See below . . .
~ What is "green" firewood?
~ How do I "dry" firewood?
~ What's best, fireplace or wood stove?
~ My opinion on Outdoor Wood Stoves.
~ What type chimney is the best ?
~ Our home.
90% with firewood.
~ Best wood to burn? See our firewood
heating and weight value chart. Click here to
see chart . . .
please page down for more.
I've supplemented our home heating system for over
50 years with a wood stove here in northern Ohio.
One cord of seasoned hardwood
home heat than 225
gallons of propane,
275 ccf (100 cubic feet) of natural gas, or
133 gallons of #2 fuel oil.
local prices for each.
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 original (present) heating
system is a 3 ton Goodman heat pump with LPG (propane)
furnace as a backup. The Goodman heat pump heats our home at a
very reasonable cost when the outside temperature is above 40 degrees. when the
outside temperature drops below 40 degrees
the LPG furnace takes over. This is expensive compared to heating with
the heat pump. I burn my wood
furnace 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. The winter of 2011/2012 was very mild and
only required using the wood furnace during the cooler evenings and nights. Colder Ohio winters require almost constant wood burning,
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 40 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 residual heat from the flue and
from the cast iron furnace door also keeps our garage
warm. 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
must be air dried for a year or more. Our chimney is 6" triple wall stainless.
I burn Ohio's local firewoods 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, sometimes 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
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
Click here to
see firewood chart. . .
but they do
a good job. They're good firewoods to mix with better heat producing woods such
as Oak, Locust and Hickory.
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.
"Green firewood": Ever try to burn freshly cut firewood?
Freshly cut, or firewood
dumped in a pile won't dry and it won't burn well. Rain
will run down and soak into cut ends while ground
moisture will migrate up
soak into spongy inner bark. Wood left in a heap will
soon rot and be rendered useless as firewood. Firewood
must be cut into stove sized pieces and properly
stacked to dry. See photo at right . . .
firewood is called "green" firewood. It contains a lot of water. This
large amount of water is not on the outside of the logs, it's inside,
absorbed into the wood fibers. Proper air drying is the best way to remove this
water from your firewood. This moisture exits the firewood mostly through the ends. This is why it's important to cut your wood into 18 to 22" pieces.
Then properly stack the green firewood and
leave the ends exposed to the open air for 6 months to a full year. Shorter logs
will dry faster, I try to cut mine all about 18". Some
green firewoods are more than half water by weight. Green firewood 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 (green) firewood has up to 60%
water content and won't burn 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
you must burn Green firewood, this means that 330 gallons
of water must be boiled out of this "green" firewood
before it can heat your home. Try to imagine how much
heat is required to boil this amount of water. Your
wood stove's heat that is used to
boil this water is lost as home heat.
please page down for more.
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 . . .
See Chart, find the best
firewoods to burn:
Firewood heating and weight
values. with notes . . .
Sixty different firewoods listed. (You will remain in this website.)
Click here to find the best
firewoods to burn . . .