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Author Topic: Next year's wood.  (Read 4579 times)

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Offline Randy88

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #80 on: July 09, 2019, 06:37:10 AM »
We stack logs in piles for up to four years before we cut them up, so basically it dries in log form before its cut is how we do it, which also helps to get the bark off which in turn eliminates most of the debris in the bark, like mud, rocks and whatever so cutting is really nice.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #81 on: July 09, 2019, 07:52:38 AM »
I have an electric hot water heater .However my lady friend who now resides with me had a heat pump type of water heater which is supposed to be more energy efficient .
Under high water usage the unit  used resistance heat like a conventional water heater .Under moderate usage the heat pump could keep up with the demand .I'm not so certain  if the increased cost of  installation was justified in energy costs .
My first geo- thermal had the option for a water heater ,my present unit  does not .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #82 on: July 09, 2019, 08:10:43 AM »
Some of those so called "incentives " for energy savings are a con game promoted by the electric  companies .They usually promote this stuff by suggesting local contractors to do the purchase and installation .
In my case ,big deal as it was supposed to be I get a huge savings of one lousey dollar a month of which they were reluctant to do because I do my own work .Nothing but hype and hoopla .

In my case I really have little choice other than electric .Natural gas would cost me over $7000 just to get it here .Propane which I call profane can be a rip off if you don't own the tanks .They can really turn the screws and have to me in the past .
If and I repeat  if I install a stand by generator in case I want to spend the winter months in a warmer area other than the frozen tundra of northern Ohio I will own the tanks  .Get me once,your fault,twice my fault .

Offline Randy88

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #83 on: July 09, 2019, 09:23:54 AM »
A friend of mine is an electrician and fixes a lot of the geothermal systems.    He does nothing but complain about them, I know its with certain brands having certain issues, but his advice was to set them up for cooling only, the heating side was too expensive in repairs and upkeep, plus the cost of electricity on top of that.    He told me to to be on the low side to figure at least 500 a month on electricity alone for the house, plus that much or more for upkeep and repairs, and on top of that, to avoid certain brands completely, can't recall off the top of my head which one's, its been about 10 years since we talked about it in depth, but I know his opinion hasn't changed because he was still grumbling this past winter about fixing them. 

A cousin of mine put geothermal in her house about 10 years ago now, the last we talked her electric bill was over 600 a month year round pretty much was all she said, and I'm sure with higher electric rates, its much higher now.  

I'm in a rural area so everyone has their own LP tanks anyhow, and I just booked LP for this year, its a buck a gallon, can't recall the last time its been that low, must be almost 20 years or so since it was that cheap, so many are putting in gas furnaces again, even many with geothermal are going back to gas in  order to cut prices on a monthly basis. 

Online SwampDonkey

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #84 on: July 09, 2019, 12:15:05 PM »
Up here, wood and electric backup is far cheaper than any gas as well as any heat pump. The only thing to go wrong on a wood furnace is a limit control or motor, both less than $200 and rarely go out. I've been around them for a long time. I clean the stove and pipes all winter, and there isn't really anything to clean. Wouldn't fill more than cup full from 36 feet of chimney. In the baffles is hardly anything, I brush and vacuum it out. :) Only down side, if there is one, is wood handling. I don't know that we burn less wood overall if we was to burn straight wood, but we can by just using more electric. From what I have seen so far with mine it's no more than what wood would cost me. Some day I'll just have a cord for backup in power outages and flip the switch otherwise. I have seen more schemes over the years than I care to witness again. :D
Move'n on.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #85 on: July 09, 2019, 07:44:52 PM »
Something is amiss with those reports of geo-thermals .If I don't fire the stove my winter bill is about $300 a month .With the stove fired up about half that It's  a 5 ton unit,Water Furnace ,62,000 BTU .Brick house,single story,Anderson windows ,well insulated 2100-2200 sq feet .Summer cooling around $150-200 a month .

With any heat pump you have to size the unit to the largest demand you need,heating or cooling .Make certain you have enough air flow over the coil .My house if I figured it correctly has a 30,000 BTU heat lose per hour which in theory would be around 30 minute run time per hour  .It 's about that when I timed it under cold conditions,zero for example .

With all that you have to factor in the duct work design too .If it doesn't distribute the air correctly it won't cool or heat properly .You need to insulate the duct work too ,much better than gas heat . You have to keep in mind the average heat discharge of most heat pumps is 94 to 96 degrees .Not the higher heat of a gas furnace .Bare uninsulated duct work you are heating the basement or crawl space before it ever gets into house so it could run forever until the rooms heat up .Mean while the electric meter is spinning like a top .

Offline Randy88

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #86 on: July 09, 2019, 09:33:30 PM »
Just a few thoughts, first off much colder here than where you are, next is electric rates are higher here would be a guess, another is the size of the house and its location, I'm thinking these are much larger houses if your considering a furnished basement and a heated garage along with a new constructed house, meaning no tree's of any size to protect the houses from wind, couple that to more than one winter's killing off the tree's, so even today there are no tree's of any size to protect the house.

I don't know of anyone with that low of electric rate on any house, winter or summer and that's with gas or wood heat, certainly not electric or geothermal.    My folks have a larger new house than you have, theirs is 1400 feet on the main floor and the same footage in the basement and with central air in the summer, its still more than 200 a month, with gas heat in the winter he's doing more than that plus 1000 plus gallons of gas each winter, if its really cold he might be as high as 1400 gallons of gas.    Prices vary on LP, about ten years ago it spiked to over 6 bucks a gallon, then dropped into the 4 dollar range and now its down to a buck a gallon.    

In the old two story hotel of a house I rented for a few years, in the month of October alone we burned 800 gallons of LP in one month and it wasn't even cold that month, at 6 bucks a gallon, I started to burn wood, I was told to heat that hotel to mid 60's during the winter, 4-5000 gallons of LP wasn't uncommon a winter.    In the house before that one, where we lived for 18 years another two story house, dated back into the late 1800's and in poor condition, used over 2500 gallons of lp per winter pretty steadily.      I've never lived in any house that ever had any electric lower than 300 a month winter or summer, with the rate hikes now, they'd be much higher still.   

Where I own now, the house, shop and farm are all together, so I have no idea what the house itself is for electric, but would guess it close to 300 or more a month year round and we heat only with wood for both the house and shop, no other heat source even for a back up.   

My electrician buddy has told me on my size of house, my electric rate would easily double with geothermal and for heating he recommended using gas heat to bring the water temp up to room temp, not electric, but that was almost 10 years ago we considered it, now for a backup heat source and my kids all gone so nobody to fire the wood furnace multiple times a day if we're not here, I've thought I might need a backup heat source, so have started asking questions again.   I just got the price of a new gas furnace, but haven't asked how the geothermal has changed in the last decade, certainly want nothing to do with electric heat of any sort, my pocket book couldn't take that, I priced electric radiant heaters in the shop and just going off some charts and comparing it to btu conversions from wood heat, the salesman told me to forget electric altogether and to go with new LP gas heaters.    Right now we're hooking up a new waste oil burner for the shop to aid in heating it, which might help out somewhat in really cold weather.   

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #87 on: July 10, 2019, 06:01:48 AM »
Well you have to consider it all. The big farm house I grew up in was made in 1919 no insulation and 2800 sq feet .In the open.When I was a kid I shoveled every ounce of the 12 to 14 ton  of stoker coal it took to heat the place .After my dad got off some money and insulated it that was nearly cut in half .When the last kid moved out he had gas installed .

My house has radiant ceiling heat and using just that the bill could be $400 a month or more .I can heat my house with the wood stove but it has to be fired hard .Glass front LOPI circa mid 80's with a blower rated at 55,000 btu .The last few years have not been so cold and being surrounded by 100 foot oak trees and dense woods to the back it's sheltered from the wind so that helps too .
I spent the best part of one summer installing the geo .I had someone else design the duct work but I made and installed it because there is no commercially made stuff large enough .26 sheets of 24 gauge sheet metal all hand bent,insulated all joints sealed,in a crawl space  .I think the blower is 2600 CFM,3/4 HP .The air flow is just about the same on all the registers so my bud did a good job figuring it out .

When the price of gas climbed into outer space a few years ago my renter in a 1200 sq ft house had higher utility bills than myself .Frame house,well insulated new furnace ,in town .So it's kind of apples to oranges when you cut to the chase .BTW if I wanted natural gas just to get it here would be over $7000 .I don't think that's going to happen . ;)
If in the future I install a stand by generator so I might enjoy a more warmer winter in the south  I will own the tanks for propane .I've dealt with those pirates before on leased tanks,never again .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #88 on: July 10, 2019, 06:25:55 AM »
Let me add something else .When I retired last summer one of my pensions,IBEW international was based on 46 years of service .Add my navy time as a tech on nuke subs that's 50 years  doing electrical work .I added some stuff to the gep thermal .One being an over run timer for the blower to evacuate all the hot air from a run and an over run for the water .Low temp shut down for heat on the discharge water and high temp on the cooling  cooling to protect the compressor and heat exchanger .

Why Water Furnace hadn't thought of it I'll never know but I did .I did however cook a compressor due to my own fault forgetting about a second set of air filters I neglected to change .Took me a few weeks to even find another replacement because it's an R22 system .I've got a Magnehelic differential pressure gauge now to prevent that .It's worked out for me all things considered with the options I have .

Another thing .Because the unit is sized for heat it's over sized for cooling .I just cut the fan speed down to get a longer run time thus to dehumidify the air more .It doesn't raise the water temp that much but is not as efficient of course .It's a compromise I guess . 

Offline Corley5

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #89 on: July 10, 2019, 09:31:18 AM »
  Our neighbors had a Well Connect system put in last fall.  Their house is a typical old farm house but it's been well insulated and had the windows updated.  As part of the plan with the electric co-op the new system is on a separate meter.  Their highest bill for the system last winter for heat was 109.00.  Cooling isn't a real issue here.  Usually just a handful of days a summer.  They also got a 30% tax credit.
  I'm tired of feeding an OWB and we're looking at our options.
Burnt Gunpowder is the Smell Of Freedom

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #90 on: July 10, 2019, 10:44:42 AM »
I'm using a well too .A ground loop in this part of the country requires something like 600-700 foot per ton .My goodness I can't see trenching up about a mile of ground .I do know a person who has a loop in a pond that works well .
Now in all this in my case I know how they work and do all my own work so I have no bills regarding maintaining this thing .The people who do this kind of work try to say it's rocket science but it is not .It's just water cooled refrigeration .Depending on which direction the reversing valve is set it either heats the air coil or cools the coil .That's it in a nut shell .

Offline Randy88

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #91 on: July 10, 2019, 10:42:48 PM »
How does the well connect thing work, around here they either do loops, or drill a dedicated well just for the geothermal.    

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #92 on: July 11, 2019, 06:09:52 AM »
A well works very well .As it worked out I have two wells .One is 180 feet deep,in the limestone .The other is around 110 in a vein of pea gravel .Both are high producing .Water source is not a problem in this part of the county .The water temp is 53.9 degrees  year round .
You have to remember that well drillers get paid by the foot .The deeper well was drilled with a rotary ,the second well ,in the gravel  was drilled by a thumper .On the second well which I had drilled I knew and the driller knew the water was above the rock .He just thumped it down until he hit a good steady flow .Testing with a 1 HP pump he could not draw it down .Both wells have 1/2 HP Goulds pumps at around 11-12 gallon per minute .The geo uses around 4.5-5 gallon per minute .I could probably throttle it down some but I just left well enough alone .I'd rather have too much than not enough .

My first unit which was used had a modulating  water valve that worked off of compressor head pressure .It was supossed to be more efficient on water usage .On my second unit I just used a throttling valve and using discharge water temp set it accordingly so on heat it didn't drop below 40 degrees and I think  80 degrees on cooling .It worked .
I'm somewhat of an electrical savant and have more safety devices and monitoring devices  on this thing than the factory designed it for .That last unit cost me $3400 and I want to get some mileage out of it Rather to be safe than sorry .
Now having side tracked on this thing almost forever I still cut firewood and have plenty of it .It's a bit warm out at the moment to do much of that this time of year .

Offline Randy88

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #93 on: July 11, 2019, 07:21:34 AM »
Far different than here, around me the wells range from 400 to over 600 feet deep, mostly to get to St. Peters sand and we're running if I recall around five hp or so on the pumps, to have a well drilled, you in that 25k plus range.    Most have about 30 feet of water in them running 1.5 inch pipe, just the pipe and pump this last time around cost me over 7k if I recall, the pump lasted about two months then needed to be new again, it was under warranty, so the cost was nothing on the second one, but we did it on the coldest day of the year, think the wind chill that day was nearly 40 below.

The last place I lived had two wells, both over 400 feet and really big pumps in them, since I left they were both abandoned and the owner drilled a new well and I think he went to two inch pipe to water all his livestock.    

There's a well near me about a half mile away, that's over 800 feet with eight inch pipe in that one for a packing plant's secondary well, their primary well is much larger still.    

Also might help explain how cheap your electric costs are to a certain extent.  

The loop systems they put in here, they did a trench and lay the waterline in loops the whole length of the trench overlapping, then cover them up, a part of a day their done, so in a 500 foot long trench, they might have quite a few thousand feet of pipe laid.   The well versions, they don't use antifreeze, they dig the well and run a loop of pipe down, with a u on the bottom and back up to the top, so they circulate the water instead of through the ground loops in the yard, down into the well so its in the water and back up out again, sounds like your using the water itself sucked out of the well, and what just dumping it when done back into the drain in the basement??

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #94 on: July 11, 2019, 08:44:21 AM »
You have to remember where I'm at,85 miles  south of Lake Erie .This area  has huge underground aquifers .The water discharge is just dumped .It eventually flows north right back into Lake Erie by the river system and out to the Atlantic to be sucked up into a rain cloud and essentially recycled  .The rain water might end up in a can of Bud light and make the return trip in a similar fashion .Water doesn't really go any where ,you just rent it .
I fully realize sources of water are not so easily obtained in other areas .I remember the Ford  429's and I 300's running with the exhaust manifolds cherry red pumping irrigation water in western Kansas and eastern  Colorado .Nobody irrigates  in this area of Ohio .If anything they try to get rid of the excess water .

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #95 on: July 11, 2019, 08:51:51 AM »
I might add with an 800 foot well in this area you would stand a chance of hitting oil .This area before the great Oklahoma strike was the hottest oil fields in the nation if not the world .90 percent of it is still down there .Problem being it's high sulfur content which although it is refinable  is not as profitable at this time .They know exactly where it's at and as such is just money in the bank for future use if needed .

Online SwampDonkey

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #96 on: July 11, 2019, 09:46:13 AM »
Speaking of well depth, mines only 80 feet down, drilled before my time, never been without water in my 52 years. I'm on top of a ridge and lots of hard calcareous shale here below the soil. On the other hand, mom's uncle went down through sand and loam the same depth and his well was always going dry in summer when there was more demand. His place is 30 miles from here and on the opposite side of the river valley but also at the mouth of another river that joins the main river. The smaller river is big by European standards. And it had some of the biggest Atlantic salmon of any river to. Dams stopped that way of life. :D

Next house property down is on an artesian geyser. I suspected it was there because of the water coming to the surface just below a rounded dome, but the dome is not high, just a gradual one. Water shoots out the top of the well casing at times. I told the owner to build there and never worry about water. :D Well, it was land we owned, dad quit farming and sold the land. So I was well acquainted with the land. The place burnt two years ago, but my cousin's boy is going to build on it. He purchased it from the last owner.
Move'n on.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Next year's wood.
« Reply #97 on: July 11, 2019, 03:07:55 PM »
In Knox county Ohio ,where it was born the sub strata is sand stone ,wonderful filter .My uncle RIP had an artesian well that shoved water about 200 feet into a concrete cattle watering tank and the over flow to the river .The cattle always clean cool water and he didn't have an electric bill to pump it .BTW that's the best tasting water in the world in my opinion . 


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