Our home is completely heated using a centrally located masonry heater and wood from our land. We have no oil furnace. Passive solar design helps out, too. The 1900 sq.ft. two-story home needs only about 3-4 cords of wood each winter. It's great to watch and feel the fires as they burn. Then the heat given off by the thermal mass afterwards is wonderfully comfortable. Cellulose insulation, passive solar design, heat exchanger to capture waste heat from main drain pipe, too.
or more of space heating
- Dan Crosby
- Single-Family Residence
- 24 Cyr Rd., Bethlehem, NH 03574
- 1,900 sq ft
- Energy need met:
- 100% or more of space heating
- Event Participation:
- NESEA Green Buildings Open House 2013 Host
- August 2001
- For space heating
- Gross Cost of System:
- Annual Savings:
- Annual Revenue:
- Additional Financial Notes:
- How I calculated our savings: Assuming 3.5 cords/year and 75% efficiency for the masonry heater (middle-of-the-road for the efficiencies I've seen quoted). At this efficiency, 1 cord of fuel wood is equivalent to about 162 gallons of #2 heating oil. So, the equivalent gallons of heating oil for burning 3.5 cords is 162*3.5 =567 gallons. At $3.41/gallon, those 567 gallons would cost $1933.47. If we actually paid for the wood at $200/cord, then the net savings would be $1933.47 - 3.5*200 = $1233.47.
What You Need to Know
Masonry heater supplies all our space heating, with some help from the design of our passive solar house. Six inch external walls with cellulose insulation. Hot water supplied by an on-demand propane heater, complimented by a copper heat exchanger that captures wasted heat from our drain pipe. Also, hardwood floors made from maple and ash trees that I cut and milled right here from our land.
Since I am willing and able, all wood for heating comes from our 25 acres. Although there is a time commitment on my part, we otherwise pay nothing for our space-heating. (OK, chain saw maintenance....) If I DID purchase the wood, split and delivered, the cost would only be about $700, assuming $200/cord.
The masonry heater takes ridiculously little attention. About 2 or maybe three times a year, I empty the ash dump, which is accessible in the basement. My wife likes to use the ash in the garden, and it's helpful if the driveway ices up. During the height of the cold season, we do two burns a day. Once in the morning before work. Once around dinner time. A full load (typically 4 layers for us), takes about 1.5 hours before we can close the roof-top damper.
Open House Info:
Directions travelling south on I-93: Take Exit 41. Right at stop sign. Head up the hill and you will reach a crossroad in about a mile. Take the right onto Lehan Rd. About 200 yards later take a right onto Cyr Rd. (a dead end). Another 200 yards later, our driveway is the first one on the right. Our home sits lower down. You'll see the green metal roof and cedar shingles. Hope you can come! Directions travelling north on I-93: Take Exit 41. Turn left at the stop sign. Then just follow the directions above.
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