept understood.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

I have an oil furnace and

I have an oil furnace and coming oil prices scare me to death. I bought a Lopi Leyden wood stove last year and love it. Wood is plentiful here but you have to watch to be sure get a full cord when you pay for one. Prime tamarack runs $200 - $225 a cord, tamarck/red fir mix runs$160 - $180 a cord. You can save a bundle buying in the summer when access to the wood is easy and prices are lower. Obviously if you have the muscle to cut it yourself you can save a lot too. I think the cutting permits are $25 and of course you can cut only dead trees, but no one wants green wood anyway.

I leave my oil furnace set at 58 degrees and the only time it came on was once in subzero temps when I failed to wake up and reload the wood stove. With good tamarack, I have to reload it once at night, with red fir usually twice.



Good for you!

Independence is a wonderful thing, isn't it? Maybe some insulating can get your total energy use down some more.

I have used wood for heat since 1974. I'm a cheapskate so "wood is good" for me. I have a Morso 1125 (used $200) in the living room and a Tasso wood boiler (used $100) in the garage that heats water for radiant floor heat. I fire it up every other day.

Wood pellets are popular in Maine. Why? Cheap, clean, efficient. They are very dry, come in 40 lb bags and on sale might be $220 a ton. I would guess they have the thermal value of $350 worth of hardwood. They are made from chipped wood.


You Idiot.

Heating with wood is going to be illegal. Haven't you heard of global warming? What is your carbon footprint? Where have you been? Somebody call Big Al. Didn't you hear the prez speak about green technology? How are we going to save the planet if you burn down all the forests trying to stay warm. Geez.

Sorry couldn't resist.

Is your fireplace on an outside wall?

I was looking at fireplace inserts and the literature discouraged installing one into a fireplace that was built on an outside wall because of the obvious heat loss. But how many people have fireplaces on an inside wall, unless you have a central hearth built into the center of your home?

Just curious because it is influencing my decision on ever getting a fireplace insert.


I had no chimney at all so

I had no chimney at all so had to put one in. 6" double walled installed in the interior where I wanted the stove was right around $1000. Someone handier than me could do it a lot cheaper. I don't do crawl spaces or attics.



I have an interior chimney.

I have an interior chimney. An exterior chimney is not a problem, though, you just need to insulate the chimney liner. You can learn a lot more about that a hearth(.)com.

having said that, don't let it stop you--

the relative independence it will give you might be worth it; we had outside wall 'units' in two other homes--

and it still kept the house warm--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

ours is in the middle of a 'great room'---

dining room on one end; living room on the other; the pipe goes straight up--

it does have to go through the second floor, and we made provisions for that, and it works well, as it goes through a 'closet'--

(one that is used strictly for storage, not for clothing)

we test it all the time to see if there is any warmth coming off it--

there isn't.

this means we don't lose as much heat. It was a lot of work and expense getting all that "most expensive possible insulated piping" in, but it was well worth it--

it's nice to be able to sit or stand around a fire on all sides; it accomodates a lot of people--

this is strictly a retrofit; our much older home had no fireplace in it; it was originally heated with a coal furnace--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Steam Engines & Generators

sometimes things of the past work better (especially with modern technological tweaking):


I think I may have to build a "Green" steam engine of these this summer!

Many many thanks for the links!


this is . . .


it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

coming in here with one warning--

spouse and I bought our first woodstove about 31 years ago; it was a cheap franklin (though U.S. made at that time)--

then we moved on to the nicer morso with an interruption when we had a fireplace and had to get a stove to go inside of a fireplace (it was a nice stove, worked very well)--

we have had one chimney fire in all those years, and it was really scary--

we had to watch until the thing burned out; it never reached our roof or went down into the home, but it was a terrifying experience, as we stood out in the cold and watched it--

we are very careful to keep our pipes clean--

get the equipment you need to clean out your chimneys or hire a sweep--

right now as it is warmer for our area (hitting the low 20s during the day and not always getting to zero at night, unusually warm for this time of yera) . . . we are burning the stove lower, and more creosote forms; when it gets colder we'll be burning hotter for a while, on a weekend day to keep an eye on the chimney, to clean out the creosote; it's hard to take the chimney apart when you're using the stove, so this is how we handle it--

just a little warning--

I love wood and love heating with it, but there are considerations--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

My grandfather had told me to

My grandfather had told me to dump salt down the chimney and the fire will be extinguished.

good advice . . .

the top of our chimney is hard to reach, but this makes me wish I could remember more of what my grandfather told me. HE was one self-sufficient man. He raised/butchered or shot his meat, caught his own fish, grew his own breakfast oatmeal and could fix anything, and when he was 60 years old he footraced his grandchildren.

Born in 1901, he married very young to a woman even younger (and she was also incomparably competent), and sometimes we college-educated grandchildren laughed at his quaint way of speaking, and I would give the world to spend 5 minutes with him now.

*nostalgia day*

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--