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Discussion Starter #1
I have a house just under 900 sq ft. I will need to get a stove for winter (I recently moved to MI, zone 6). I don’t know at this time if I will get a wood stove or one that uses pellets. For a 6 month cold season, how much would I need to get get for cord wood or pellets? The sooner I know the sooner I can run cost estimates which will determine what I look to buy.

Oh yes, and what are any reasons why I wouldn’t be able to use one stove for both types? Sorry, only had gas stoves before so yes, I’m a bit ignorant on the subject.
 

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Possibly how well you house is insulated might give you a better idea of your needs. Have had both wood and pellets. Love the pellet stove except for two reasons, when I would be gone more than 30 hours it would run out of pellets. Of course a wood fire would not last that long either. Always have had backup electric to use if traveling.. Second I got tired of storing and handling the bags of pellets. Seem like one would always break open..
My favorite is wood, like the heat from a wood stove and if built right hold heat better after the fire has gone out. I have a heat pump and an insert in a fireplace that gets asp every night during the winter. If I travel for a month or two, set the electric heat on 50.
 

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Put one of these in your wood stove pipe stack and I guarantee you'll use 1/2 the amount of wood you'd normally use. It catches the heat that normally goes up the pipe and blows it into the house. I had a 1600 sq.ft house and if I wasn't careful, I'd have to open a window it'd get so hot.
I'd rather heat with wood rather than pellets, so check the cost of both. A cord of oak is getting expensive.
 
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Zone 3, 500 sq ft not well insulated. I burn 5 full cords of hardwood a year. mix oak and ash. I buy 8 foot logs then block and split them. Cost $95 a cord and some gas for the chainsaw and splitter.
 

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I have 1800 sq ft of living space + 975 sf of garage/utility space to heat in Zone 4 WI with in-slab hydronics, and use 4 cords of oak/yr....but we have earth-berm construction and it loses heat so slowly, the furnace turns off and the slab cools off...We would probably use less fuel if we kept the place uncomfortably warm.

Neighbor has a smaller house-- log cabin style construction-- and uses 10 cords/yr.

I pay $250/cord of already split wood-- well worth the price, considering how long it would take me to fell a tree, schlepp it back to civilization, split it myself and clean up afterwards (@ 3 trees to the cord).
 

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The way I look at firewood vs. pellets -

Firewood is everywhere - at least around here. If you are able to cut and split your own it’s basically free. But if you have to buy it cut and split it’s still a fair bargain as long as you are getting properly seasoned hardwoods.

Pellets to me are no different than fuel oil or propane as it is a commodity market. Not only can the price fluctuate wildly due to supply and demand, it’s always a possibility of being totally unavailable. You are at the mercy of the manufacturers and the market.
 

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My brother in law has had his pellet stove rendered unusable several times due to power outages. No electric means no hopper.
He loves his stove and he saved a ton of money vs conventional heat, that is just a downside to his stove.
 

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Put one of these in your wood stove pipe stack and I guarantee you'll use 1/2 the amount of wood you'd normally use. It catches the heat that normally goes up the pipe and blows it into the house. I had a 1600 sq.ft house and if I wasn't careful, I'd have to open a window it'd get so hot.
I'd rather heat with wood rather than pellets, so check the cost of both. A cord of oak is getting expensive.
Got mine ordered. Still working on the house, should be livable by October. I have about five years of wood stacked.
 

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I had one of those Magic Heats on an old Frankin wood burner in the early 90s. The "Keep On Truckin" style logo was outdated then but man did that thing make a difference.
 

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Prior to moving to OR, our wood stove was our primary heat source. Our firewood sources were our trees, buying log truck loads (3x in 30 yrs), obtaining firewood cutting permits from US Forest Service, obtaining written landowner permission to cut downed trees on neighboring parcels, and 'scrounging' any hardwood that fell across/along the side of the road. We also used the stove to cook meals (flat top) and dry laundry (hung on racks).
Here in OR (family member's home), a wood stove heats the main level and a pellet stove ("if it gets chilly") heats the lower level. The wood is harvested from the forested area of the property and the pellets from a local farm store.
Also, here in OR, the state has strict guidelines related to both types of stoves.
 

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The way I look at firewood vs. pellets -

Firewood is everywhere - at least around here. If you are able to cut and split your own it’s basically free. But if you have to buy it cut and split it’s still a fair bargain as long as you are getting properly seasoned hardwoods.

Pellets to me are no different than fuel oil or propane as it is a commodity market. Not only can the price fluctuate wildly due to supply and demand, it’s always a possibility of being totally unavailable. You are at the mercy of the manufacturers and the market.
My brother in law has had his pellet stove rendered unusable several times due to power outages. No electric means no hopper.
He loves his stove and he saved a ton of money vs conventional heat, that is just a downside to his stove.
Early this year we had a windstorm that took out a major line in our area. We were without power for three days, over the coldest nights of the season. Our fireplace kept the house livable, and kept my son's gecko alive. We were a bit low on firewood, but I was able to go out and gather some, and also could use some of my woodworking scraps as well.
 

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We have a large stone fireplace that we ended up putting a wood stove insert in. We would have a beautiful roaring fire going in a space big enough to cook meals and sit along the hearth, but the room was only warm around the fireplace, and my wife could feel the cool air being pulled from other rooms.
Installed a wood stove and the entire main level is warm and the wood usage dropped dramatically.
We then installed an insert in fire place down in the family room and the lower level is warm and the rising heat comes up to maintain the rest of the house as well.
Hopefully this is the last year I am cutting/splitting/stacking wood during the summer months, as I should have enough for 4 years and can start maintaining rather than stocking up.
 

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The way I look at firewood vs. pellets -

Firewood is everywhere - at least around here. If you are able to cut and split your own it’s basically free. But if you have to buy it cut and split it’s still a fair bargain as long as you are getting properly seasoned hardwoods.

Pellets to me are no different than fuel oil or propane as it is a commodity market. Not only can the price fluctuate wildly due to supply and demand, it’s always a possibility of being totally unavailable. You are at the mercy of the manufacturers and the market.
I agree.
I would never recommend a pellet stove for this reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quick question for you: I know cords differ in type. The 3-4 cords you use, are they face cords? I’m looking at a wood source and they’re selling face cords, 4’x8’x15” at $125 delivered and $110 for additional cords. If I had a truck and weren’t creaky I could pick it up from them for $80. Is this good or should I keep looking? I should be getting my stove on the first and was thinking about getting my wood near the end of the month or early October.

I live in zone 4/5 with a 2400 sq ft house, we consume 4 cords of firewood each year.

They make some real nice non-electric pellet stoves that you could try.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Quick question: If you get one of these do you still need or want an ecofan? I’m about to buy a stove and it’s going to be in the living room on an exterior wall and the bedrooms are at the other end of the house. The stove will be the only heat source and the house is maybe 36’ long by 26’ deep. Maybe less, that adds up to over 900 sq ft and the house is 880.


Put one of these in your wood stove pipe stack and I guarantee you'll use 1/2 the amount of wood you'd normally use. It catches the heat that normally goes up the pipe and blows it into the house. I had a 1600 sq.ft house and if I wasn't careful, I'd have to open a window it'd get so hot.
I'd rather heat with wood rather than pellets, so check the cost of both. A cord of oak is getting expensive.
 

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Quick question for you: I know cords differ in type. The 3-4 cords you use, are they face cords? I’m looking at a wood source and they’re selling face cords, 4’x8’x15” at $125 delivered and $110 for additional cords. If I had a truck and weren’t creaky I could pick it up from them for $80. Is this good or should I keep looking? I should be getting my stove on the first and was thinking about getting my wood near the end of the month or early October.
It likely depends on where you are, but in my area that's a bit high. For me, a half cord (4x8x2') runs about $100-115 delievered.
 

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Quick question: If you get one of these do you still need or want an ecofan? I’m about to buy a stove and it’s going to be in the living room on an exterior wall and the bedrooms are at the other end of the house. The stove will be the only heat source and the house is maybe 36’ long by 26’ deep. Maybe less, that adds up to over 900 sq ft and the house is 880.
I just looked up EcoFan as I wasn't familiar with them. They sit on top of the stove and catch the heat radiated from the top of the stove or along side and catch that radiated heat.. The Magic Heat Reclaimer fits inside the stack and captures the heat with tubes inside the stack, blowing the hot air (no smoke) into the room. It's a lot more efficient. It's amazing how much wasted heat goes up the chimney pipe. You do not need an eco-fan with this. My house was almost double your size and I had no problem heating it. My wood stove was on an outside wall, but in the center of the house. If you feel there's an area of your house that isn't getting enough heat, you can direct heat with a little fan.

See post # 11....
 
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Quick question for you: I know cords differ in type. The 3-4 cords you use, are they face cords? I’m looking at a wood source and they’re selling face cords, 4’x8’x15” at $125 delivered and $110 for additional cords. If I had a truck and weren’t creaky I could pick it up from them for $80. Is this good or should I keep looking? I should be getting my stove on the first and was thinking about getting my wood near the end of the month or early October.
A cord is a 4X4X8 foot pile of cut and split and tightly stacked wood. A slightly rounded load in an 8 foot pickup box is about a half cord. Price depends on the species of the wood. Oak and maple are the most expensive. Pine and popple the cheapest. Don't burn pine on a regular basis and only if it's been curing for 2 years or more. Be sure the wood you are going to burn this year has been cured at least a year. Another factor determining price is the distance the seller has to go to deliver it.
 
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