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Burning Wood in an Efficient Way

Posted: Monday, January 18th, 2010 at 7:03 am

Many people burn wood to save money. Whether you are cutting your own wood or buying it, there is always a price involved. Wood species have different heat values and burning qualities, so it pays to know what you are getting before selecting firewood. Oak, hickory, or locust wood has nearly twice the weight and heat value as the same volume of basswood, willow or cottonwood. To compare the cost of heating with wood to the use of other fuels, both the energy content of the fuel and the burning efficiency must be considered. For example, 1 cord of oak firewood burned in a 60% efficiency wood stove would provide the same heat as 200 gallons of LP burned in an 80% efficiency furnace. To make accurate comparisons, visit the ISU extension website.