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How much wood do you use with your rocket mass heater?

 
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I was curious for those of you with a rocket mass heater, how much wood do you burn per year in cords? I’ve read before people saying they burn 1-2 cords per year, but I’m curious on those numbers. For instance how big is your home? Also is that cord number an I split wood cord, you is that your wood split to size for the rocket mass heater and then stacked and called a cord, because those two numbers will be a vast difference in wood split vs unsplit.
 
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I use about one cord a year to heat my approximately 900 sf house (main floor and lofts) in upstate New York, USDA zone 5. I split the wood (mostly oak, ash, black cherry and maple) myself but not to kindling size, much of it around 4" x 4" equivalent.
 
Justin Hadden
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Glenn Herbert wrote:I use about one cord a year to heat my approximately 900 sf house (main floor and lofts) in upstate New York, USDA zone 5. I split the wood (mostly oak, ash, black cherry and maple) myself but not to kindling size, much of it around 4" x 4" equivalent.




Hi Glenn, so that’s one cord of (roughly) 4”x4” split? Not one unsplit cord subsequently split into 4”x4” correct?
 
Rocket Scientist
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Hi Justin;
That number has many variables.  
Home size and design, how well insulated it is.  Personal preferences on how warm you keep your house.

I can tell you that in my uninsulated greenhouse/studio.  We were using 12+ full cords to keep it above freezing.
After building an 8" J tube with piped mass, we used less than five cords.
That is burning all day from 7 am  or so until 9-10 at night.

They work as stated but each family is different, some prefer it cool some prefer it hot.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Correct. I have sometimes started with a cord's worth (measured by the size of my woodshed) of commercial-sized firewood, sometimes with all properly-sized wood for my RMH, usually a combination. I haven't seen a noticeable difference.

65F through the day and 60F by morning is comfortable for us. If the sun is shining we don't need to make a fire all day in average winter weather, just in the evening. I have a lot of windows, mostly on the south side, and the house is supposed to be superinsulated (10" fiberglass in walls) but the carpenters I hired did a very sloppy job and it is fairly leaky at present.
 
Justin Hadden
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Hi Thomas, now that less than 5 cords that you are now using, is that split to size for the j tube? And the 12+ cords you used before was that unsplit or even split big?
 
thomas rubino
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Well its stacked as rounds and halves but when it was a J tube it got split down more before it came inside.
Now that I have switched to batches wood is round or half.

Before it was as large a chunk as I could toss in the wood gobbler!
 
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