What is the best heat for me? Wood, coal, pellet, gas, oil, etc.
Today we will be going over the advantages and disadvantages of wood for heat. Wood is certainly the most common fuel for stoves and fireplaces. Wood is usually the most available fuel and most of the time the least expensive. If you cut your own it could be lots of fun to spend the day in the woods or back yard cutting firewood. But if you’re like the rest of us, you have no time. Then you have to order your wood. Many times we get it cut, split, and delivered for about $200.00 dollars a cord.
Good questions to ask the wood guy:
· Is it hard wood or soft wood and what species? · Is it a full cord? How will they “prove” it? · Is it seasoned? If so how long has it been cut and split? · Will they stack it? Does this cost extra? · Is it cut to the proper length for your fireplace or woodstove?
Let’s look at the numbers on wood. Very dry, wood has about 8600 BTU’s per pound depending on the type of wood. But firewood is never that dry, it’s usually between 15 and 25 percent moisture at best. That brings this down to 5500 to 6500 BTU per pound.
Unseasoned wood requires more heat to maintain combustion. This kind of wood has much moister. This results in less available heat. The energy is used to dry the wood so it can burn, instead of heating the house.
A cord of oak contains more potential BTU’s than a cord of pine because it has more density or what we call a hard wood. 1 cord of oak produces about 22,500,000 BTUS, pine produces 13,416,000 BTUs, and hickory has a whopping 26,000,000 BTUs for a cord at 20 percent moisture.
These are all good numbers when it comes to heating. However, the bad news is that an exceptionally good woodstove is about 65 to 75 percent efficiency if it’s burning perfectly. Those numbers have come a long way for those who have older woodstoves. So we get 16,900,000 for $200.00 of oak or a maple wood and far less for a soft wood like pine. There is a mess to consider and the continuous feeding of the woodstove. In the next newsletter we will consider coal and the break down.
We will TOTALLY BREAK DOWN the different fuels one at a time! At the end we hope you can choose wisely. Or know how to help others. Click contact us to talk to a professional.
“The Chimney Pro”