If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing?

   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #31  

LouNY

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Your chart is a bit off on some fuels. For one, corn (12% or less) is not even close to the BTU output of hardwood pellets and the cost of coal has risen exponentially as of late, especially rice coal.
Not sure what you are disputing, I went and looked up soft and hardwood pellet btu's per ton.
And yes the cost of coal has risen I paid $450 per ton this year.
In most publications corn and wood pellets are about the same btu per pound

Fuel pellets are sold and tested be weight, so a 40 pound bag of softwood pellets equals a 40 pound bag of hardwood pellets.
  • A good quality hardwood pellet has about 8,000 BTU’s/lb- 320,000 per bag.
  • American Wood Fibers Ultra Premium Softwood pellets have about 8,700 BTU’s/lb- 348,000 per bag- 28,000 BTU more!
  • A good quality hardwood pellet has an ash content around 0.50%.
The combustion energy content of shelled corn is a critical factor in making energy comparisons of fuels. The energy content of shelled corn is not a constant value because of biological variability and management factors. Generally, the energy content of corn is in the range of 8,000 to 8,500 BTUs per pound of dry matter.
The standard moisture content of shelled corn is 15.5 percent moisture on a wet basis. This means that each pound of shelled corn will actually consist of 0.845 pound of dry matter and 0.155 pound of water. Using a median energy content value of 8,250 BTUs per pound of dry matter, the energy content of one pound of shelled corn at 15.5 percent moisture is then 6,971 BTUs (8,250 BTUs per pound dry matter x 0.845)
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #32  

JasperFrank

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Our house is Geodesic dome, with a half loft. It has substantial solar gain on clear days, even if its 45 degrees outside. Lots of skylights. 3,200 square feet. My area of the PNW through out winter stays around 42 daytime and 33 night time. Mostly on its own it will maintain 68 degrees. There are just a few weeks, in January and February, where things get below freezing on average. Outside temp, oddly isn't a major factor for a dome. What is a major factor is on cold rains, with out the solar gain. Since a dome is mostly a roof, with out an attic to lay down a huge amount in insulation, the water evaporation on the roof, transfers all the heat out of the house. The energy costs swing wildly according to season. I use three systems. One is the very expensive, electric hydronic floor heating.... That I think I badly designed. It takes at least two hours to feel any difference and sucks electricity, doubling the usual $88 a month total electric bill to $176 or so but the effect last for a few days. once the pad is heated. The other that we use in spring and fall, is the plug in radiant heaters. These bring the bill up to about 110-120 or so. And then there is the wood stove, that will heat the whole house, our wood is free, at little monetary cost aside from all the effort. It works out overal, but the swings in cost are big swings.
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing?
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#33  
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5030

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Actually, the realized BTU content of corn entirely depends on the moisture content. The drier it is the more realized BTU output there is. Just so happens I roast 9% corn whereas most coop corn will be around 14-15%. It has the be no higher than 15% to be tanked or it will mold.


...and softwood pellets deliver more BTU's per volume than hardwood pellets with Doug Fir being the highest. Been roasting pellets and corn for over 20 years now.

Corn has some less than desireable burning traits, mainly nitric acid vapor as it combusts or should I say carmelizes.. The nitric vapor is hard on a steel stove and hard on the venting as well even though the inside liner on pellet vent is stainless, eventually, the nitric will corrode it, especially if you don't purge the stove and venting prior to spring shutdown. Why the last couple heating weeks, I run straight pellets at maximum feed rate to 'cook' the nitric vapor out of the stove and venting.

Not disputing anything other than your chart shows a generalization and not specific constants.

I read that coal went way up on cost. Know a couple stoker stove owners.
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #34  

LouNY

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Last year I paid $380 ton this year $450 and I bought before the last price increase, I have heard rumors that it has actually gone down a bit at the mines now. Of course the dealers are all stocked up on the expensive stuff now.

I had looked at corn burners several years ago and went with coal.
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #35  

Jstpssng

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We keep the house at 68 in the winter and 76 in the summer.
I'm just about the opposite. My wood stove keeps the place toasty in winter, yet in summer after working outside all day my AC keeps temps close to that of a morgue. 👍
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #36  

jyoutz

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Not sure what you are disputing, I went and looked up soft and hardwood pellet btu's per ton.
And yes the cost of coal has risen I paid $450 per ton this year.
In most publications corn and wood pellets are about the same btu per pound

Fuel pellets are sold and tested be weight, so a 40 pound bag of softwood pellets equals a 40 pound bag of hardwood pellets.
  • A good quality hardwood pellet has about 8,000 BTU’s/lb- 320,000 per bag.
  • American Wood Fibers Ultra Premium Softwood pellets have about 8,700 BTU’s/lb- 348,000 per bag- 28,000 BTU more!
  • A good quality hardwood pellet has an ash content around 0.50%.
The combustion energy content of shelled corn is a critical factor in making energy comparisons of fuels. The energy content of shelled corn is not a constant value because of biological variability and management factors. Generally, the energy content of corn is in the range of 8,000 to 8,500 BTUs per pound of dry matter.
The standard moisture content of shelled corn is 15.5 percent moisture on a wet basis. This means that each pound of shelled corn will actually consist of 0.845 pound of dry matter and 0.155 pound of water. Using a median energy content value of 8,250 BTUs per pound of dry matter, the energy content of one pound of shelled corn at 15.5 percent moisture is then 6,971 BTUs (8,250 BTUs per pound dry matter x 0.845)
One thing I realized about pellet stoves is the usage rate is the same for both hardwood and softwood pellets because the auger speed determines the usage, not the energy level of the fuel.
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #37  

Jstpssng

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Wood from all tree species have the same BTUs by weight. The difference is the density of each.
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #38  

JasperFrank

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"Wood from all tree species have the same BTUs by weight. The difference is the density of each." -Jstpssng.. That is interesting. I believe you are correct. Softwoods you need a bit more, Hard woods a bit less. The hardwood we have here is Madrone. Madrone is worth 1/3 better then any other trees, but you gotta get the stove, and have a stove hot enough, to burn them. :)
 
   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing? #39  

CalG

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Wood from all tree species have the same BTUs by weight. The difference is the density of each.
How ever the unit measure of CORD become the standard, did the heating world an injustice.

But then, a ton of fresh wet wood is no bargain either. ;-)

ps

I heat with wood. There is an oil fired boiler for domestic hot water. Even that is $100 per month.

Last truck load of logs went up from $750 to $900.
Over a year's worth, but it's getting harder to get a load in. Competition with the pulp buyers.

Two saws, both getting older.
New TW-2 last year. that was about $1400 with my TW-1 trade. The TW-1 was 10 years old. In ten years, I'll likely not be splitting on my own.
 
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   / If it's cold where you live, what are you heating with and what is it costing?
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5030

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Last year I paid $380 ton this year $450 and I bought before the last price increase, I have heard rumors that it has actually gone down a bit at the mines now. Of course the dealers are all stocked up on the expensive stuff now.

I had looked at corn burners several years ago and went with coal.
Like I said previously, if coal was available here I would have went with either a Heiser or a Key Stoker. It's not. Nearest dealer to me is 70 miles away. Corn is plentiful here and so is pellets. My corn is so plentiful for me, it's free. I believe Harman also makes a coal stove or did at one time. Problem with burning corn is, the unit has to be corn capable, that is, it has to have a stirrer (agitator) and the control board has to support corn as well. Most pellet stoves don't.
 
 
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