The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How much wood does a Jotul use?

Carrying firewoodOut of curiosity, I've had Mark keep track of how much wood he's been splitting and stacking for our new Jotul wood stove this week.  Even though the Jotul is very efficient, I've been very profligate with wood, keeping the trailer perhaps ten to fifteen degrees warmer than we did last winter with the beast, and temperatures have been on the lower end of average outside.  Even so, at the rate we're burning, it would take us nearly two months to run through a cord of wood.  For the sake of comparison, we burned 1.75 cords of wood in perhaps four to six weeks last year and then were cold for the rest of the winter.

Cutting firewood with a miter sawBut are we saving any time?  We've discovered that it's a lot easier to fit wood into the Jotul's smaller firebox if it's split well, and since the fire is so easy to start I've been letting it go out a lot and restarting it with finely split box-elder kindling.  And some of the logs are too long to fit in our new stove, so we cut them in half with the miter saw.  That's a lot more prep per log than our exterior wood furnace required.  Even so, I estimate that Mark spent only about 15 minutes per day splitting, cutting, and hauling wood, which is probably half the time he spent processing wood for the beast.

All things considered, I think the Jotul is actually going to save us more time and money than I initially estimated.  We had been planning on a cheaper option for the East Wing, but we're now seriously considering just saving our pennies and buying a second Jotul.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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We ran our efficient wood stove for a year or two before we installed the damper in the double-wall pipe. Before we had to run the stove "wide-open" to get the heat we needed through the house, but now we can choke it down, stay warm all night, and still have good coals in the morning. No more adding wood in the night or waking up to a cold stove- yeah! It doesn't seem to interfere with cleaning since there is so little build up from the high efficient stoves, especially if you have a straight flue.

Love your blog- I seem to be hooked!

Comment by Karen Sat Dec 4 11:27:53 2010

Doesn't your stove have an air intake on the front? We've had great luck just choking it down there when we want it to damp down --- it seems like even in the tiny firebox, we still have a lot of hot coals in the morning if I fill it up and damp it down ten hours before when I go to bed.

Thanks for your kind words about the blog!

Comment by anna Sat Dec 4 12:56:21 2010

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