Do heating stoves really help your heating bill?

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I've been told that fireplaces are inefficient and in fact make things worse since they suck hot air out of the house once you put the fire out. But I heard that heating stoves help matters, like this one:
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Please share your opinion.
Thanks
Aaron Fude
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You hear right. Wood stove do lower the cost of your present fuel but replaces it with the cost of wood and labor to haul, etc. I used to heat about 50% of my house with wood but I've not used it for a few years. Why? It is much easier to fill the oil tank than haul wood sometimes. Right now I don't have the time. If you can get wood free or cheap, it is worth having and it will also heat during a power outage.
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wrote:

My inlaws install wood stoves, and they get customer feedbacks. One is about keeping your stove's fuel as cheap as possible, and many customers comment about how pallets are free and burn hot. Their customers burn it in chucks, nails and everything, and when they clean it out, they sweep out the metal parts too.
Been seeing 'free pallet' signs around here, and was thinking about it. :)
later,
tom @ www.NoCostAds.com
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the 6-12 inch pieces he had as scrap.It worked wonderfully.
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most pallets are made of cheap pine, that leaves tons of creosote:( bad chimney fire alert...
I had a friend who bragged he heated his home with firewood and heck it was FREE.
I asked him about the work, by the time he drove to the supply, cut the trees down, cut the trees up, loaded the firewood, drove home, unloaded the firewood, split the wood, stacked the wood, let the wood dry, hauled the wood indoors, burned the wood, maintained his stove and chimney, then hauled the ashes out......
all that hard work he would of done better working for minimum wage.........
his wood source was free, but the work wasnt.
he is back to using oil, and enjoying his summer having fun on weekends rather than back breaking work.........
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Most people don't have the opportunity to work more for wages, they just have a 40 hour week. If you can work more hours at an easy job, great. We heated our home for years with a wood stove and saved a bundle (note the savings were tax free). Paid all the capital costs, stove and accessories, chain saw, etc. in less than 3 years. The amount of work getting wood, unloading, splitting, and stacking it each year average 4 Saturdays of about 8 hours. Pretty good return for giving up only 4 days (32 hours) of recreation each year.
BTW, some of the backbreaking tasks that you list don't involve any effort, e.g, letting the wood dry and burning the wood, and other tasks only take a few minutes, e.g., hauling out the ashes.
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my friend who heated his whole home... took a father and 2 teenage sons about 12 weekends a year to cut haul split stack the 5 cords of wood needed.......
thats a ton of work, the woodlot was a long ay from the house but the wood was free.......
their home was big.......... and not well insulated. i suggested they use the work time to remodel their home and add super insulation. their dad said just cut more wood...
12 weekends 24 days times 3 guys times 10 hours a day 720 hours with travel time.... they claimed to save 3500 bucks a year, at best it was a wash after taxes, since they had gasoline costs........
life is a tradeoff.......
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Sure is a lot of work for 5 cords. I usually got 3-1/2 to 4 cords in 4 days with the help of my wife (she just helped move blocks to the pickup and handed them up to me to stack in the pickup). A long way? I normally drove about a round trip of 100-125 miles for each load (by the way the driving time is include in the 8 hours per load).

5 cords is worth $3500? that's $700 per cord! When I was heating with wood, a cord cost about $70, maybe $150 currently for a cord of pine, fir, Douglas-fir, etc. A cord of fruitwood (apple, pear, cherry, etc.) currently costs about $200. Must have been some amazing accounting.
If they used only 5 cords for a big house that wasn't insulated well, they must live in a rather mild climate and have mild winters (I have a fairly small well insulate house). So, say 8 months divided into $3500 is about $440 per month for heat. The maximum I currently pay is $110 a month for gas heat and less that $450 for a 5-6 month heating season.

Sounds like your friend and his sons are not only terribly inept at gathering and sawing wood, but also have severe math deficiencies. I say that because I'm small, not that strong, and work fairly slowly and am amazed at a coworker who, with one son could gather and cut 6-8 cords in one day. Of course he used one big truck and not a pickup.
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A lot of cold air comes in the chimney of my wood burning FP after the fire goes out when I go to bed. The (heat and glo brand) gas FP insert in my other home is THE BOMB when it comes to effeciency and convienence (doesn't have a chiney, just a vent). CP
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On Mon, 9 Oct 2006 06:22:40 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Charles Pisano) wrote:

Regular FP's are like air pumps out. If you don't have a seperate supply of air to it, which many don't, then it draws on house air. This causes for much heat loss, and why some communities thought of banning them, because of the smoke, and very little heat return.
A good wood stove rocks, imho. :)
later,
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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the numbers on the wood number of cords are as I remember them, it was 6 to 8 years ago.
I did note they could BUY the wood easier and cheaper than collecting it....
no matter what they did, its more about anyone today thiinking of this running the numbers for their siituation
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Wrong. At least from my experience. I have never burned them but the ones I have cut up to get rid of were made of poor grade oak and mahogany.
Pine does not 'leave tons of creasote'. That is an old wives tale spread by people who have never burned wood or done any research. Properly cured pine is no more dangerous that other wood and all it needs is to maintain a clean chimney, just like all other woods.

So you might want to factor in the health benefits of the exercise (I do), the recreation aspect (I love being out in the woods, getting exercise, communing with nature, etc).

I suggest that if his (or any one's) wood making is 'back breaking' they should learn how to work smart. I am 71 with two artificial hips and am currently working on finishing up my 10th cord for the summer. Haven't noticed any problems with my back.
You have posted that same 'rant' (yes it is a rant) in the past. I suspect you are trolling.
Harry K.
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Harry K wrote:

Hear, hear!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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Fireplaces - you are correct. They are a loosing proposition. They are very efficient in getting rid of firewood for very little gain in heat.
Stoves - depends on your firewood cost. In my case I pay nothing for stumpage so my cost is the equipment maintenance needed to cut/haul the stuff. I heat almost 100% with wood and my tove, PU (also needed for hauling other things), saws, etc. were amortized years ago.
Harry K
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Plenty of responses so far. Each has made valid points. But there are many variables.
Case in point, I have a 50+ year old cape in NY. Insulation was adequate by the standards when it was built. Primary heating system is a 90% rated gas fired hot air system. House had a Heat-o-lator fireplace.
Being a single home owner it makes little sense to keep the thermostat up while I'm away at work. Plus the insulation standard means the house isn't overly tight. But I like a warm house. Choice was simple, either crank up the thermostat or use an auxiliary method of heating. Had used the fireplace but is really more decorative than efficient.
Solution for me was a wood burning insert. Like the free standing stove you referenced these are amazingly efficient. Obviously costs vary based on where you live and how you source the fuel. I purchase split wood from a dealer. Bought during Springtime generally results in deep discounts. I stack it myself and get a good six months of extra seasoning time before the heating system begins.
As I said I like a warm house. My thermostat stays set around 66-68. Once I get home I light off a few logs and the immediate area will be 70 within an hour. Later I'll control the fire to hold a 75-78 range. Being a cape style of home the rising air automatically keeps the second floor area comfy as well. Weekends I often use wood heating exclusively.
All things considered my heating costs are 30-40% below that of neighbors and friends who have similar homes. But I'm enjoying comfort about 10 degrees higher than they are. Also something to be said for that radiant heat and glow while watching Sunday football with the dog laying at your feet.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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I've never got into the wood-burning thing, but I have a lot of relatives that do and have done a bit of research from time to time. Here's some miscellaneous information:
1. A good wood-burning stove probably has about the same efficiency as most modern, gas-burning furnaces (~80%). 2. A cord of wood weighs about 2000 pounds. So, I assume that's equivalent to about 2 pick-up loads. 3. Depending on the type of wood and how dry it is a cord of wood contains anywhere from 12.1 (pine) to 24.6 (Hickory) million BTUs. 4. On my last gas bill I paid $8.52 per decatherm (DTH). A DTH equals 1 million BTUs. Therefore, a cord of wood is equivalent to about $103.00 to $210.00 worth of natural gas depending on what type of wood you use.
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I pondered the same thought in 2004 when deciding how to better my heating situation. After weighing the costs and benefits, this is what I did: 1) Instead of putting in a gas or wood insert into the fireplace I just plugged the fireplace with a chimney balloon. this kept cold air from comming in throught the fireplace damper since I wasnt going to use it anymore anyway. ($40) 2) I bought a 90% efficient power vent furnace and water heater. ($3,800 installed) 3) I caulked my windows and replaced the front door which leaked cold air (Cost $120)
Comparing my next heating bill I figured I saved $350 over November - December - January. (if I dont figure in the increase in heating gas that happened in 05)
Overall, I am more inclined to look for ways to eliminate wasted heat than look to get cheaper heat, but that is just me...
Jerry
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German Jerry wrote:

Wrong comparison. Use CCF or therms used instead. Then you can better compare the amount of gas used.
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On 10 Oct 2006 00:08:21 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:
-snip-

The *huge* variable everyone seems to miss in these 'scientific' calculations is the efficiency with which a central heating unit distributes the heat. First off- you have a thermostat that is easily regulated - and little waste heat being created. [no 90degree rooms- night or weekday setbacks]
Secondly, if done right a central heating system heats the outside walls making the house feel comfortable at a lower temp. Not to mention zoned heat or built in humidifiers.
If wood is free- a space heater might save some on heating. They are handy to have in an emergency-- and they add to the ambiance. But if you are buying wood- forget about it.
Jim
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

That's true. I never thought about that.

I had an avid hunting friend years ago, that happened to mention that hunters never kill porcupines, because if someone gets in trouble in the wild, they are easy to get and could provide food in an emergency.
That's the way I've always felt about burning softwood. Why not save it for a national emergency or something? You're probably losing money by burning it anyway. On the otherhand, If you happen to already have a wood-burning stove and if you happen to have a 3/4-ton truck and if it happens to be empty and if you happen to be camped next to some good hardwood and if it happens to be free for the taking, then it probably makes a lot of sense to take it home and burn it.
That's a lot of "if's" though and I've always thought there are easier ways to save money.
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