See below . . .
~What's the best firewood to burn?
~What is "green firewood"?
~What's best, a wood stove or a fireplace?
~My opinion on Outdoor Wood Stoves.
~Firewood heating and weight value chart.
~What type chimney is the best for me?
~ Photo of our home.
90% with firewood.
please page down for more.
I've supplemented our home heating system for over
40 years with a wood stove here in northern Ohio.
Some consider wood fuel
to be bad for the environment,
is not the case if proper techniques are used.
When wood heat replaces carbon-producing fuels such as
propane, heating oil or electricity from a coal-burning
plant, then wood burning has a positive impact on the
world-wide carbon footprint. Today,
important technological advances have resulted in
cleaner burning, high efficiency wood stoves.
My home's present heating system
is a 3 ton Goodman heat pump with LPG (propane) furnace as a backup. This heat pump heats our home at a
very reasonable cost when the temperature is above 38 degrees. Below 38 degrees
the LPG furnace takes over, this is expensive compared to heating with
the heat pump. I burn my wood
stove any time the outside temperature is predicted to drop below 40 degrees.
After several wood stoves I now use a Johnson
Hotblast 1300 wood furnace (Click here, or
on the "Our wood stove" yellow button on left for more about our Hotblast).
The Hotblast is tied into our home heating system. It does a great job heating
our home but requires dry firewood. Colder Ohio winters require almost constant wood burning, however
last winter (2011/2012) was very mild and only required wood fires during the
cooler evenings and nights.
How large is our home?
We heat 90% with Firewood. . .
own a large ranch with a full basement. I would guess the total square footage to be
about 2200. Our original (present) heat is a Goodman 3T Heat Pump with a backup gas furnace
that kicks on when the temp drops to below 38 degrees. We added the wood
burning furnace and connected it into our existing
Heat Pump/Gas furnace ductwork. The home is well insulated, however, with over 18 inches
of fiberglass in the attic.
Our Hotblast 1300 fully heats our home in the coldest of Ohio weather. It's done
great even on windy below zero degree days. The Hotblast 1300 wood furnace
even heats our garage. It's nice, during these
Ohio winters, to jump into a warm car in the morning.
The Hotblast uses very little firewood but the firewood
needs to be dry. Our chimney is 6" triple wall stainless.
I burn local Ohio fire woods including Oak, Maple, Hickory, Cherry, Elm,
Ash. I also buy several loads of slab wood from local saw mills, it dries quickly. I
cut about half of my firewood myself. When
I cut my own firewood I usually don't split anything that's under 10 inches in
diameter. I use these large pieces to hold my fires overnight. These large
pieces need to be air dried for at least a full year, preferably for a couple
Last winter I used a large 40 inch in diameter White Elm for my overnight logs.
This large tree was hollow. White Elm is a very
tough wood to split. White Elm is only rated as "fair" in firewood value in the
chart below but I enjoy burning it. It burns evenly and completely leaving very
winter I'll use a few large Black Cherries (known as Wild Cherry here in Ohio) that I cut last summer (I sold the
logs but saved everything under 12 inches in diameter for firewood). Cherry and
not "excellent" heat producing woods (see chart below) but they do
a good job. they're good woods to mix with Oak and Hickory. I enjoy burning these woods.
Add a couple 7 inch x 20
Wild Cherries (or two 7" x 20" Elms) to a hot bed
of coals then put a good dry 8" x 20" White Oak or
Hickory on top and you have a fire that will hold for 12
or more hours and still re-ignite easily from the hot
coals without a match.
One cord of seasoned
will provide more
gallons of propane,
275k cu. ft. natural gas, or
133 gallons of #2 fuel oil.
local prices for each.
"Green firewood": Ever try to burn freshly cut firewood? Freshly cut
firewood is called "green" firewood. It contains a lot of water. Some
green firewoods are more than half water by weight. Green wood must air dry before it will
Burning green firewood doesn't provide much heat
into the home.
It causes more smoke and
will coat your flue with creosote. Freshly cut firewood has up to 60%
water content and won't burn very well in your wood stove. First, you must let the firewood
season, which allows the moisture to escape. When the wood gets down below 20%
water content, it's ready to burn.
When green firewood is burned, the water in the
wood must be boiled into steam to get rid of it. Thousands of BTUs are used to boil the water out of the green wood.
These BTUs are lost as home heat since it they are returned into the outside air as the steam returns to
Let's look at White Oak, a Excellent burning firewood
when "dry or seasoned**". Here's an example of how much water is in "green"
1 cord of "green" White Oak weighs about* 6,290
1 cord of air dried White Oak weighs about* 3,710
= 2,580 pounds of water in a cord of "green" White Oak
Water is 8 pounds per gallon, so divide by
= 322 gallons of water in a cord
of "green" White Oak
that almost SIX 55 gallon drums full of
water (330 gallons) must be boiled out of this "green" firewood
before it can heat your home. The heat that is used to
boil this water is lost as home heat.
efficient is your wood stove or fireplace?
Click link below . . .
Click here: Wood stove/fireplace
Dry firewood weight by cubic
foot . . .
Weighing a single
cubic foot of dry wood is a good way to determine
the heat value in BTUs of the species as a firewood.
Click here for more . . .
~Firewood heating and weight
with notes below . . .
please page down for more.