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Advise? Wood stove for home heat

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posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 12:53 AM
The husband and I bought a historic home with a grandfathered in duct system. It was COLD our first year here.. so we put in an uber expensive Trane HVAC system... not only is it cold still, but our energy bill for 1 or 2 months in winter is around 600.00 a month.
Im not thrilled with this. We didnt sweat the expense previously, but with the economy.. I am becoming concerned. Theyve raised our energy rates once again and are taxing us to death.. a 46% increase in PP tax alone this yr! ANyway, The duct system is pretty ridiculous and I do believe that is the issue and not the system we have.. which is rated for our square footage. We had debated on what to plunk the money into.. to rework the ducts which is very expensive and a mess.. or simply zone heat with a wood stove. Im leaning toward wood stove because Im a worrier and a believer that bad times are coming.. I can chop wood but I cant generate electricity to keep my kids warm ....or anyone else who happens to need a warm shelter and meal... which Im prone to do with a few of the kids around here who dont have much in the way of parents to rely on even now when things arent as bad as I believe they will get.

Id like to educate myself before discussing this with the husband more in depth.. and have been reading on it.. but reading on what someone wants to sell isnt the same as folks who are experienced with it. I wanted to ask you all here your opinions and what systems you use.. and your pros/cons. Here ( Nanny state capital of the world.. Illinois) we cant even burn our leaves and they frown on wood stoves, but they can shut up or pay my electricity bill! Neither of us are kids.. I grew up with a wood stove as my sole heat and the husband lived in Nebraska with a wood stove as heat.. but we also know there are new things out these days which we probably arent familiar with that have come up in the last 20 or so yrs. One thing Im not interested in is a pellet stove.. if the SHTF or we go broke... where exactly will I locate pellets?!

Now, total I probably have 3K square feet of living space.. and a little over 4K with the "unfinished" spaces. I would like to start out with a main floor unit of some kind.. in my dining room due to the central location and ease of the flue installation to clear the peak of the roof.. no dormers on that side. Id say this entire floor is right around 1600 SF total.

SO you guys tell me your honest opinions and your honest experience with this.. and maybe some brands or types
After putting as much money as we did in the failure of the new a/c and furnace... Id prefer to stay as midrange or reasonably cheap as I can at this point.

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 01:02 AM
reply to post by Advantage

Wood gets expensive too. Unless you have trees. But how fast do trees grow? Remember in Dr Shavago the doc got arrested for trying to cut down a fence to burn for firewood. Or he almost got a rrested. I think the cop was his fan.

Most likely you will have to cut back on something else or get used to the cold. I would say install it if its cheap enough, in case you need it but don't assume all your problems are going to be solved because of it.

Propane I think is still the cheapest way to go and no one even thinks of it anymore. Its somewhat safe if you are careful.

And you can deduct propane on your taxes, but its hatd to use that much propane to get it to count if thats your only deduction.

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 01:04 AM
I cut wood for heat here normally we use 4 cords in a 900sq' house built in 1906, last winter we went through 6 cord and still burning..

I buy a wood cutting permit for 20$ it allows me to cut 4 cords of dead wood in the national forest.
I have a flatbed dually that holds 2 cords so I use that for a days work, I could do more but there is no need to rush it as long as you cut in good weather.

make sure you split and stack your wood before winter there is nothing worse than splitting wood in the snow.
keep the logs off the ground and covered...and always have safety gear..

it is seriously a fulltime job cutting wood so it might be worth it to shop around for a good price on full logs or split.
best price i have gotten was 120$ for a split cord delivered.

my tools

there is nothing better than wood for heat, we have a propane furnace that I hate to use it just makes noise dries out your nose cause its on all night long.

having natural wood burning and smelling up the house is like having a warm blanky over your whole house.

edit on 6/10/2011 by -W1LL because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 01:08 AM
Wood stoves are the best thing that I have purchased since I moved to the Midwest. I waited until the summer to buy mine which cost me everything included $700.00. I couldn't place the flue on through the roof, so I was able to remove a window, replace it with a fitted piece of plywood, and made sure that the pipes could go through the piece.

I actually put it all together in my living room with my son, and it was quite easy. As long as you buy a triple insulated pipe ( I only needed on to prevent over heating or fire) it made me quite safe, and save me hundreds of dollars a month. I buy about $170.00 a winter worth of wood, and get kindling from around my home.

Also during the winter due to having the stove I bought cast iron pots (around $50.00 a piece, but well worth it) and cook over night on the stove, and have food ready by morning. I also made sure to buy extra smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher, which makes me feel extra protected. There are special made wood stoves for those in smaller homes, or mobile homes that are gov approved.

So that there is no problems. Buying a wood stove is one of the best purchases a homeowner can make as far as I am concerned. This has saved me money, and I have a step up if SHTF for food, cleaning water, heat, and light. So all in all I personally suggest a wood stove. Good luck, and buy during the summer as it its always on clearance at ALL home improvement stores.

Peace, NRE.

BTW, with the triple insulated pipe, it NEVER gets hot, warm maybe, but never hot, some people choose to be thrifty on the pipes, and wonder why there homes burn down. One, triple will save you from the worry.

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 01:09 AM
My house is ~3,000 square feet, and it's heated by two smallish wood stoves. One stove covers almost the whole house, while the other is just for the master bedroom (which is fairly isolated from the rest of the house). Overall, the two stoves keep the house very warm, as long as all doors are kept open.

Also, there are two things about using them for heat. First, it can get really hot in the room they're in, and second, the heat they generate feels a million times better than any other kind of heat. It's cheaper overall, and if you lose power you still have heat. I'd say wood stove > all other kinds of heating.

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 01:09 AM
I have a woodburning fireplace with an electric blower on it. I just light a fire with split oak and let it get going good, then I flip the switch on the blower and it blows the heat out as good as a regular central heating unit. The fan runs on 110v so it's way cheaper. Only problem is you need a lot of wood to make it through the winter. We have ample wood but I split logs myself. If you have to buy a cord of split oak it can range in price depending on where you live but is still cheaper than a $600 per month electric bill. Around here a cord of split oak can run anywhere from $125 to $250. It's cheaper to buy during the summer, and that also gives wood time to cure good (dries out, easier to burn). Hope that gives you an idea or two!

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 01:31 AM
WOW!! Excellent info guys!! Each of you.. thank you so much!

We have access to all the wood Id ever want or need at this point. I inherited 115 acres of dense woodland in Missouri and its about 1.5 hour drive away... so Im not overly concerned with getting the wood and then supplementing with bought seasoned while we'd wait to for newly cut to season.

Seriously.. excellent folks. and TY for replying so quickly!

posted on Jun, 10 2011 @ 12:39 PM
reply to post by Advantage

You never specified what type of stove you want, but I would say to forego old wood stoves and go for the more efficient models. That said, I just purchased at a garage sale an old Altanta #27 two-lid stove to use in my screened room as a charcoal burner when it gets--if ever again--chilly. And if it comes to bad times, I'll install the little thing in my house and piped through a window.

BTW I use a compact propane heater of 33k BTUs to heat my little 1055sq. ft. mansion. From Tractor Supply, it requires virtually zero clearance on back or sides. The back of it is not more than two inches from the side of my fridge. It has a small, built-in electric fan that I have turned off at times. Cooling the house is another matter!

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