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Old 09/26/04, 06:02 PM
Steph in MT's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montana
Posts: 557
How much wood will you burn this winter?

Hello all!
My husband & I just moved to our property in central Montana and are eagerly anticipating our first winter. We hope to do most if not all of our heating with our new woodstove. (hubby is a lot more optimistic than I about being able to heat with only wood...latent lumberjack tendencies...he loves chopping and splitting wood). I know there are many variables but I was wondering how much wood most folks go through in a winter. We have a well insulated single wide mobile home and will be burning pine in our Century woodstove. (I know, not the best wood but it's what we have on our property) Free heat is good heat.
He's out chopping as we speak and has about a cord cut and stacked from dead trees that he's hauled back from various corners of the property. Being new at this we have absolutely no clue as to how much we might need. Any input would be most helpful! Thanks and have a great day!
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Old 09/26/04, 06:08 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 7,154
Get the poor guy a chain saw, or he will still be out there choppin' every day, all day until spring. That would be around the 4th of July where you live.
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Old 09/26/04, 06:15 PM
Steph in MT's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montana
Posts: 557
Hee hee
He has a chainsaw but prefers to use his axe whenever possible. Maybe after a few more weeks of this he might look on it a little more fondly. He's very anxious to teach me to split wood too...keeps telling me he has some special pieces saved to teach me on. As of yet, I've had an excuse as I've been painting the outside of the house this week. Somehow, I just don't think I'll get the same thrill out of it that he does.
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Old 09/26/04, 06:17 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: SE Missouri
Posts: 28,248
In Northwestern colorado I burned about 6 cords a year. Heated with wood except an electric heater in the bathroom for showers. This was a 1600 sf modular triple wide, had good insulation, but horid windows. Be sure your air intake for the stove is close to the stove to cut down on drafts.
I believe in God's willingness to heal.

Cyngbaeld's Keep Heritage Farm, breeding a variety of historical birds and LaMancha goats. (It is pronounced King Bold.)
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Old 09/26/04, 06:26 PM
OD OD is offline
Join Date: May 2004
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We heat with nothing but wood & usually burn about 3 cords of oak per (Texas) winter. Pine is very dangerous to use in a wood heater, except for starting fires. It can fill your chimney up with creasote & possibly cause a chimney fire. Please try to find some slower-burning wood to mix with it, it's not worth taking a chance on having your house burn down.

Last edited by OD; 09/26/04 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 09/26/04, 06:49 PM
mtmama's Avatar  
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Montana
Posts: 301
I hope you are burning Lodgepole pine, and not Ponderosa! Ponderosa has alot of pitch and burns really hot! Lodgepole is alittle better. We live in a single wide mobile home and use wood for heat. We go through about 4 cord of wood in an average winter, sometimes more, sometimes less. Our stove heats our house very well, too well sometimes! I would try to get some seasoned larch or fir to burn at least at night, and be sure to clean out your chimney at least once a month. Most of all, be careful burning pine!!!!
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Old 09/26/04, 07:19 PM
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Windy Island Acres
Join Date: May 2002
Location: The Quiet Corner of CT
Posts: 4,588
We will be heating with wood as well for the first time (exclusively) since oil is now $1.96 gallon. I'm wondering if the pipes in the basement will freeze if we only have a wood stove in the upstairs (its a ranch)?
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Old 09/26/04, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 158
I go through about 12-15 rick of wood (everything is ricks here, we don't go by cords). I have a wood furnace and it heats my entire house (24X65 ranch with 2/3 of basement. I hope to run duct work before it get too cold but am busy trying to paint my house and cut wood before the first frost)
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Old 09/26/04, 08:18 PM
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Location: New York
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3 cords of hardwood here last winter, in Vermont. Its a small house though.

Pine will mess up your chimney and burn out FAST =/ you will need a lot more of it than hardwood, and be very careful of chimney fires
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Old 09/26/04, 09:32 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 416

DH started out with an ax. Then we got a bow saw. And then we got a small chain saw. Then we got a bigger chain saw. Then we got a bigger chain saw. And then he got a humungous chain saw for a monster oak trees piled up in a neighbor's field. We supplement the LP with about 3 cords of wood per zone 5 prarie swept winter. Couldn't say for sure, as the stuff is not stacked in regulation cord rows.
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Old 09/26/04, 09:44 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Western WA
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We heated with wood exclusively for 25 years and used 4 cords a year.We have a ranch house.We cut our wood a year ahead of time and use mostly alder cos thats what we have most of on our place.
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Old 09/26/04, 09:51 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,278
We burn 7-8 cords a winter here in Ontario. Mixed wood, hardwood at night and the softer stuff in the day. I only spent 45 bucks on oil last winter. 1500 sq foot uninsulated 1850 built home.

Pine, spruce and any other softwood can be burnt no problem. The coldest areas of North America (East Alaska and Northern Canada) heat with pine, spruce and other evergreens without a problem. Creasote is caused by smoldering a fire, not by burning pine.

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Old 09/26/04, 10:11 PM
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Location: Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
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Since you're burning a mobile Montana...I'm guestimating that you'll need around 10 cords (4ftx4ftx8ft cords).
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Old 09/26/04, 10:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: KY
Posts: 12,678
Live in a small 3 bedroom brick and have a huge old Warm Morning stove with a good damper. We heat only with wood for past 20 or so years. Lucky, cause we have whiskey barrel factory close by that sells us discarded staves. That with about 2 dump trucks of cut hardwood are all we need. A good cleaning of the chimney and stove pipes before every burning season, and seal the pipes good. We also throw in an occasional handful of salt to a low fire. Make sure to keep the ashes dumped and a good pair of long heavy leather gloves close by and a good poker. We have a ceramic tile wall behind the stove as well as a large square of ceramic tile under the stove. Be sure to have battery operated smoke alarms and don't depend on the electrical ones. We have a large brick chimney and put a vented screened hood on it because we live in a valley and kept catching down drafts. Also helps keep birds and such out of the chimney too. Nothing better than coming home to a nice toasty warm house when it's freezin outside.
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Old 09/26/04, 10:17 PM
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Goshen Farm
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone 8a, AZ
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Greeting from southwest Montana! We heat strictly with wood also. We are at 7000 feet and our winters are pretty harsh. Each year we get a week or two of -30 to -40 degrees before wind chill. Our little house is about 1100 square feet with an open loft. The walls are 8 inch and well insulated. windows are standard double pane vinyl. Thought in the beginning we would need 10 cords of pine and fir. But past three years we have found we are burning about 5 cords per winter. Winter being Sept till June! We burn lodgepole in day time and fir rounds at night. Works for us, good luck on your new montana home! And where are you? We are between Butte and Deer Lodge up in the mountains.
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Old 09/27/04, 02:05 AM
Steph in MT's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Montana
Posts: 557
wow, thanks everyone for all your input. It gives me an idea of what we should have ready for the winter. And thank you also for all the words of caution re: burning pine. We are fire paranoid being out here in the woods and will be religious about cleaning the chimney and do have battery powered smoke detectors in all rooms. We've installed an extra heat shield on the wall just to be safe.
Sisterpine we are in Roundup Mt. Thanks for your well wishes! We've owned the property for 13 yrs and finally moved out here in June. We couldn't be happier! Looking forward to growing a raging vegetable garden next summer (if I can keep the grasshoppers away)
Take care all,
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Old 09/27/04, 02:15 AM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Norwood,Missouri
Posts: 647
Here in Missouri we have a lot of hard wood to choose from to burn. So I usually only burn less then 2 cords per year.

We do have a unvented wall gas heater in the livingroom but rarely turn it on. And if we do its to knock the chiill if weve been away all day and the fire has abouut burnt out.

I Thess. 5:18 "In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
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Old 09/27/04, 02:17 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Washington
Posts: 2,832
We go though 4 cords of mixed pine, fir, oak and alder to heat our 2 story house in Washington.
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Old 09/27/04, 11:09 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 149
Wink Missouri Winter wood use

I use somewhere around 3 cords I guess in a winter in my 1755 sq ft house......We are on a hill with no windbreak.

My outside heater doesn't burn too much wood I don't think. Since we just fill it 2x a day

here is the


We burn mainly oak, hickory, blackjack or even some elm.
Lower your heating costs!
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Old 09/27/04, 12:57 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Northeastern Minnesota
Posts: 2,246
We cook with wood year round and heat with wood in winter. We go through about 7 cords per year of birch, but then, this is northern Minnesota.
“It is tedious to live, it is tedious to die, it is tedious to c**p in deep snow”
Old Norwegian observation
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