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Thread: Propane vs. wood??
03-01-2012, 05:17 PM #1
Propane vs. wood??
we use propane for heat,we are planning on getting new windows soon, the window man said we would save 50% on AC and heat...not sure if this is really a reality. Anyway we pay $2.799 per gal. for propane, and spend $2500-$3000 pr. year for propane.We have access on our property for free wood for decades to come....I am afraid of fires and the wood mess, plus Dh has a bad back and will be 50 years old soon, and he has been nagging me about burning wood. No. we have no fireplace or wood burner, we would have to buy it and have it installed etc... What do you all think?? Is it worth the time and money, and your back for the wood cutting etc. I know wood is a hot heat vs. propane, we live in a tri-level house, so we have uneven heat. DH wants to add something to the furnace or something and have the wood heat blow thru the registers for the heat........any comments would be appreciated. We live in Eastern Ohio, so lake effect snow and cold temps are normal here.taking one day at a time, trying to get rid of debt!!
- 03-01-2012, 05:51 PM #2
- Rep Power
I would go with buying the Woodstove...I think it will be alot cheaper in the end over the years for you (look at the prices right now we are paying..it's gonna get alot worse)..you also can cook on it if you like..not to mention when the power goes out you have heat in the winter months= self sufficient)I'm not sure what to say about your dh's back? Maybe you could pay someone to cut & split the wood for you? Barter even? Have any kids that would help you? or you could just buy it cheaper than what your paying for the propane.Wife to Keith
Mom of 3 boys
03-01-2012, 05:52 PM #3
- Rep Power
If your husband would expect to be the one doing most of the cutting, bucking, hauling, splitting, stacking, hauling into the house, and hauling out the ashes, and he already has a bad back, I'd sure think twice about it, especially if your house is not already set up for heating with wood. Is there anyone he can volunteer to help with wood cutting to give it a try and see if he's really interested in doing that much back-breaking work?
When I was a kid we heated with wood and I can tell you, one person trying to do all the work would be a monumental task. Our family of five worked on it as a team every year, and it took a LOT of time and effort from all of us, working in the heat and the bugs.
You would not be able to use your existing chimney system for wood heat, so that would be a big expense.
If you're really set on heating with wood, look into wood furnaces that are free-standing and installed outside the house.
All wood is not created equal. Do you have a lot of hardwoods? You can't burn sappy woods like pine, and stuff like popple burns fast but doesn't give off much heat.
You would also have to cut the wood and let it sit for a year or two to dry and season. Fresh wood burns too smokey.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you.” -Mildred Lisette Norman
03-01-2012, 06:12 PM #4
This is our 3rd winter burning wood in a outside wood boiler furnace. Our set up cost 10,000. They are not cheap. The boiler alone was $ 6600 . One of the smartest things we have done here. We were using 500 gallons of propane a year. Now we use 2 one hundred pounders for the kitchen stove. One on a time, and the second one is filled for backup. Current one has been on since last July.
We use the existing propane( propane shut off ) furnace for the blower over the heat exchanger at the bottom, to push the heat from the boiler through the house through the original ductwork. We did our own set up. A neighbor helped us with the plumbing for $ 75. That was to plumb the heat exchanger on our electric hot water heater, so when the OWB is on, it also heats all our hot water we use. In the summer, when the OWB is off, the electric at the breaker box is turned back on, so the electric heats the hot water. It's 26 ft from the OWN under the driveway into the house. The pex piping to carry the hot water, at that time was over $ 10 a ft. We also did pay a fellow $ 100 to use his kubota with a small bucket to dig the trench across the driveway. Our kubota does not have a bucket.
The cost for our wood supply is $ 700 a year. We buy a tri axle load of log length wood and the hubby cuts it down to a size he likes. Picture is the winter of 2010.
Please excuse our old garage. We physically tore down a old farm pole barn building, hauled it home on haywagon over 5 weekends, and put it back up ourselves. He pounded all the nails, I cut all the used metal sheeting by hand to cut it down to size. Only thing we bought new was the rafters custom made and some nails.
We did toy with the idea of using a wood stove or a pellet stove in the house.
Hubby said no way were we going to have a live fire box going in the house.
That and I think the insurance company might have had a fit.
Last edited by ladytoysdream; 03-01-2012 at 06:28 PM. Reason: more information--------My signature--------
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Put the frog in pot, turn up the heat real slow, and the frog doesn't hop out. And by the time he realizes, he should , it's too late... think about it.
03-01-2012, 07:47 PM #5
We used our fireplace quite often when we moved it. We have friends that heat their whole house with a wood stove and they really love it. If you can pay someone to cut, haul and stack a few cords a year for you it would be worth while. I think it would still be cheaper than propane, maybe barter and have someone do the work and let them take a cord or 2 for themselves as payment for their labor. Just an idea.
03-01-2012, 08:19 PM #6
- Rep Power
We put a wood stove in our basement in 2000. It cost quite a bit at the time and be chain saws, spliter, all come to several thousand...Took us 8 years to get our money back in saveings..and we cut all our own wood and all..I would see if it would be cost worthy by the time you get a stove and everything hooked up...I know that they charge quite a bit if you have to buy wood...and It is a lot of work...We had to change insurance companys too on homeowners...and it must be installed to code...It is a lot warmer heat...but is dirty heat...and really nice when the electric goes out..
03-03-2012, 01:15 PM #7
- Rep Power
well, propane is the second most expensive fuel to heat with (after oil) and wood is the cheapest. So do it if you physically can. We heat and cook with only wood, we love it.
03-03-2012, 02:37 PM #8
thanks for all of the replies...it is alot of info to think about. We cannot afford the outside woodburner that is for sure...do you think that new windows will save 50% of the heating and cooling costs they way that the window man says??taking one day at a time, trying to get rid of debt!!
03-03-2012, 03:37 PM #9
We put in new windows and didn't save 50%.
03-04-2012, 11:34 AM #10
banana..did you notice any savings? We are going to be buying Simonton windows.taking one day at a time, trying to get rid of debt!!
03-09-2012, 05:25 AM #11
Proper double windows might give you something like 30% savings. Depending on what kind of windows you have now, ofcourse.
Oh and I would choose wood over propane any day. Wood is just "easier" and cheaper.
03-09-2012, 06:40 AM #12
We don't burn wood but a food for thought. Our church we get together every Saturday for awhile and have woodbees. We go to a different location and help put the wood in for that family. We can get atleast 15-20 cord put away in a day. We go right into the woods drop the trees, cut, split, and stack all in one day. We have a good time doing this it is great time to followship.
05-07-2012, 12:01 PM #13
I have a wood stove at home and yes it does save alot on our heating costs. But I own a pickup truck and I get all of my wood for "free" off of craigslist. I say free in quotes because I spend money on gas for the chainsaw, gas for the truck and I had to recently buy a chainsaw as ours gave out after years of usage. It is not easy work, I am 37 and relatively healthy but after a few hours of cutting, hauling splitting stacking and clean up, my back does feel very sore. This would be the time to one get the stove, and the wood for next season. Stoves are at the lowest price now since the winter is over and the wood is best to buy now so that it seasons properly. Not sure how much square footage you have to heat but I have a very affordable 2000sq ft stove from the Home Deppppot. its an Englander NC30 and it works great for us. just my 2 cents. As far as fires, as long as you clean the chimney regularly and burn well seasoned wood, you should be ok, as with everything, We use caution and proper usage.
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