how much wood do you need a year

How Much Wood Do You Need A Year

Are you heating with wood? How much wood do you need to get through a winter? That depends on the size of the building, how well insulated, where you live and how efficient your stove is. Your typical family of four in a 1,500 sq ft house would use about five cords of wood per year for heating and another four or five cords for cooking, heating water, and other uses. These of course are just averages, you should try it yourself and make sure your family doesn’t use extra. A cord is 4′ by 4′ by 8′, which is 128 cubic feet. And it is to be tightly stacked, meaning a chipmunk can get through, but probably not a squirrel, and certainly not a cat. It take two “average” trees to get a cord. Whether it’s newly cut or aged does not matter. If it’s a full cord of wood when you cut, split, and stack it, it will still be a cord a year later, after it has seasoned.

heating and cooking with wood

Cheap $100 wood stoves are for the birds. Get a good airtight stove such as a US Stove Cast Iron Logwood Stove. Buy the better thicker pipe, buy the cleaning rods and brush. Also don’t forget a Magic Heat Reclaimer, it Installs right  into the flue and consists of 10 heat-exchanger tubes and a thermostatically controlled fan to blow warmed air into the room. You can save cords of wood just by instaling this one simple device. The fan can be off-grid powered with the rest of your home or a solar panel can be hooked up to it. It even works fairly well without power at all

If you have a chimney fire how do you put it out? There is a couple of ways you can set up a chimney cab that slams shuts on the top. This cuts off the vent and air or another way is they sell a item that looks like a road flare you can toss in your wood stove that is suppose to put it out. I have not had to test either as I clean my pipes and chimney every year. Also I don’t burn pine or fir or cedar. If you do burn soft resinous wood like pine I recommend you clean your chimney once a month.

 Another safely precaution is a metal roof it might just save your house from burning to the ground if you ever do have a chimney fire. If you have never had a chimney fire they say it sounds like a tornado shooting up the chimney and flames shooting straight up 4-5 feet or more. Normally they happen in the coldest nasty weather because people really fire up the stove then. Might just ruin your whole winter to watch your retreat burn to the ground. Hopefully you didn’t forget the smoke and CO2 detectors and everyone made it out safe. Be careful wood stoves can be dangerous.

Get a good chain saw like a Husqvarna 450. They are good on gas not too heavy and very reliable. Make sure you stock up on extra chains, spare bar, spark plugs, pull cord, sharpening files (at least 6), and air filters. Maybe a spare electronic ignition as well. You will need about 5 gallons of chain and bar oil, or in an emergency you can use used motor oil. 10 gallons of gas per year and enough 2 cycle mixing oil for the gas. Now how are you going to haul the wood back to the cabin? A 2 wheel cart is one way and sure beats carrying it.

You’ll also need a good splitting maul such as a Truper Rapid Maul. Make sure you buy one  with a fiberglass or steel handle. You are going to need safety goggles and plenty of leather work gloves too. Cutting down standing trees is dangerous if you never handled a chain saw before it might be a good idea to go out with a trusted friend and have him teach you the safe use of dropping trees and chain saw use.

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Sergeant Survival

I spread the news of disaster preparedness and homesteading skills to the masses. My mission is to teach the keyboard commandos out there some real life skills.

1 Comment

  1. Hey Sergeant Survival – thanks for putting together this post, seems like a pretty good overview for someone who is just starting to look at wood heat. And good call-out on the heat-reclaimer.

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