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  #1  
Old 03-09-2015, 12:58 PM
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Default Heating with Wood

-just came across this site promoting heating with wood:
http://www.wisconsinwoodenergy.org/

-ongoing webinar under "Learning" section
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Old 03-26-2015, 01:29 AM
Mad_Professor Mad_Professor is offline
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You mean you use something else?
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Old 03-31-2015, 01:09 AM
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The EPA and a lot of insurance companies are going to be upset if wood heat is going to enjoy a revival by the "going green" community.

Personally I like it myself, but some biggies don't.
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Old 06-03-2015, 06:23 PM
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I am always surprised when anybody but city slickers heats with something else.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:12 AM
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EPA isn't as concerned about wood heating as they are particulate matter in the air resulting from poor burning. careless people may under burn or over burn a stove (creating creosote and particles with low burn, or over burn and risk chimney fires), the problem is caused by yahoos who light the fire then don't bother to monitor it. a $10 stove pipe thermometer and regular monitoring solves the problem but people are lazy, so the EPA is trying to force everyone to use fancy stoves that do it for them. creosote also comes from burning green wood, lots of people do it, thats the point of the burnwise program the EPA did.

wood heat is carbon neutral, trees grow by taking carbon from the air, when they die and rot or burn the carbon goes back into the air, unlike oil or coal which is a "fixed" carbon that was removed from the air a long time ago, burning it puts more carbon into the air. and trees regrow unlike coal and oil, soft maple is being studied as a fast rotation fuel crop, having a good balance between growth speed and heat output.

I don't know whats current though, i haven't kept up with my SAF membership in years (SAF, Society of American Foresters)
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Setanta View Post
EPA isn't as concerned about wood heating as they are particulate matter in the air resulting from poor burning.
The EPA doesn't care about either point. They are only concerned about power and control and using those points to justify their regs. The differences in air quality between a good furnace and a bad furnace may be measurable by sensitive instruments, but make no difference in their effect on our health or the environment from the practical standpoint.

Bureaucracies are famous for ensuring their own existence by creating imaginary problems that need their attention, but, being imaginary, can't be "solved." Thus, we "need" the continued efforts by the bureaucracy to "help us."
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:57 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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I both agree and disagree, for the most part it doesn't make a practical point on wood heat. the only time it does affect anyone is when they are next door and downwind and have some resperatory problem to begin with. as a tribal forester i had plenty of opportunity to work alongside people from EPA, USFS, state DEC, APHIS and other organizations, i have also seen first hand the devistation wrought by lack of environmental concern. I didn't work with the higher ups who write policy, the guys i worked with were the boots on the ground and they all genuinly cared about the work they did and had very good reasons for doing it.

one example is the recent law prohibiting the transport of firewood over 50 miles except when its been kiln dried. a lot of people were pissed off about it, but it was written to address problems from EAB, an insect that is rapidly working to make all species of ash in north America extinct. besides being a key winter food source (seeds-hard mast) for a number of keystone species the lumber industry is being hit hard, plus the lack of diversity in many cities after they planted all ash trees as street trees in the 50s and 60s means cities full of dead street trees all at once (cheap bulk price on nursry stock and relativly hardy trees).

the bug was brought over from China around 1990, same way dutch elm disease, chestnut blight, white pine blister rust, sudden oak death, gypsy moth and countless other problems get introduced. new infestations over the last 10 years have often had a KOA or other campground near the center, some yahoo cut an infected tree in their yard, threw it in their RV and took it 500 miles when camping, didn't burn it and threw the wood out when they went home. bugs transported like that reproduce and start a new population.

foresters call that bug the green menace, there is no effective treatment, no natural enemy, and no resistance in the ash trees themselves. NY state forests as example are composed of 10% ash trees, so the outbreak can kill 10% of the trees in the state within a 20 year span. foresters and APHIS are now trying to slow the spread, and the firewood transportation ban is meant to stop long distance transporting (while local transport is unaffected).

as a last ditch effort to save genetic diversity the national seed lab in fort collins has been cryogenicly freezing ash seed to store for 200 years or more, hopefully to grow in nurseries and replant when an effective treatment is developed. I worked with the guys from the seed lab (the tribe i worked for has a lot of cultural links to using black ash and put a lot of resources into ensuring black ash would be available for future generations) and APHIS to collect seed samples, essentially a noahs ark against the waves of these bugs.

anyway, having seen the front line on a lot of the new environmental problems and seeing the results of past devistation I have mixed feelings so have to agree and disagree with your post.

I have also seen a large area where there is no hunting regulations of any kind, there are no deer (i helped do the population surveys and the habitat assessments, everyone was complaining about the lack of deer and hunting opportunities), every time i deer wandered onto tribal land it was shot within 20 minutes, more than half the deer brought in for the survey (population age and health part) had been taken by a 22 between the eyes (jacking), most were only a year or 2 old, young deer moving in from adjacent areas. the adjactent lands are under state hunting regulations, and they issue lisences and permits and change the yearly amounts to control the deer population, so there are not too many, but not too few. a wolf shows up on tribal land, and someone shoots it, in 2009 someone shot a moose when they saw it swimming across the river, they raced a boat out, shot it and towed it to shore, when a bear was spotted a few years ago an impromptu army of about 200 guys with shotguns and rifles started combing the forest looking for it. when the habitat assesment showed that there was prime deer habitat and the problem was overhunting the solution proposed was to enact some kind of seasonal limit so the deer population could build up. everyone then complained that it was their right to hunt year round without restricions on tribal land as was their cultural heritage, demanding our office improve the number of deer somehow but refusing to consider any kind of regulations.
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Old 06-06-2015, 08:14 AM
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Your two examples, over hunting and EAB, are actual problems, obvious to even a casual observer. Do we need regulation or education to deal with them?

The situation of harm from burning wood, OTOH, is not easily observed and the pseudoscientific research suggesting there is a problem needs tremendous manipulations of the data to "prove" their point- an example of the axiom in statistics "Torture the numbers enough and you can get them to admit to anything."

As you point out, wood fire smoke only aggravates those already sick, and they must be very close to the smoke. So why regulate all of us, even those living remotely?
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:01 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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exactly, the only place wood stoves seem to be activly regulated (as far as i know in the region) is in town where everyone is crammed close together. when i lived in town it was prohibited to have wood heat at all.

the guys i know who work for EPA are not exactly fond of enforcing BS laws, most of them oppose the raw milk bans, and a lot of other stuff, they look the other way unless the higher ups are standing next to them. they consider it a massive waste of time to reglate woodstoves. but the higher ups like one size fits all paperwork that fits nothing.
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Old 06-06-2015, 12:01 PM
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The one-horse town closest to me (pop ~1500) banned outdoor wood stoves a few years ago. This was because of neighbor complaints of the smoke laying low and drifting into their houses I guess.

Once again another reason I am so glad to not live in a town.
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Old 06-06-2015, 03:56 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Wood smoke can be a problem in areas, mostly mountain valleys and coves, where the air settles during the winter and there are a large number of woodstoves. We have seen it in Fairbanks, where the air is still for weeks at a time. Particulates accumulate and cause respiratory difficulties. As far as I know, that is not a problem in open areas, prairie, or other areas where there is wind and other air movement. I'm sure the Dakotas have no problem with particulate accumulation (except maybe in the Black Hills).
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Old 06-06-2015, 11:48 PM
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Yea--thermal inversion: the warmer, lighter valley air wants to rise up, but the cooler, heavier mountain air traps it down below and floats on top of it, holding it there. That first Spanish explorer to visit the LA basin made note in his diary 400 yrs ago about the smog even before there were cars.

But now the EPA regs mean everybody wanting to install new woodburners have to buy the very expensive, "more efficient" units, even those living miles form neighbors. It's gunna cost me a couple thousand extra when I build this summer.
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Old 06-07-2015, 12:36 AM
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I heat my rather large house on 9 cords of wood in a Taylor outdoor water rstove that supplies zoned in floor hot water.
Concerning the new more "expensive stoves " about 25% more I would not hesitate to replace my old Taylor if I could. The wood gassification units 33 % less wood . Wood I have to cut and split. Way more efficient. This has been known for years.

Anyone buying a new stove would be smart to get the new wood gassification models.

I have heard that by putting a steel plate in front of the blower fan with a small hole for the air , lining the box with fire brick with a second fire brick wall before the tubes to serve as the gasification chamber, one can greatly improve the efficiency. I may try that.
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Last edited by MissouriFree; 06-07-2015 at 06:12 AM.
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Old 06-07-2015, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doninalaska View Post
Wood smoke can be a problem in areas, mostly mountain valleys and coves, where the air settles during the winter and there are a large number of woodstoves. We have seen it in Fairbanks, where the air is still for weeks at a time. Particulates accumulate and cause respiratory difficulties. As far as I know, that is not a problem in open areas, prairie, or other areas where there is wind and other air movement. I'm sure the Dakotas have no problem with particulate accumulation (except maybe in the Black Hills).
Quote:
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Yea--thermal inversion: the warmer, lighter valley air wants to rise up, but the cooler, heavier mountain air traps it down below and floats on top of it, holding it there. That first Spanish explorer to visit the LA basin made note in his diary 400 yrs ago about the smog even before there were cars.

But now the EPA regs mean everybody wanting to install new woodburners have to buy the very expensive, "more efficient" units, even those living miles form neighbors. It's gunna cost me a couple thousand extra when I build this summer.
Yes - that looks to be the problem is this town. As you can see in the pic it sits at the base of 2 mountains that are close to vertical and the air gets trapped.

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Old 06-09-2015, 11:55 AM
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I grew up in the Kanawha Valley in West Virginia. There were a couple of big chemical plants there, all belching smoke and other fumes. When we'd get a thermal inversion it was almost possible to chew the air!
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:31 PM
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When I grew up in the 70's and 80's everyone had a wood stove and cutting wood is what you did on the weekends.

Today I only know one wood burning person left (a tiny but tough as nails lady).

I had a bunch of land cleared last year, trees were not good for timber, but great for firewood...had all the logs stacked up...I estimate there is at least 30 Full Cord there...cherry, hickory, ash, hard maple...

I can't give it away. I don't have the time to process it and I just want to see it go to good use. We are installing a coal stove so it is of no use to me.

At this point we are going to have the fire department come in and torch it.

Never thought I would have trouble getting rid of firewood that is seasoned and has easy access...oh well.
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Old 06-09-2015, 07:51 PM
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Since you don't have your location listed nobody knows where you are. I'm sure there are some folks here (myself included) who would be more than happy to take that wood off your hands if they were close.
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissouriFree View Post
I heat my rather large house on 9 cords of wood in a Taylor outdoor water rstove that supplies zoned in floor hot water.
Concerning the new more "expensive stoves " about 25% more I would not hesitate to replace my old Taylor if I could. The wood gassification units 33 % less wood . Wood I have to cut and split. Way more efficient. This has been known for years.

Anyone buying a new stove would be smart to get the new wood gassification models.

I have heard that by putting a steel plate in front of the blower fan with a small hole for the air , lining the box with fire brick with a second fire brick wall before the tubes to serve as the gasification chamber, one can greatly improve the efficiency. I may try that.
The newer, more efficient furnaces are more convenient, as you suggest, in terms of labor & time to produce the logs, but according to the sites I've just been perusing, they're actually only about 12% more energy efficient--and when you have your own woodlot and the fuel is free, who cares? The newer models are 30-40% more expensive (ie- $2-3000). I don't know about you, but I have more time than money at this point amd can use the exercise. As I noted earlier, the "health benefit" of the new standards is imaginary.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc View Post
The newer, more efficient furnaces are more convenient, as you suggest, in terms of labor & time to produce the logs, but according to the sites I've just been perusing, they're actually only about 12% more energy efficient--and when you have your own woodlot and the fuel is free, who cares? The newer models are 30-40% more expensive (ie- $2-3000). I don't know about you, but I have more time than money at this point amd can use the exercise. As I noted earlier, the "health benefit" of the new standards is imaginary.
I would be interested reading the source you have that says only 12 %.

You have probably read hearth. Com- already.- if not I suggest reading it . Re: cutting and splitting wood I guess it's s matter of age . I cut by hand , split by hand and the less I have to cut the better it is. Let me know how you feel after your first winter. Remember to get one cord you would have to cut/split a tree 18" in diameter and 70 ft tall.
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Old 06-17-2015, 10:55 PM
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I grew up in the Kanawha Valley in West Virginia. There were a couple of big chemical plants there, all belching smoke and other fumes. When we'd get a thermal inversion it was almost possible to chew the air!
We're fromthenMoundsville area and then Pittsburgh. Talk about thick air, whew ! Gray and orange sky were the norm on most days.
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