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Heating with wood burners/fire places only?

Discussion in 'How To Save Energy' started by sumi, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Nov 11, 2015
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    I'm trying it this year and so far so good. O.K. granted, it hadn't exactly been COLD here so far, but for my South African body anything under 60* is "cold", so… I had a fireplace in my previous house, lovely but woefully inadequate. Currently I have a wood burning stove and am getting clever about directing the heat away from where it's not needed (kitchen) and where it's nice (upstairs, bedrooms). It's pleasantly warm up here at the moment and absolutely divine in the lounge where the stove is. The fire's been going about 3 hours and another 2 hours. (It went out in-between).

    Heating oil here is VERY expensive IMO, so I am going to try to avoid using the central heating this winter.

    Wood, wood, wood, there is enough to be had for free, if my spare time and the dry days coincide. It didn't lately. So I'm buying logs at the moment :hide

    Does anyone else here heat with wood burners/fire places only?
     
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  2. Nov 12, 2015
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Yep...have been doing so for most of my life. Lived in a few houses along the way that I didn't have it, but have had for the last 10 years. Love it, hate any other kind of heating.

    We use a barrel stove...folks have been using that same style~and stove kit~ for 40 yrs now and are real happy with it.

    [​IMG]

    We've got in all the wood we'll be getting for the year. We like to start early and get it in along the way so it's not such a big chore in the fall.

    What kind of stove are you using, Sumi?
     
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  3. Nov 12, 2015
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    We do most of our heating w/a wood stove. We should have gotten the next size bigger. I much prefer it to any other type of heat.
     
  4. Nov 12, 2015
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    @Beekissed please tell me more about that stove? That thing looks like it can WORK!

    I currently use one of the fancy glass door types that get sold commercially. It looks a bit like this, with the chimney coming out the back:

    100DD-400x400.jpg

    I found it helps if I open the doors every so often to let the heat out into the room, but then I have to watch it, because the logs spit the odd spark out and I don't have a fire guard. Those things I found also block a LOT of the heat from the fires.
     
  5. Nov 12, 2015
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    This stove is what is known as a barrel stove and they sell kits to convert a steel barrel into a stove. Our kit was manufactured by a company that went out of business in the late 70s, by the name of Sotz. The only company I know that sells the kits now is called Vogelzang...their kits don't fit as tightly to the stove and the doors are a little more loose as well, so may leak air a little.

    The Sotz kit we have was bought in the 70s and we've been using it ever since...no slop in the make and fit of the door at all. The stove can take a huge load of logs if desired and can hold a fire for a couple of days while dampered down. We put a goodly amount in it each night, close the dampers and those same logs are in there the next morning except they are almost pure charcoal, so you open those dampers and a very hot fire ensues. It keeps the house warm all night and still has a huge bank of coals to have a roaring fire when you open the dampers the next morning.

    It's not lovely but it's a workhorse, for sure. With the ability to damper it down and the airtight design, it saves on wood a good bit.

    For steady heating, holding a fire so you never have to restart one, for shear BTUs it's the best bargain for the money spent. The current barrel we are using cost $15...the Vogelzang kits cost around $50-$60 nowadays.
     
  6. Nov 12, 2015
    sumi

    sumi Sustainability Master Administrator

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    I wonder how difficult it would be to convert a barrel yourself… I know a few DIY types that would love to make something like this.
     
  7. Nov 12, 2015
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    Not hard at all. My 81 yr old mama did the last two stoves by herself...about 20 yrs in between barrel changes. Just got to have a way to cut the barrel and then drill the holes to screw the kit onto it.
     
  8. Nov 13, 2015
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    My Daddy had a barrel stove, but he used two barrels, stacked on top of each other. A short pipe connected the barrels at one end and the exhaust? pipe came out of the top of the top barrel at the opposite end. It heated a large area.

    We don't heat with wood, but I sure wish we had a wood burning heater. I have used wood before as sole heat twice and never froze to death, still here and kicking! I like the convenience of the control on the wall, but wish we had a wood burning heater for the $avings and for back up.

    The funny part is, while clearing for a fence row this summer, we cut several large trees, then chunked them up. Neighbor brought his splitter and we stacked up some firewood! neighbor took his share home, we had a stack for our DD and family, plus a stack for another neighbor. The other neighbor came tonight and got his firewood, DD and family coming Saturday for their stack. There was no way we were going to waste that valuable wood and just cut the trees and let them go to ruin.
     
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  9. Nov 13, 2015
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Mountain Sage

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    I love everything about wood heat...the type of warmth it emits, the smell of it, running the splitter or splitting wood by hand has a satisfactory feeling about it, love that we can use resources that we currently have on the land, and being independent of the power grid for our warmth. When the electric goes down~which it does quite often here~we are still warm and can even cook meals on the stove, though we don't need to due to having a propane range.

    I even love having the ashes to place on my garden, love that a stove needs very little repair and it can be done by us, and I love the frugality of it all...it's the cheapest heat source out there for us, so it feels wonderful to live so cheaply each winter compared to other folks.
     
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  10. Nov 13, 2015
    Britesea

    Britesea Sustainability Master

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    We had wood heat only when we first married, but this current house doesn't have it. Getting a stove is on my list this next year though.
     

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