DIY Home Improvement, Remodeling & Repair Forum > DIY Home Improvement > Green Energy and Sustenance Living > Are wood burning stoves worth the money?




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Old 04-25-2011, 09:02 AM  
Bowland2011
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Default Are wood burning stoves worth the money?

My friend is looking at buying a wood burning stove although she can not decide what type of style to go for. Any ideas?



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Old 04-26-2011, 03:26 PM  
Paul79UF
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I live in Florida, but we spent a few months in a vacation rental in a cold climate.

It had an old wood burner for heating the home. So I did some reading about how to best use it and also plenty of articles in the local newspaper about effectively heating a home.

It seems like the wood pellet burners are the most efficient and easiest to use. You can even get units with automatic pellet feeders and thermostats.



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Old 04-26-2011, 11:02 PM  
ryeder
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I grew up with a wood stove and until recently, continued to do so. Yes, it is worth it if: you have a supply of wood to burn without buying it. We had our own trees and split our own wood. We usually put up 6 to 8 cord for the winter. Burning wood warms you three times. Once, when you cut and twitched it, the second when you cut it to length, split and piled it and finally when you carry it into the house to burn. Burning wood is a lot of work but nothing can beat a good wood heat in the cold months. Then you have to consider the smoke and ash that comes with burning wood. And lastly, you need a good stove. Guess the question is, does she want to see the fire burning, ie. glass door or just for heating. Vermont Castings, Ashley and Jotul are good products.

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Old 05-03-2011, 05:38 PM  
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Let's see you need to buy the stove and have the chimney updated if you have one. It will have to be installed properly, You need a woodshed to store a couple cords at a time. If you don't want to have it delivered you need a truck. If you don't want to buy the wood you need a chain saw and splitter, not to mention leather pants gogles and gloves. Your insurance just went up and the the little burn marks on the floor are never more than the deductable. You will never claim them anyway because you premium will go up. All this so you can have one worm room in the house. Don't forget the open hole to supply air for the fire.
I'm not sure when you start winning or how you keep score.

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Old 08-25-2011, 09:46 PM  
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My friend is looking at buying a wood burning stove although she can not decide what type of style to go for. Any ideas?
Absolutely worth it. I would put one in a heart beat if I had the extra money. They provide great heat at a low cost. I grew up with one and if used properly, they are perfect, especially in the Northeast!
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Old 08-26-2011, 10:56 PM  
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Definitely worth it, if you have access to free or inexpensive wood, you don't mind getting some serious exercise every Fall, and you already have a chain saw and pickup truck.

I used only wood to heat my 2000 Sq. Ft. place in NM for 2 seasons, and never regretted it. I bought a Vermont Castings stove, and ripped out the old heat-wasting slump-block fireplace and replaced it with a brick/stucco/concrete surround that stored the stove's heat and slowly released it into the house long after the fire went out. Turned off the 2 gas furnaces the house had, but the gas company still came out one Saturday to replace their meter, insisting it was malfunctioning (previous month's bill was only $11, for drying clothes), despite my best efforts to convince them that the large woodpile they had to move to change out the meter was the reason my bill was so small.

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Old 08-27-2011, 01:25 PM  
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Definitely worth it, if you have access to free or inexpensive wood, you don't mind getting some serious exercise every Fall, and you already have a chain saw and pickup truck.

I used only wood to heat my 2000 Sq. Ft. place in NM for 2 seasons, and never regretted it. I bought a Vermont Castings stove, and ripped out the old heat-wasting slump-block fireplace and replaced it with a brick/stucco/concrete surround that stored the stove's heat and slowly released it into the house long after the fire went out. Turned off the 2 gas furnaces the house had, but the gas company still came out one Saturday to replace their meter, insisting it was malfunctioning (previous month's bill was only $11, for drying clothes), despite my best efforts to convince them that the large woodpile they had to move to change out the meter was the reason my bill was so small.
Just be sure to still run the furnace every once and a while or you could get a mess. I don't know about a gas furnace, but the oil burning one we had when I was growing up was so under-used (and this was in upstate NY) that it actually cracked and no one realized it until our white cat turned black from a leak! It was over $10,000 in damage from lack of use!
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:07 PM  
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Impossible to answer without more details. Location, cost and availability of all fuels, work willing to put in chopping wood, automatic pellet or manual wood feed, free standing or ducted stove, size of area and number, arrangement of rooms to be heated. in conjunction with other heat source, etc etc. EPA says even with super duper central heat automatic pelletized wood stove 1/3 to 3/4 of heat available from fuel goes up smoke stack, depending on many factors. Most important is source of oxygen for fire. Without ducting from outside, fire pulls cold air from outside thru all rooms in line to stove. Stove winds up fighting itself, faster and hotter it burns the more air it pulls in.

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Old 10-16-2012, 05:43 PM  
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Gas, oil, wood, paper, cow pies, all have a "heat of combustion" or "heat value" given on a per pound, cu. ft., gallon or whatever basis.
This heat is given in some unit of energy like BTU, the energy required to raise one lb of water 1 degree F.
BTW, one watt of elec. power = 3.4 BTU/hr of "heating power" so one watt-hour of elec. energy = 3.4 BTU.

Whatever fuel at present gives you the most BTU for the least cost is the best deal at present.
It's rarely electric heat.
You also have to factor in the efficiency of the furnace in converting the fuel into usable heat. Elec. heat is nominally 100% efficient.

If you spend $X on a furnace and it saves you $Y/month there will be a breakeven point where the continuing fuel savings cancels out the lump sum cost of the furnace.
10 years or less for this point is usually a good goal.



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