Help determing heating needs for my house.

Hi,
I want to change my heating source from electric to either wood or pellet.
I've been looking around for stoves and there are different kinds.
On the specs they all have a btu amount which I believe is the max heat output the stove will do.
My question is, how do I calculate the amount of heat needed for my house to run an efficient stove?
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1 get someone to do a load calculation. 2 figure what btu you output with present electric system and run time by kwh cost for heat in winter. Wood and pellet are going to give off soot and smell. have you compared the costs of Ng, oil and propane to electric and wood. For me Ng is cheapest, unless my wood is free.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If you are looking to save money, don't assume it will be cheaper to heat with wood or pellets. For most people it will be more expensive unless they have a source of very cheap or free fuel.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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There is more to ch anging over th an just putting in a h eater.
To determine your needs, you can do calculations that take into consideration the construction, insulation etc. You could get a rough idea by adding up the wattage of all the heaters in the house.
OK, now that we know we need XXX Btu, do you buy that sized pellet or wood stove? You must also consider heat distribution either by air or water. That is going to be a major installation. Just plopping a big hater in one room does not mean you will have either economy or comfort through the house. With wood, thee are also consideration of what to do in mild weather when you don't need more than taking off the morning chill. The electric may be good backup for that. Do a lot of research before you buy.
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Thanks for the replies.
What I would like to know is how to calculate the heating needs for my house.
I run electrical heat, but I dont run it at confortable settings to save on hydro. If I did that my costs in the winter would probably double. :)
Pellet stove would definetly be cheaper than hydro for me. On all the calculators that I found out there pellet stove would be cheaper.
That is not my concern, what I need to find is the ideal range in btu for my stove to properly heat the area. Is a 30000btu enough or do I need a 70000Btu for my house?? That is what I am trying to find.
How do I calculate that?
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What do you mean "save on Hydro" , what is your Kwh cost, location, and size of house.
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The poster discussing "Hydro" is in eastern Canada, probably Quebec Province, though possibly eastern Ontario.
"Hydro" is a local slang term for "electricity", whch is in those locations produced primarily by "Hydro Quebec", hence "Hydro".
"save on Hydro" means "save on electricity".
--
Jim McLaughlin

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On Tue, 29 Nov 2005 17:26:01 -0800, "Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote (with possible editing):

Wow, I'm in northern NH where we pay 13 cents per kwh, but just 10 miles north in Hereford, Quebec, they pay 2 1/2 cents per kwh. Hard to imagine saving any money at that price.
--
Larry
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You say in Hereford Quebec its 0.025 kwh-canadian or US, either way I wonder if I could run an extension cord up there, at 2.5 its only cheaper if you cut wood yourself.
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On Wed, 30 Nov 2005 10:01:35 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (m Ransley) wrote (with possible editing):

Actually, that's US$ 0.025.
Darn right. Years ago, the New Hampshire Electric Co-op (our power supplier) guaranteed a loan for $100,000,000.00 to PSNH for Seabrook (nuclear plant). I and a bunch of others, protested, saying that instead for less money the company could tie into Quebec Hydro. At the time PSNH said the plant would generate power at $0.045/kwh. Obviously wholesale power was much cheaper from the folks up north. PSNH argued that they wanted to keep power supplies domestic. We argued that Quebec needed us as much as we needed them. We lost, but history proved us right and PSNH wrong. (Seabrook only got 1/2 built and PSNH has been through bankruptcy twice and NHEC once)
I believe that's called a "Pyhrric Victory"... Oh well.
--
Larry
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Here is a start http://www.acca.org/tech/manualj/addenda/addendumA.pdf
You can buy a program http://mrhvac.com/products/software/elc/elc_qa.htm
Try this: http://www.natresnet.org/conference/2005/presentations/Storer.pdf
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

I would start with knowing the capacity of your present electrical system?
Do you know it in BTU/Hr or in kW?
Mark
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It's a fairly complicated calculation, for which you'll need lots of data unique to your house.
This article will describe generally how a heat loss calculation works:
http://www.dougboulter.com/repair/plumbing.htm#heatloss
--
Doug Boulter

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this link takes you to get CONVERT freeware and you can mathematically convert all your electrical heaters to BTU.
http://www.joshmadison.com/software /
Heating Degree Day - A form of degree day used to estimate the required energy for heating. One heating degree day occurs for each degree the daily mean temperature is below 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
now if your rooms are always comfortable in all seasons, this should mean that there is sufficient heat available to you in each room. looking at the electric heat bill can tell you how many KWH you bought in the coldest month. if you have individual room heaters check their electrical plates for the information you need. NOAA national weather service posts degree days by date and month, use this data to compare the cold weather month of billing to the degree days information and be sure to use actual not calculated or estimated billings. remember that simple electric heat is 100% efficient. compare the energy inefficiency of a wood vented device [perhaps at 70% ? find out]and know before you buy input and output btu comparison info. you can also read the electric meter daily and compare to the degree days for daily factoring.
example of buffalo climate info at: http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KBUF/2005/11/29/MonthlyHistory.html#calendar
lots of degree day months and cities at: http://www.nrcc.cornell.edu/ccd/nrmhdd.html
or for your area search google for degree days climate nws noaa city
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So far as a wood stove, I figure I can build a large fire or a small fire in the largest model, but can only build a small fire in the small model.
So I got the largest model, and this has worked out just fine. Small fires on warmer days, larger fires on cold days.
And a woodstove is about the furthest thing from being scientific (BTU's, etc) you can find. Heat output would differ depending on type of wood burning, how much wood burning, size of pieces of wood burning, etc.
But they do give BTU ratings for various models.
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