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Cord Wood Vs Pellets #7462540
01/16/22 02:06 PM
01/16/22 02:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 223
East Central Mn.
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uplandpointer Offline OP
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East Central Mn.
Thinking of adding wood stove for back up heat. Most likely use it when home and let the gas furnace take over when gone and at night. I have asked many people what the cost of pellets is compared to a cord of wood, but haven't ever gotten a real answer. Has anyone on were done the math?

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462542
01/16/22 02:10 PM
01/16/22 02:10 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 7,229
Alaska and Washington State
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waggler Offline
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Alaska and Washington State
For starters you need electricity to make a pellet stove work.
That's a deal breaker for me.

Last edited by waggler; 01/16/22 02:16 PM.

"I'm not skilled to understand"
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462573
01/16/22 02:42 PM
01/16/22 02:42 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 33,527
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
You'd also need to compare different types of wood. What you need to figure out is the cost per BTU from each in order to make a valid comparison.

X2 what Waggler mentioned.


Mean As Nails
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462577
01/16/22 02:45 PM
01/16/22 02:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 13,225
Green County Wisconsin
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GREENCOUNTYPETE Offline
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not much a a backup if it need power.

will you cut your own wood or buy ?


America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462581
01/16/22 02:49 PM
01/16/22 02:49 PM
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gregh Offline
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I went from a cord wood stove to a pellet stove and I can tell you one thing the cord wood stove will put out a lot more heat than a pellet stove ever will.

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462583
01/16/22 02:49 PM
01/16/22 02:49 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 33,527
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
But he is talking about using the wood stove while he is there. Still, I wouldn't want to be dependent on electricity


Mean As Nails
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462590
01/16/22 02:53 PM
01/16/22 02:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 9,152
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
Sharon Offline
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Sharon  Offline
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Posts: 9,152
Montana ,Rocky Mtns.
Never did like pellets. As mentioned, when there is no power, you're sunk. That's what it was like for friends of mine who bought one when they first came out. They were thrilled that the pellets were not messy to deal with, like wood can be...but when the power went in winter , that changed their minds.

Nothing in the world like wood heat.

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462595
01/16/22 02:58 PM
01/16/22 02:58 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 734
Perry, NY
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Dana I Offline
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Perry, NY
Another thing to consider is availability of fuel. Cord wood is a primary product that makes it fairly readily available at consistent prices. Pellets are a byproduct of the sawmill industry. The sawdust they are made out of has many other uses. When sawmill production goes down or demand for the sawdust goes up, pellets can get difficult to source and price goes up.

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462597
01/16/22 03:01 PM
01/16/22 03:01 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 223
East Central Mn.
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uplandpointer Offline OP
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uplandpointer  Offline OP
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East Central Mn.
So I guess I'm asking the wrong question. What I want to know is how many 50lb bags of hard wood pellets does it take to equal a cord of dry oak fire wood? Growing up we used 10 or 12 cords of wood a year. I'm trying to figure out how many bags of pellets to do the same.

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462601
01/16/22 03:02 PM
01/16/22 03:02 PM
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 29,934
Central, SD
Law Dog Offline
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Law Dog  Offline
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Central, SD
Wood for me Iím to cheap to buy pellets when I can cut my own wood. What about a gas heater I would think that would be the best option and easiest if your buying your fuel source anyway.


Was born in a Big City Will die in the Country OK with that!

Jerry Herbst
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462607
01/16/22 03:07 PM
01/16/22 03:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 33,527
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
It depends on the type of oak but generally between 25-30 million BTU's per cord. I don't know about the pellets


Mean As Nails
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462608
01/16/22 03:08 PM
01/16/22 03:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 499
Northern MN
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atrapper Offline
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Posts: 499
Northern MN
We have a pellet stove, it was in the house when we bought it. The downside I see in it is that, as stated above, it requires electricity so it canít be used as a true backup, it doesnít put out as much heat as a cordwood stove does, and I have to rely on someone else for the wood. Last year many stores had a limit on how many bags you could buy. Over the past 5 years, pellets have averaged $5.25/bag around here.
The upside is that theyíre darn convenient. Drop a bag of pellets in and push start. Very little ash, no mess with bark, sawdust, and constantly carrying wood in the house. One bag of pellets will run our stove around 15 hours but of course each stove will be different. We run our stove much like it sounds you would run yours; just when weíre home on the weekends and for a couple hours after work and before bed most nights. We go through around 40 bags of pellets a year. I will say that the pellet stove is much cheaper to run than the in floor electric heat we have in our living room and while the pellet stove runs, our propane furnace virtually never runs so the pellet stove offsets some propane cost as well.
Iíve thought a lot about replacing the pellet stove with a cord wood stove. What it always comes down to for me is, whatís my time worth? I spend less than $250/year to use my pellet stove with my only time investment being a trip to the store. How much time would I spend cutting 5 or 6 cords of wood per year, chainsaw maintenance, gas, etc? Is the hassle worth it for $250?

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462611
01/16/22 03:10 PM
01/16/22 03:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 13,225
Green County Wisconsin
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GREENCOUNTYPETE Offline
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Green County Wisconsin
pellets were a good answer for my 80 year old aunt

no she couldn't really lift a 40 pound bag , she had a scissors in the garage she would slide a bag off the pile and then tip it into a pail , cut the top of the bag let half the bag empty into bucket carry that in then dump the rest of the bag in the bucket and carry that in.

it ran 6 1/2 days a week she turned it off when she went to church and cleaned it and fired it back up , the igniter lasted only a year or two then she had a little bottle of gel alcohal and a match and a hand full of pellets

it lasted about 8 years like that then really needed replacing or rebuild the auger was having issues it had 2 control boards

a wood stove you can basically keep rebuilding with new fire brick and door seals for a very very long time
I got my wood stove in 2007 it had been a floor model for 4-5 years at the store.
one partial and one full fire brick replacement in 15 years I can order the fire brick from Ace hardware and cut the few I need cut with a tile saw.


I should add her son in law had a country store and could get a semi load of pellets delivered to his doc and sold them to people but she would go through about ton and a half to 2 ton a year

I have a co-worker with a pellet stove he orders a pallet at a time which i think is 800 pounds if you order in pallet quantity the price gets a little better.

Last edited by GREENCOUNTYPETE; 01/16/22 03:12 PM.

America only has one issue, we have a Responsibility crisis and everything else stems from it.
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462613
01/16/22 03:13 PM
01/16/22 03:13 PM
Joined: Nov 2017
Posts: 8,813
Maine, Aroostook
Posco Offline
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Maine, Aroostook
I did a quick perusal and found this...

13.6 million BTUs per ton of wood pellets

25 million BTUs per ton of coal (I assume that's anthracite)

36.6 million BTUs per cord of 'live' oak. It dwindles considerably by species from there.

I'm sure there are many variables.

I have a wood pellet stove and it has been a decent heater chugging along for a decade pretty much trouble free. Coal is my preference, but snow has taken the metalbestos chimney off the house twice. I'll build a brick chimney next summer.

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462617
01/16/22 03:14 PM
01/16/22 03:14 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 33,527
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
I found this.

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%.


Mean As Nails
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: Dana I] #7462619
01/16/22 03:15 PM
01/16/22 03:15 PM
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SEPA
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Lugnut Offline
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SEPA
Originally Posted by Dana I
Another thing to consider is availability of fuel. Cord wood is a primary product that makes it fairly readily available at consistent prices. Pellets are a byproduct of the sawmill industry. The sawdust they are made out of has many other uses. When sawmill production goes down or demand for the sawdust goes up, pellets can get difficult to source and price goes up.


Very true. I remember a few years back a friend with a pellet stove was having a tough time finding them and they were very expensive due to the short supply.

A rental property I remodeled a while back had a pellet stove. we used it to heat the place during the remodel. I was not impressed with the heat output.

And, as said above, the need for electricity to run them would be a deal-breaker for me.


Eh...wot?

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462621
01/16/22 03:16 PM
01/16/22 03:16 PM
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SEPA
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Lugnut Offline
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Although think they make gravity-feed ones now?


Eh...wot?

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462648
01/16/22 03:37 PM
01/16/22 03:37 PM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 12,029
Champaign County, Ohio.
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KeithC Offline
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Champaign County, Ohio.
A friend of mine has a pellet stove with a computer and a thermostat in it that he can control with his phone. He can adjust the temperature and turn it on and off with an app. It also tells him when to add pellets.

Keith

Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462730
01/16/22 04:49 PM
01/16/22 04:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2021
Posts: 1,258
Interior Alaska
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Oh Snap Offline
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Interior Alaska
A backup generator can keep everything going during extended power outages for us towneys!

ALSO we can have fires all summer some years but donít you dare fire your wood stove when the borough says the air is too bad or we will fine you! Not worth the hassle.

Last edited by Oh Snap; 01/16/22 05:14 PM.

I love the smell of burning spruce---I love the sound of a spring time goose---I love the feel of 40 below---from my trapline I will never go!
Re: Cord Wood Vs Pellets [Re: uplandpointer] #7462739
01/16/22 05:00 PM
01/16/22 05:00 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 2,191
Garden,Michigan
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Buck (Zandra) Offline
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Garden,Michigan
The biggest drawback to the pellet stove would be the electricity.We've had both wood and pellet stoves,in a turn of the century two story farmhouse.Cleaning the chimney after the woodstove was a real pain in the *+$#,with the pitch of our roof,I hate heights and the older I got the more I balked at doing it.This is the first pellet stove we've had ,but that stove,if cranked up to the high settings,will run you out of the kitchen where its located.Throwing heat out of it is no problem.Had it for 3 years now pretty much maintenance free,other than cleaning it once a week.With the stove pipe coming out of the wall about 4' off the ground cleaning it out won't be a problem and climbing the roof is a thing of the past.We buy our pellets a ton at a time delivered,for $300.Our winter hasn't been too bad so far,we had some left over from last season so we've had one delivery so far and one more load the end of February or so should do it for this winter.


Buck(formely known as Zandra)
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