"The more I find out, the less I know."

Sun - November 25, 2007 at 08:30 AM in

November Gas Usage

We got our November gas bill, and this month we saved about a hundred bucks through wood heat (details here). We're getting close to having saved the cost of the stove, which was a bit under $3,000 including installation. Not bad for less than two full seasons.

This is the time of year when we're starting to burn firewood in earnest, but haven't yet had to turn on the main furnace. The house stays reasonably warm (depending on how much sun we get) just with the wood stove, but we're consuming fuel at a healthy clip. I'm pretty sure we've got enough good, dry firewood to last the season, but I won't know for sure until we get a lot closer to spring. The woodpiles are disappearing alarmingly fast, so I hope I've estimated correctly in how much wood we'll need and how much I collected.

So far, we've completely consumed one small stack of wood, about 1-2 cords which were on the patio. I had been expecting this to last until sometime around the end of November, and I was pretty close: we used the last of it on Thanksgiving. Next up is the approximately six cords stacked in the garage, which I estimate will last us until sometime in the last half of February. The garage wood is the best stuff, with a lot of nicely seasoned oak and maple.

Then there's another 2-4 cords stacked under a spruce tree next to the garage, which should get us to the end of the wood burning season. I've also got several more cords under a different spruce tree, but that wood mostly still needs to dry for another season before its ready to burn. Some of it is quite green, having just been cut this fall, and some of it is cottonwood, which isn't very good firewood until very dry. There's probably four cords of cottonwood waiting to be split (equivalent to just two cords of oak), but I'm waiting to split it until it freezes and gets brittle.

The bottom line is that this year, for the first year, I think we really have enough well-seasoned firewood to last the whole winter, and a good start on the following winter. I made an effort this summer to try to collect two years' worth of firewood, so that we'll have a plentiful supply of dry wood. I didn't quite get two winters worth, but I did get maybe one and a half.

Posted at 08:30 AM | Permalink | | |

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