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With rising fuel costs, wood heat can be a money saving investment, but you need to plan ahead and make good choices. Hardwood species like those listed above will give you the best return on your investment of labor by burning longer and producing a lot of heat. For a detailed listing of the BTU content of various woods, visit Firewood resource.
A wood lot can produce from 1 to 2 Heat Exchange - Various - Burn Burn Presents Watch This Space cords of fire wood per acre each year. You may also be able to salvage some wood from tree trimming services, yard waste centers or storm damage.
I burn everything that dies in the woods at my house. This includes elm, aspen and birch, but not much softwood such as pine. Softwoods burn quickly and produce less heat, which means that you need to refuel frequently and use a lot more wood overall. Note: Pine does make good kindling for a quick start to your fires. Green unseasoned wood will burn slowly and produce a lot of smoke and particulates.
When these build up in your chimney, it increases the risk of a chimney fire. This means you should be planning for next winter a year in advance. To cure drywood needs good air circulation. This means a shed without sides or rows with tarps. You should also find something to stack the wood on to keep it off the ground.
Old treated 4x4s are a favorite of mine. Above is a picture of my wood shed. You might recognize it from the post about natural back pain relief. If you have back problems or other health problem you might want to consider buying your wood from a logger. There is also the task of keeping a fire. Most wood burners will require attention every 6 to 8 hours, maybe longer if you have a good furnace or outdoor boiler.
Most people hold on to their stoves. This is an investment — so make good choices. Outdoor boilers are another option. If you Sharks And Seals - It Used To Be Knobs And Machines Now Its Numbers And Light an outdoor boiler, radiant heating is preferable to a forced air system, which would reduce your efficiency even further.
Masonry heaters are another option, but they may be more expensive than regular wood stoves or pellet Heat Exchange - Various - Burn Burn Presents Watch This Space. Clean your chimney every year and check for problems. Improper ventilation can lead to carbon monoxide build up, which can be deadly. As the flue gas exits the fireplace or wood stove, it drafts upward into the relatively cool flue where condensation occurs. Like hot breath on a cold mirror, the cool surface temperature of the flue causes the carbon particles in the warm vapor to solidify.
The actual cause of creosote condensation, Heat Exchange - Various - Burn Burn Presents Watch This Space the surface temperature of the flue in which the flue gas comes in contact. This resulting carbon based condensation which materializes inside the flue is creosote. It can be the fine black Heat Exchange - Various - Burn Burn Presents Watch This Space called soot, 1st stage creosote ; or porous and crunchy, 2nd stage: see photo on left ; or it can be tar-like: drippy and sticky, until it hardens into a shiny glaze, 3rd stage.
All forms of creosote can occur in one chimney system. Whatever form it takes, creosote is highly combustible. If it builds up in sufficient quantities — and ignites inside the chimney flue: the result is a volcanic chimney fire.
Clean the chimney. Chain saws and other wood cutting tools are dangerous. Anything strong and sharp enough to take down a tree can also go right through you. The chain saw is a tool the demands Heat Exchange - Various - Burn Burn Presents Watch This Space utmost respect — poor judgment can leave scars that last a lifetime. Every year professional loggers die in the woods. It is definitely not something to do with the boys and a few beers. Moving On - Josh Stimpson - Young Homie (All Media, Album) radiant heat from a wood stove soaks right into your bones.
He lives in northwest Wisconsin in the farmhouse that was owned by his grandparents, and maintains a large orchard and perennial LAlphabet - Boule Noire - Primitif, as well as a vegetable garden. Mass Rocket heating stoves will be my heating source for the underground green house. If that works well, I will move in! One other thing to consider, when storing wood, is what animals might hang out in, under, or next to your woodpile.
In other areas of the country you might be dealing with certain spiders, rodents, etc — just something to keep in mind. I lived in Arizona for a few years and there was a large rattlesnake that lived for years under the woodpile by the back door lean-to woodshed. The landlord had told me about this snake which had lived there that he knew of Heat Exchange - Various - Burn Burn Presents Watch This Space 10 years.
There was a line set in tiles about 14 inches from the front edge of the woodpile, which you would not step over. Needless to say I never went out to the woodpile wearing sandals, only boots; and in the winters, the snake was hibernating under the wood-pile, so that worked out for both of us The snake was a good neighbour for 4 years, after which I moved. If this happens, the foundation will crack and the house will become unsafe.
Thanks for sharing your experience. We have fox snakes around here, which help keep down the population of smaller rodents. Hats off to you petrichor! I could not of done that. I would not of killed it, I would of relocated the snake. Then again I am thinking if it behaved and stayed away from the main house like you said, than maybe better Herbert then another nastier snake to move in. We have geothermal but supplement with a wood insert in the fireplace. We have the chimney guy come out and inspect and he did find a flaw which was easily repaired.
I had never thought of that. We heat our house with wood, using an old very old LOL cast iron parlor stove. It was green or freeze, though, and so we went with what we had to. The best thing about wood is that it heats you multiple times, unlike any other type of heating. It heats you when you go to cut it down, when you buck it cut the big tree into fireplace length logswhen you split it cutting the logs into sticks that will burnwhen you stack it for drying, and then when you haul it into the house to burn.
I love wood heat, for more then just the cost savings compared to oil. I use wood heat at work, and at home I have oil heat, so every day I experience the difference.
With the way that homes are built now, with everything being so well sealed in the name of efficiency, there has also been a rise of mold issues from moisture getting trapped. In my experience, both personally and talking to others, those with wood heat and making sure the air is able to circulate in all rooms especially the bathroom are much less likely to have dampness that leads to mold. That is a huge health benefit if my findings are accurate. Another think I love about the wood stove?
I keep a kettle of water on it, so I always have hot water ready for tea or a little bit of dishes… no extra energy spent for the water tank which might seem like a small cost but it really adds up. It is imperative to keep a pot of water on a wood stove. Spontaneous combustion can a cure from a dried out house. In your cupboards can spontaneously combust.
Moisture is important. Dry rot occurs from a fungus that was already on Bye Baby Bunting - Various - Beauty & The Beast wood used to build the house, primarily older houses. Dry rot can also be found in houses that were left vacant I Hang My Head And Cry - Ned Miller - Ned Millers Back too long….
Best to remove the boards in question if dry rot is indeed present. Very good for starting fires, like any other conifer. Dry rot is rot from the fungus spores floating in the air that landed on a wet eatable surface.
To Sunny, yes the overall tone of the post was intended to be one of caution. When facing a decision as important as heating your home it is important to consider the negatives that go with the perks. If you are building a new home or remodeling a lot of money can be saved by making the right choices in the planning stages.
Failing to plan, is like planning to fail. I built my own duct work and installed it, with the help of a heating contractor custom building a few key components, but not everyone has the skills. I work as a maintenance mechanic, I Heat Exchange - Various - Burn Burn Presents Watch This Space specialized equipment for my employer and I never candy coat information, if I make a mistake when I give advice it could be a million dollar mistake.
I also know older people that had to leave their homes when they could no longer cut their own wood. Retirement is a time when many folks have a restricted budget and have to make the most of every dollar. Same for young families, planning is paramount. Here in Montreal wood fireplaces are disappearing from the city, as most put out a considerable amount of pollution.
It would mean lots of smog hanging around in winter, so only fireplaces with very very low rates of polluting particles per hour are allowed anyway. For the city and older people propane can be a good alternative. Our new house will have one and the propane fireplace gives off a really nice heat, works without electricity as well battery operated fan and burns cleanly. The tank sits outside the house and can also be connected to a gas stove if you have it and to an outlet on the patio for the grill.
If you are still looking for a wood stove, plan for the future when you can. If any of you are inventors, you could make a fortune if you could invent something to retro-fit to a stove to eliminate chimney-smoke.
Thanks for sharing!
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