Is a wood stove worth the money? I have read that 70% goes up the
fireplace normally, but that with a woodstove it doesn't.
Any comments are welcome. Thanks in advance.
Oh yeah, is it wood stove or woodstove???
Still a lot of the heat goes out the vent. However even if you get 60%
efficiency, most places you will be spending far more for wood than for gas
electric or oil. If you get your wood free, then that would be different.
Four years ago we bought a norwegian Jotul F 3 CB. Efficiency is quite high
at 70 per cent. It is the most sold stove in N America. For just a 23x19"
stove, it cranks out 42,000 btu and will easily heat 1300 sq ft of space. We
love it, as we live in foggy coastal area, and use it sporadically year
round. However, for us, it occasionally substitutes for central gas heating,
does not replace it fully.
Try this question on alt.energy.homepower - lots of expertise there. They
can give you the metrics on wood use rates, alternate fuel comparison, etc,
but as the prior poster says, depends very much on your area fuel prices,
weather, local restrictions, and source and cost of wood.
The question of cost is very dependent on you local pricing. Most
places wood will still be far more expensive than gas, even at the current
cost. BTW as gas goes up, you are likely to see more people go for wood and
guess what the price of wood will do?
Well it can cost $3,000.00 or more for... The special hearth on which the
wood stove sits (which must have a specific R-value and have the proper
distances in all directions out from the wood stove), the woodstove itself,
and a new stainless steel chimney. Then everything must be installed to
code, inspected by the building inspector *and* your insurance company if
you want to be covered in case of a fire. Also you are basically required to
have a new EPA certified woodstove which emits cleaner smoke.
Then for the money saving part, you would need a free or cheap supply of
firewood. Then would need to buy a chainsaw and safety equipment (if you
want to saw safely) like; good boots, chaps, eye goggles, gloves, hard hat
(if felling), and ear plugs if a loud saw.
Also need to have a pick-up or trailer to haul the wood.
For splitting, I first cut all my wood, then rented a log splitter for $60 a
day. Or you can buy one for about $1,300.00.
A wood stove is a great "exercise" program. Installing stove, cutting and
hauling wood to truck, splitting wood, etc. A LOT of work! But I enjoy this
type of stuff and really liked calling my gas company and telling them to
disconnect my natural gas service(as I would be heating with wood this
I look at things for the long term. I am broke as can be after paying for
all this stuff, but several years from now, I'll have a lower cost of
living. Also I can do with a bit of exercise. I also plan to install a new
very efficient natural gas furnace and insulate my house better. I probably
will not be able to cut firewood, etc. when I get older, so might be a good
idea to have another source of heating if needed...
I have somone who wants gas logs and will sell me their insert for $250
- $500. That's just the cost to move it and install it. I don't know
about the code part. I can get the wood to burn. I am mostly worried
about fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. It has been very difficult
to find mover or people that want to move the fireplace insert. I
think they just want me to buy new. I guess I could get advice from
the county on who to talk to.
In many places, a woodstove must be "EPA certified" to be
legally installed or re-installed. I'd check on that first.
Check with the government about requirements, and check the
stove for a certification label on the back or side, or talk
to the manufacturer to find out.
A fireplace insert delivers real heat to the house, unlike a
fireplace, which most sucks it up the chimney. The inserts
I've used required a circulation fan to get much heat into
the house. Without the fan, not enough air circulates around
My old insert smelled up the house when it wasn't being
used. When the wind was "wrong" or somethind, the living
room would smell of creosote. My (used) replacement
certified stove has a stainless steel stovepipe up the
chimney and is well sealed where it fits into the fireplace.
No more smells, and I am sure the fire hazard is reduced
because my chimney is an old unlined brick one. The new
stove, because of the stovepipe fitted to it, draws better
and I rarely get smoke in the house if I am careful about
opening the vents before opening the door.
Wood makes some sense if you have the time and strength to
gather other peoples unwanted wood. If you have to pay
retail prices, it makes little sense. But you don't want to
smoke out your neighbors, so you have to be careful about
what you burn and how you burn it. This means watching and
adjusting the fire frequently.
: I have somone who wants gas logs and will sell me their insert for $250
: - $500. That's just the cost to move it and install it. I don't know
: about the code part. I can get the wood to burn. I am mostly worried
: about fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. It has been very difficult
: to find mover or people that want to move the fireplace insert. I
: think they just want me to buy new. I guess I could get advice from
: the county on who to talk to.
Have you tried contacting the local chimney cleaning companies? Some
of them may do installation and repair work.
You need to find out immediately, for insurance as well as
compliance with local laws. In Ontario the wood/coal stove
section of the Ontario Fire Code is the only part that is
retroactive, i.e. private home owners may be obligated to
upgrade to meet new code requirements (e.g. for heat
shields on interior cielings, not in the code 20 years ago)
-- and some home insurance companies require this.
When we lived in GA we had a fireplace insert. My husband took out the
damper on the fireplace and built a metal cover with a hole in it for
the stove pipe, and used it in place of a damper. He also built a fan
out of a discarded kitchen stove vent fan we were not using any more
and sprayed it black to match the stove....just layed it down in front
of the stove to blow the air out into the room. You can buy stoves
with fans built in... our insert put out a lot of heat.
This was 15 years ago and the price of wood wasn't too high - price of
gas wasn't too high then either.
For me, *the* most important thing was to get coverage by my insurance
company. Otherwise if there was a fire, I could lose everything. They would
not cover it.
This means a label on the unit/stove, an installation manual, installed to
code and inspected, and everything done to manufacturers specifications.
So a used woodstove would be worthless to me without it having a label and
Different stoves have different clearance requirements from the wall,
chimney requirements, and hearth requirements. All of this is in the
installation manual which the inspector wants to see.
And the chimney also has its own installation manual and specifications.
New stoves/inserts may not draft properly in an existing brick chimney.
All sorts of stuff to be concerned about here...
indeed. had an insert installed with a liner:
1. Cert. mason installed it and signed the papers
2. Reg. fire inspector inspected and signed the forms
3. pictures taken and forms brought to insurance
Then they insured me.
I moved into an all electric house 1976 in a low
cost electric area and had one year's heating
costs before I installed a wood stove. Figured
that it would take at least 5 years to recover all
the capital costs. It turned out that I recovered
all capital costs--stove cost, installation costs,
chainsaw, etc. in 3.5 years. I didn't dig them
out but as I remember capital costs were around
$900 and a cord of free firewood cost me an
average of about $25 for gathering it. After the
first 3.5 years my costs were about $75 per year
(3 cords) for heat. Took the stove out about 5
years ago because of my wife's asthma and changed
to gas. My December heating bill is now above
previous all year heating cost.
I wouldn't plan on recovery of capital costs in
3.5 years now, recovery in a 5-7 year period is
easily possible if one does all the installation
and buys modestly priced equipment and gets free wood.
Wouldn't it be easier for us if they would just grind up the wood into
atomic sized particles and pump it through a pipe?
Long ago, my father was 53 when he bought his first house, with a coal
furnace. He filled it in the morning, but my 37 y.o. mother had to
fill it the rest of the day.
So he bought an automatic stoker, so he only had to fill it in the
morning and once at night..
A year or two after that, he bought a gas furnace.
Remove NOPSAM to email me. Please let
me know if you have posted also.
i live in rochester, ny RIGHT by lake ontario (quite windy n cold) in a
40x20 house. the woodstove is in the basement. it heats up the basement
nicely, then hot air does what it does best heating the upstairs. dont waste
$$ on blowers. just buy a cheap fan and aim it at the woodstove. the real
gouger is gonna be the flue - about 10$ a foot here.
you ask if its worth it? local gas co estimated me all winter, i called in
my readings. HUGE difference. thats worth it to me. my woodstove is the
primary heating source with gas boiler as back up for those o so chilly
as far as wood goes, round here its about 60-70$ for a face cord. swing by
some local construction sites. im sure they will be more then willing to let
you take home scraps. sure its mostly pine, but buy a chimney sweep and
sweep it more often to avoid the extra creosote building up
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