Monday, July 25


We burn wood for heat. Every spring a log truck drives up our road, takes out a few sagging telephone lines, and delivers a truck load of wood to our house. Our home is about 4,000 square feet and we run two wood stoves, one at each end of the house. The wood for an entire fall, winter, and spring costs us as much as one month of oil heat would cost so the savings are immense, and nothing beats the coziness of wood heat and a pot of stew set on top of the wood stove to simmer.

In previous years we stacked our wood out under the trees and tarps for the winter and had to venture out into the cold for firewood when the stash in the garage ran out. Last year Sean obtained a permit and built a woodshed onto the back of the house and we fill it to the brim with wood. This year we ( read: Sean mostly) will chainsaw the logs into eighteen inch sections and then split them with the wood splitter. The wood is then carried to the woodshed with the tractor. Our kids are expert stackers.

We were cleaning up the woodshed and stacking the leftover wood from last winter when inside a hollow piece of wood, we found a cozy little mouse home, stuffed tight with feathers and corn. Smart little mouse.

This year Sean is trying something new that we read about, cutting the green logs and stacking them on pallets and then wrapping the pallets with plastic wrap, making a greenhouse effect inside and drying the wood more quickly. So far, so good. It really does heat up under that plastic wrap.

So how much wood does it take to heat our home? 35-40 face cord.


Sally said...

great post! We have an oil furnace, and it was sooo expensive to fill it! we are looking at adding at least one wood stove, but there is So.Much.Work. that needs to be done. Major reno's to the space to make it (1) safe (2)relatively near code. Sigh...old house living!!

Jamie said...

Good For you to get a head start on the wood season.We have one wood stove and are considering to replace it with electric heat boards,who knows.I grew up with wood heat and that is all we use here bc we took out the furnace,it didn't work well at all.
I just don't like leaving and the thought of my house burning down,terrifies me.I know a furnace can do the same.
I enjoy the heat from wood,peaceful but cutting it all the time gets boring and tiredsome.We need to buy more so we arent out cutting all winter when the famers are done in the fields. said...

I have to ask..We are near Syracuse, NY where are you? Who delivers your wood if we are in the same area? We too burn mostly wood but also have a coal furnace..I would love to eliminate the coal entirely to save $$ but have trouble finding wood!

SRKindred said...

My, you have a big house and go through alot of wood! We have a small house and only heat with wood (I'm blessed with a big firplace!) We only use 3 1/2 cords per year (Oct - Apr) to heat our place. We've read about wrapping the wood (in Countryside Magazine - love it), but have found for us we leave it outside in a pile for one year then stack it in the woodshed for use the next winter... it works really good and is super dry! I love wood heat and would never want to go back to electric heat!

Unknown said...

I love burning wood also. We have a big outdoor burner though...sometimes I wish it was indoor but we don't have to split anything...we get it delivered in tree size and just cut huge chunks with a chainsaw! There is NOTHING like the smell of woodsmoke in the fall/winter!! :) I wonder how many cords we get?

The Scribbler said...

I wondered if wood heating saved money...Are you very warm? How well do the wood stoves heat? Do you have any additional forms of heat for your bedrooms? We don't use oil. A month of our electric heat and etc. for our smallish (1600 sq. ft. home) is about $250. We hope to build at some point. I will keep this in mind.