Mike Haasl

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since Mar 24, 2016
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Mike is a homesteader, gardener, engineer, wood worker, blacksmith and most recently a greenhouse designer. He heard about permaculture in 2015 and has been learning ever since.
Northern WI (zone 4)
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Recent posts by Mike Haasl

paul wheaton wrote:

Mike Haasl wrote:1260 square feet per floor, two floors.  Good/proper/new insulation in the attic, R3 in the walls (yes, it's silly).  Well sealed.  So that's why I'm calling it average.  If the walls were better it would be above average.  

So if your house was 2000 square feet (smaller) and has average insulation (better) then you might use 3 cords of wood per winter?

My attic is R48 or something (meeting current code) and with the excellent job of leak sealing, I'd say the house is actually equal to an average 1999 built house.  Since my house is two floors, it has less surface area than a 2000 square foot ranch.  So I think it's still comparable to an average house.

Crazy idea...  What if someone posted to the Montana subreddit saying they're doing a bit of research and see if they can get a half a dozen Montanites to say how much wood they go through with a modern wood stove?
2 days ago
1260 square feet per floor, two floors.  Good/proper/new insulation in the attic, R3 in the walls (yes, it's silly).  Well sealed.  So that's why I'm calling it average.  If the walls were better it would be above average.  

Winter climate likely the same as the "average Montana".  We're USDA zone 4a here which is the most common color when I look at Montana as a whole

USDA zone map
2 days ago
Yay!  We're doing a new thing where you post to a specific thread to get badge approvals.  Please click the Sand Badge heading in the top post to go to that magical thread.  Thanks!!!
2 days ago
I think I'd bump up the modern wood stove to 4 cords.  I think my house is pretty average in most departments and I go through around 4 cords of wood a winter.  Not oak, crappier hardwoods and pine.
2 days ago
Isn't that the remaining 28%?  I've seen the efficiency of modern wood stoves debated in circles endlessly and if anyone has a perfectly defensible number to propose, then this would be the time to post it.  Then Paul/Mud will be able to do the math easier.

Barring that, 72% seems like a good number.  At that ratio, times 5 cords per year, it gives 972 therms per year.  From there the costs of other forms of heat are relatively easy to calculate.
3 days ago
Just checking the wood heat numbers....

Per that chart, 1 cord of wood is 200 therms (or 20 million BTUs).  

Per a fancy forestry site, Doug Fir is 26.5 million BTU/cord (or 265 therms/cord).  So the 200 number is only for the lightest of soft woods.

5 cords of doug fir would be 1350 therms of heat.

If that's the metric, and it's for a 72% efficient wood stove, that means .72x1350 therms is the heat the house needed.  Or 972 therms.  

Electric baseboard would then be 972 therms x 100% efficient x 29.3 kWh/therm = 28,480 kWh.  Multiply that by 0.136$/kWh gives $3,873

So if that's how you want to convert things, I think you're in the ball park.
3 days ago
You definitely won't be talking into a void, many people live vicariously through the boot log threads.  Please keep them coming even if we don't reply enough :)  
I've heard of people making solar wood kilns that dry lumber and firewood fairly quickly so I think you're on the right track.  Since you're here in the upper midwest, we do have to dry our wood a while before it gets truly dry.  

I'd be tempted to build a simple, but beefy, hoop house to put the wood in.  Leave some small gaps at the top of the ends to let humidity out and make sure it has good solar access.  Getting it off the ground is great, you may or may not want cold air coming in under it and rising through the pile.  I'm not sure if that would dry it out over winter or if you'd be better having it mostly closed off (except upper vents).  It would likely help during the summer.

Maybe look into solar wood kiln designs and see if any of that rings true for you?
5 days ago
I like your Excel formatted USDA zones :)
Otis #7

30 acres in the Ozarks with a multifamily dwelling, barn, tractor with all the implements, machine shed, horses, etc.  Looking for someone to help out with finishing projects and getting the place finished before the current owners need to move to assisted living.