Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
burning wood compared to gas
Old 04-17-2011, 10:59 AM   #1
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: dubuque
Posts: 618
burning wood compared to gas

my neighbor burns wood and I burn natural gas. my heating cost runs approx. 120. per month year round. he purchased an outdoor wood boiler and he buys a load of wood every year. He told me that he paid 7k for the boiler and it costs 750. for a semi load of wood, which he has to cut up and split and stack. I was curious to see if anyone else burns wood on this site and how it compares to gas.
__________________

__________________
frank is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-17-2011, 11:13 AM   #2
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
We burn some wood in a fireplace up north, but it's mostly scrap from projects or demolition rather than cutting trees down for heat.

A friend uses and installed those outdoor boiler units for 5-10 years but has stopped - while they used to slip between the environmental quality regulation cracks things have tightened up in Oregon. While his house stayed very comfortable and he had endless hot water and didn't bring dirt into the house with his firewood the boiler unit was a smudge-pot mess. The chimney drooled carbon down the outside and the constant damped down fire added plenty of smoke to the air, which, even if the boiler is placed downwind of the house, tends to piss off the neighbors. The fire box does take long lengths, so there is half or less cutting involved, which is good.

We were tempted, but went with a bit more civilized option.
__________________

__________________
calmloki is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 11:28 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
pb4uski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vermont & Sarasota, FL
Posts: 16,439
We burn wood in a wood stove that is supplemental to our central heating system which is fuel oil. We usually get the woodstove going to just make the family room a little toastier and the heat drifts upstairs as well.

The new place we are in process of finishing will be similar, propane central heating system and a woodstove for supplemental heating.
__________________
pb4uski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:14 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 11,044
My dad has the option to heat his house either via heating oil or wood burning. When oil prices are high, he heats up the house mostly with wood burning. He doesn't have to pay for the wood, but preparing firewood still requires time, effort, and storage space. So, when oil prices are low enough to justify the convenience, he goes for the heating oil supplemented by an occasional wood fire.
__________________
FIREd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:24 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
freebird5825's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: East Nowhere, 43N Latitude, NY
Posts: 9,017
I burn wood in an upstairs living room fireplace to supplement a gas fueled closed loop water type heating system during the below zero stretches.
My wood supplier brings it cut to length and helps me stack the 2 face cords ($60 seasoned, $50 green for next year) in an outdoor wood shed.
This year, I paid a young man to carry 1 face cord up to the covered porch for easier access. I go through approx 1 face cord per winter season.
Sorry I have no comparison data to offer.
__________________
"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
freebird5825 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 309
We heated our house (Oregon) with wood this winter cost $500 total.
It keeps our house about 70 degrees. We usually get the fir for $150/cord.
__________________
homestead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 01:26 PM   #7
Administrator
W2R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 38,905
It really doesn't get cold enough in New Orleans to use much heat of any kind in a well insulated house. I have gone completely without heat with no real discomfort, during some LBYM winters, simply using extra blankets and warm clothing.

When I lived in Texas, I knew some Canadians who told me about chopping, selling, and using firewood from their acreage in Nova Scotia for free heat. Sounded pretty grim to me at the time. I guess if you bought it, much of the back breaking work would be eliminated.
__________________
Already we are boldly launched upon the deep; but soon we shall be lost in its unshored, harbourless immensities.

- - H. Melville, 1851
W2R is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 02:15 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,738
I would really like to burn wood. I have lots of free wood available from my property and I don't mind the cutting and splitting. However, all we have now is a fireplace without an insert. So it is only useful for no heating fires. Fireplace is custom and the insert would also have to be custom. DW is not in favor of cluttering up the living space with a wood stove. Don't want to go through the hassle and expense ($15k) of a wood burning furnace when clean, cheap natural gas is available.
It seems kind of a paradox to me.
__________________
Free to canoe
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 02:27 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
haha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Hooverville
Posts: 22,386
Quote:
Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
I would really like to burn wood. I have lots of free wood available from my property and I don't mind the cutting and splitting. However, all we have now is a fireplace without an insert. So it is only useful for no heating fires. Fireplace is custom and the insert would also have to be custom. DW is not in favor of cluttering up the living space with a wood stove. Don't want to go through the hassle and expense ($15k) of a wood burning furnace when clean, cheap natural gas is available.
It seems kind of a paradox to me.
I wonder if when the full cost the actuarial risk of serious injury with wood felling, preparation, and burning is included natural gas might not be cheaper. It is certainly a lot less trouble and more pleasant and non-polluting to the immediate home environment. I used to hate it when neighbors were heating with wood. Prior to this, I heated with wood myself, but gave it up because it was clearly keeping our family sick with respiratory problems.

Ha
__________________
"As a general rule, the more dangerous or inappropriate a conversation, the more interesting it is."-Scott Adams
haha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 02:31 PM   #10
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 746
We have a small house and we use a wood stove to heat it in winter. Our stove has a fan on the back of it to push the heat farther into the house. Then the ceiling fans catch the heat and circulate it even more.

The caveat is we live on a ranch in the section of Texas where trees are plentiful so we are in a position to have our own renewable supply source. We also have chain saws (and the machine to sharpen them), a 37-ton log splitter, a tractor, a trailer, and the time to cut and split. We're probably the only people in this area who wear hardhats, steel toes, and other safety equipment when cutting and splitting firewood. If we can't do it safely, we just don't do it.

We save several hundred dollars by using the wood stove instead of central heat.

ETA: our wood stove is a part of our disaster preparedness program. We will be able to keep warm in winter regardless of the situation(s) that may cause a community-wide utility infrastructure disruption.
__________________
East Texas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:13 PM   #11
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Ally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,190
We burn wood as a supplement to our gas heater. When we use the fireplace, we can turn the gas heat way down. We seldom buy wood, because people seem to always give us wood.
__________________
Ally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:20 PM   #12
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Free To Canoe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Cooksburg,PA
Posts: 1,738
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I wonder if when the full cost the actuarial risk of serious injury with wood felling, preparation, and burning is included natural gas might not be cheaper. It is certainly a lot less trouble and more pleasant and non-polluting to the immediate home environment. I used to hate it when neighbors were heating with wood. Prior to this, I heated with wood myself, but gave it up because it was clearly keeping our family sick with respiratory problems.

Ha
For me, gas is cheaper even with free wood, labor and not counting the health related issues. Cost of entry ($15k wood furnace) could not be paid for with savings from free wood in my lifetime.
__________________
Free to canoe
Free To Canoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 03:24 PM   #13
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Naples
Posts: 2,161
get-attachment.jpg[[

Here in central Florida (Tampa area), we use fireplaces a couple months a year, December and January. At that, it is sporadic. Can't see chopping and hauling wood, storing it or hauling ashes. It's expensive to buy. But!
Sure feels good on a cold morning in January. Bought our house a year ago, knowing we were going to refurbish it. Even before we got going on the modernization, DW found a fireplace mantle on Craigs List. Had to have it. Long story short, SIL built a faux chimney, raised hearth and installed the three piece mantle. Looked for an electric insert and found a really nice one. I can't believe how much heat it puts out. The kicker is that it warms up the living room enough that the central unit thermostat doesn't come on until we turn off the fireplace. What an energy saver. I'm going to try to post a photo of it, but have never done this before. No promises.
__________________
JOHNNIE36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:16 PM   #14
Full time employment: Posting here.
Redbugdave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Columbia, SC
Posts: 959
We have a wood stove and use our central air with propane as backup. With the cost of energy now days, wood definately has it's possibilities. We are much like East Texas in that we try to be somewhat self reliant and have the equipment also to do it. The wood is free, and the only expenses are my time, (which I enjoy getting firewood), gas, chainsaws, etc. The wood stove has a variable speed motor to push air around the firebox and out.

The house can be as warm as we want and there are no worries of it costing us more. Our electric bills go way down in the winter. The power can go out...and our generator, batteries, inverter will keep the basics going. We have a well which the generator will run, also.

It is "green energy"...for you "Greenies". Wood is a renewable resource. I guess heating with wood is a way of life...
__________________
"I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it." Ashleigh Brilliant
Redbugdave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:34 PM   #15
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by haha View Post
I wonder if when the full cost the actuarial risk of serious injury with wood felling, preparation, and burning is included natural gas might not be cheaper. It is certainly a lot less trouble and more pleasant and non-polluting to the immediate home environment. I used to hate it when neighbors were heating with wood. Prior to this, I heated with wood myself, but gave it up because it was clearly keeping our family sick with respiratory problems.

Ha
We supplement gas heat with wood heat. Ha makes a good point about the pollution from wood burning. We have a high efficiency Jotul wood stove (from Norway) that puts out very little pollution. DH gets wood free from a variety of places and likes splitting and stacking it. He must have been a lumberjack in a prior life!

Oh, and the cats love it for sure. Important point since we live for the comfort and convenience of the kitties
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:38 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
veremchuka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: irradiated - too close to the nuclear furnace
Posts: 1,294
I heat with wood, it has been my main source of heat as I don't use my central heating system. I have done so since 1992 in 2 different houses using the same Vermont Castings stove. I love it. I have an oil fired boiler with baseboard radiators in a new construction house (1999) and if heating oil was 60 cents a gallon (as it was when I moved here) I would still heat with wood (wood was $80 a cord then). I burn 3.25 to 3.5 cord of hardwood a season paying $150 a cord for the past few years, it is cut and split for that price. I buy oil about every 15-17 months and that's for hot water. It has cost me less than $450 to heat my house per winter for the past 3 winters vs burning 1000 gallons of heating oil and spending from $2700 to $3500. I keep it 74-78 degrees and I am warm and toasty, if it gets too hot I open a window or two or go out with the dog, opening a window or two is not uncommon for some fresh air.

I love splitting firewood when I need smaller pieces, I love handing wood, I love moving and stacking it into my woodshed, I love bringing it in the house and loading the wood box that is 7' X 2.5' X 20" and I even don't mind bringing out the ashes. It is dirty tho what with fine ash dust from the stove, bark and dirt on the wood but you accept that if you want to heat with wood. I have a broom and vacuum.

Where I live it is cold in the winter, this is not northern Minnesota but it isn't Virgina either. Winter day time temperatures range from 10 to 35 and at night 0 to 20, it is not uncommon to have below zero temperatures at night the coldest typically is -15F. I hear people whining all the time about winter and the snow and how cold it is! I don't get it, I wouldn't tolerate the heat and humidity in the south so I don't live there, summers are bad enough here (don't get me going on that!) but at least winter is cold and snowy. Why don't they move if they can't stand winter?

You can save a ton of money and be so warm you can sit around the house in your underwear all winter heating with wood but you have to be physically able and willing to spend the time to do the work. I did it when I was working and it is easier now being retired. For me it is the best possible way to heat and I am already looking forwards to next winter. It's been cold here not really warming up since spring started and I'm still using the stove at night, yesterday I burned it all day too. Sadly it's just a matter of a couple of weeks and it'll be too warm to use the woodstove and I'll have to use the furnace if it gets too cool in here.
__________________
veremchuka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 04:46 PM   #17
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
I love splitting firewood when I need smaller pieces, I love handing wood, I love moving and stacking it into my woodshed, I love bringing it in the house and loading the wood box that is 7' X 2.5' X 20" and I even don't mind bringing out the ashes.
You and my husband would get along great! He loves all this too. When we downsize to a smaller home later this year (hopefully), we'll be relying more on wood heat. Last few winters here in Virginia have been very cold and snowy. There are tons of trees down all over the area. Most of them end up wasted.
__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 05:08 PM   #18
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
youbet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 9,965
I heat with wood off and on as a hobby activity. (Also used to keep an organic garden, but that's another story.)

I finished off an 800 sq ft room in my deep, dry basement about 25 yrs ago. This included a Vermont Castings wood stove installed on a massive brick hearth. Because the basement is deep and has a lot of thermal mass, ambient temps down there hang 2 - 3 months behind the seasons. It's warm down there all autumn and cool until August. It's furnished "American Comfy" and our entertainment center is down there.

From about Dec through March we burn the stove on evenings we're using the room for TV or hobbies. Doesn't take much. I start a hot fire with lumber scrap (free) and follow up with a couple logs. By the time those are gone, it's bedtime and I let the fire die. The mass of the brick hearth keeps it tolerable for a while even after the stove is cool.

Because we have a warm place to be in the house and we like to sleep in a very cool room, we're comfortable setting the thermostat on the natural gas furnace to 60f or so for the evening and early morning hours. I haven't tried to calculate savings in years but can say that our natural gas bills, even in the coldest months, are always less than $100 and we cook and heat hot water with gas as well as heat.

It's strictly a hobby interest. And a bit of a hedonistic thing as well I guess. When you've been outside in the winter, it really feels good to flop in the recliner in front of the stove. It's a deep, penetrating heat that warms the bones. Just can't duplicate it by turning up the gas furnace thermostat.
__________________
"I wasn't born blue blood. I was born blue-collar." John Wort Hannam
youbet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 05:09 PM   #19
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
veremchuka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: irradiated - too close to the nuclear furnace
Posts: 1,294
I burn wood therefore I am.
__________________
veremchuka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 05:22 PM   #20
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Purron's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,584
Quote:
Originally Posted by veremchuka View Post
I burn wood therefore I am.
Yup. You and DH and soul brothers
__________________

__________________
I purr therefore I am.
Purron is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Burning Man 2010 yakers Other topics 10 08-24-2010 11:25 PM
Burning the candle HF63 Hi, I am... 7 04-02-2009 10:54 AM
Portfolio withdrawal strategies compared DblDoc FIRE and Money 3 11-19-2008 01:28 PM
Anyone For Burning Man? yakers Other topics 12 08-21-2007 04:17 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:49 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.