Fuel Oil and Cord Wood

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Happy New Year everyone. I've been lurking here since last May and feel like I know you all. Until now, I've been a 4 on the Y2K scale, and I'm now a 7, so I'm coming out of the wordwork now.

About myself, I'm 38, live in N. E. Ohio and own an electronic repair business. (Not Computers!) I only have myself and my 79 yr old mother who lives nearby to prepare for. She is legally blind, but otherwise in good health except for frequent bouts of arthritis.

My biggest fear of Y2K is that I won't be able to provide well enough for her on my own. I don't feel the food will be a problem as much as her warmth. So far all my friends and neighbors are DGI and DWGI and not likely to change, so I'm on my own.

I'm sure alot of folks will be in a similar situation. If there are relocation centers for people like her I may end up morally obligated to send her to one for her own good, or even forced to do so. In light of that, I'm trying my best to be sure I can provide enough heat and light. Maybe you folks have a few answers. I'd really appreciate the input.

1: Approx. how many cubic ft. does a stack of pre split firewood take? 2: This is subjective, but give it a best guess...How long would that cord last heating a well insulated area of 1000sq. ft. (8000 cu.ft.) if the outdoor temperature averages 25 degrees F? 3:I'm aware of Sta-Bil to keep gasoline fresh, but are there similar additives for diesel and #1 fuel oil? 4: Is #1 fuel oil the same as kerosene and would it replace lamp oil?

Thanks for any help you folks can give, I promise not to be a stranger. Hope you all have a good Y99 and hope to meet at Deedah's big party if this is a minor bump. I'll bring the beer!


P.S. Chuck the Night Driver, we're almost neighbors, drop me a line.

-- christa (christamike@hotmail.com), January 06, 1999


As far as cord wood I do know that it measures 4x4x8 feet. The length of time that a cord of wood would last would depend on the type of heating appliance you are using. A good wood stove might go 1 1/2--2 months on a cord of wood. Kerosene is not the same as diesel and must have proper ventilation. #1 fuel oil is diesel with an anti-gel in it. It is used only in cold weather. Most oil lamps use a lamp oil that is odorless and produces minimal soot. Finally you can buy a stabilizer for diesel which extends it's life to about 18 months. GOOD LUCK!

-- T-man (tman@hotmail.com), January 06, 1999.

I can only speak from my limited experience, but a cord of wood will probably last me at least 2 months. I'm in a 1100sq ft rancher, with wood stove and am using extra fans to circulate the heat through the stove and into the return ducts of my heating system.

I put a log on the fire every 1/2 hour, on average, and I've only used about 1/2 a cord this winter so far, but I'm not running the wood stove all the time. Say, 1/3 of the time or so.

A cord of wood is can vary depending on what your state says it is, but it generally means a 4x4x8 (128 cubic feet) stack of wood.

Hope this helped.

-- Bill (billclo@hotmail.com), January 07, 1999.

Do you already have a stove? If not, compare fuel efficiency before you buy. There are big differences among wood stoves, for example and bigger is not automatically better. Also consider heating only one room rather than the whole house. It is a lot easier to keep the temp. quite toasty if you concentrate on a limited area. Just make sure the room is comfortable to spend time in, reorganize the household if necessary. And invest in warm undies, wool socks, a hot water bottle and a down comforter. A sheeps fur to lie on at night also helps. Living in a poorly insulated house, inefficiently-heated house at the edge of the alps is very educational. Boy, did we appreciate our wood stove!

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), January 07, 1999.


There is nothing quite like the heat produced by a woodstove. The heat penetrates right to the bones! I use an air-to-air heat pump during the day & the woodstove at night.

A full cord of wood is 4'x 4'x 8'= 128 cubic feet. Make it clear to whomever you purchase from that you expect a full cord. Don't let anyone tell you a cord= 98 cu. ft. I've run across a few less than honest individuals in the firewood business. Also request, no, demand seasoned hardwood. You will get much more heat from oak than pine. And likewise seasoned wood will give you much more heat than unseasoned wood.

Always stack it within a few days, if possible, in order to confirm you have received that which you paid for (give or take a few cu. ft.).

Current pricing is $75-$85 delivered (here in the Northern VA. area). Prices can vary considerably. The closer you are to a metropolitan area, the more pricey wood can become.

Remember when thinking about the placement of the woodstove that heat rises. We have ours in the basement near the family room. It heats our entire house (1500 sq. ft.) so well that I often sleep with a window cracked open a few inches, which is probably a good idea anyway. We're talking upwords of 80 degrees indoors when the mercury reads 25 degrees outdoors!

A ballpark guess is that a cord would last you about a month, give or take. Best wishes to you & your mother.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@pop.shentel.net), January 07, 1999.

1) To SEE a cord of wood, go to Miles Road between Harper/Cochran and Green. There is a greenhouse operation on teh North side of road with his cordwood stacked where you can see them.

2) Diesel is a) #1 or K-1 (I'm using it right now to supplement the gas fired steam) or b) #2 which is fuel.

K-1 is available at the petro mart gas station off the shoreway at 185 on the south side of the shoreway (It's the northern most station south of the shoreway and JUST re-opened).

Chuck who is too open not to use his real e-mail address (most of the time anyway).

And for those of you who thought I ought to have gone off forum, I know of at least 5 people who lurk here who MIGHT not have known about either the wood or the bulk K-1. cr

-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 07, 1999.

PS Kerosene = diesel

ANY flame or "catalytic" heat source needs ventilation for CO, CO2, and because the heat source uses Oxygen.

And, yes, there is an antigel stabilizer for K-1. Look at the Quality Farm and Fleet in Chardon (Chardon Road (AKA Rt 6) almost into town. In the Maple Leaf Shopping Center on Right)

They also have a scenter for the fuel ifn you want it to smell pretty while it burns.

Alternatively Lehmans has some stabilizer but I don't think they will ship this. Sumpin' about petroleum distilates etc.


-- Chuck, night driver (rienzoo@en.com), January 07, 1999.


All the above info is very good, this forum is awesome.

I have a 1000 sq ft home not insulated well. Most of my firewood is cottonwood, not a good choice but very plentiful in central Nebraska. Our temps get way below zero during the course of a winter.

I have a 55 gal drum stove with a factory door cut in the end for loading the wood. It does not look like much but man does it ever heat the house. We use to have a factory stove that looked nice but did not heat the house without constant adding logs to the fire. The 55 gal drum accepts very long and thick logs which allows a lot of wood to be loaded and consquently fewer loadings.

My wife went through the roof when she came home and saw that I had installed the drum stove.(ugly) I convinced her to give it a two week trial period. After two weeks the stove stayed, she loved the heat it produced and the longer burn time. It also means less chainsaw time if you cut your own wood(bigger size logs can be used)

Anyway to answer your question. The most wood I have had to use durning the winter was six cords, the least - 1 1/2. A lot depends on the severty of the winter.

Good Luck

-- TJ (trickjames@hotmail.com), January 07, 1999.

If you plan on building your own 55 gal woodstove make sure you fill it with water before you put a cutting torch to it! A neighbor of mine in Calif. is no longer with us do to torching a drum without filling it with water. I made one, works real good. Fill it up with water FIRST?

-- Mark Hillyard (foster@inreach.com), January 07, 1999.

A cord of wood is 4ft x 4ft x 8ft. Stacked tightly. Old timers would cut a pole 8 ft long with a notch at the middle to check the amount of wood in a pile.

A ton of coal yields (average) about 27 million BTU's. This is about equal to 1.3 cords of dry oak. Coal will loose BTU's due to oxidation with the air - i.e. it does age.

As to how much wood you will need for a winter - too much depends on your exact situation to give a meaningful answer. Too much is better than not enough.

-- Paul Davis (davisp1953@yahoo.com), January 07, 1999.

If you can create a warm zone in the house/apartment she lives in by closing off one room and concentrating on that one room as her living space (except for bathing/toilet needs) wood will last longer. Heating only one room will necessitate making that room a usable living space. Storm windows and other things will help make a room more comfortable; you don't want to keep it too warm because that's not healthy either.

You asked about 'pre-split' wood. I personally would not be out in January cold splitting wood, and I would think that getting split wood instead of rounds might be a better choice.

-- Karen Cook (browsercat@yerf.net), January 07, 1999.

Gotta love this forum! Lot's of good info here and you people are great. I've checked out other forums but this is the only one I bother with anymore. Thank you all for the help. I've got a better idea now where to go on this.

As a kid in the early 70's, we did have a pot-belly in the kitchen and it was usually a nice source of heat until my stepfather got drunk and loaded it to the gills.Turned it red in spots. I'm lucky to still be here. We didn't use it as a main heat source, so I am having a hard time connecting wood use with heat output.

For the price of the wood, I can afford to order 2 or 3 cords, I have a good place to store it, and should go a long way toward seeing us through the first winter. Beyond that, I can't do anything now, as there's only so much one can handle, but I will be prepared for that much as a minimum. Thanks again. Christa

-- christa (christamike@hotmail.com), January 07, 1999.

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