October 23, 2017
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Comments for: Wood heat heats up as homeowners give boot to oil

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  • Anonymous

    The heck with big oil, and the middle east; I burn wood, and my money stays right here in Maine.

    • Anonymous

      I’m with you. I get my wood in eight foot lengths and cut it and split it myself, thereby saving even more. My wood guy is right here in town, another plus in my book.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, stick wood is the cheapest, just not as convenient.
      Oil should ABSOLUTELY be better used as fuel for trucks, trains and planes.
      Oil is much too valuable to be burned in a stationary building.
      Oil should be reserved as a Mobile fuel.
      If you have Natural Gas available, Hook Up as soon as you can.
      If you can’t, consider Heat Pump or Wood Pellet systems.
      Automatic large bin feed Pellet Boilers are available.
      Energy Security Products, Main Rd. in Carmel has a nice pellet system.
      Check ’em out.
      Wood Pellets HALF the price of oil, BTU for BTU.
      Think about it then Try it.
      You’ll see that Pellets are the way to go over oil.

      Fuel Cost Comparison
      http://pelletheat.org/pellets/compare-fuel-costs/
      Fill in your own local fuel pricing to get actual Savings.
      Be sure to include all delivery and transmission charges.

      • Anonymous

        i have oil, and have a fireplace insert for wood but will be changing to anthracite coal. bought 2 coal furnaces this year and saving many dollars. cost of coal is equal to treelenth firewood. 1 ton of coal is equal to 200 gallons of oil. about 300 vs 700 dollars. plus coal comes from this country, is very clean. smokes less than oil, firewood or pellets. much less work as well. try it you’ll like it.

        • Anonymous

          Is coal really clean?  Doesn’t it emit mercury and combine with the air to make sulfuric and nitric acid when burned? What about inhaling the dust?

          • Briney

            Coal is dirty. Not even Los Angeles and its infamous smog can compare to the soot-filled clouds of smoke that once hung heavily over British and European cities.  Soot was so thick housewives had to flick it off their white sheets speckled with soot.  Silicosis was common, especially among miners.  A switch to a plentiful supply of natural gas radically changed the countries, especially their  weather.  It still rains, but not quite as much as it did when black palls of smoke hung low over cities and surrounding area.

          • Anonymous

            I burn coal and love it, the country have an abundant supply of coal and should be burning more of it not trying to destroy the coal industry like this President is doing.

        • Anonymous

          The other part you’re not considering is the cost of shipping coal via oil fired trucks & trains to get it here, the abysmal safety record of the coal mining industry and the leveling of mountain tops to make it easier to get at.

          Coal, the way the 19th century used to be. Time to move on.

      • Briney

        Good information.  We utilize wood pellets. Have done for three years. We’ve managed to reduce our reliance on oil.  And, as an extra back-up we have a small propane-fired log set, just in case we lose the power. Our other back-up is the outdoor gas grill for cooking and coffee – outside of course – when everything else fails.

        • Anonymous

          Briney, I got you wrong during the discussion about Newt Gingrich.  You are a moderate.  My apologies.

  • Guest

    • Anonymous

      You have a very good point, about being careful about disposing of the ashes.

      It is well worth the investment in a metal trash can with a cover also a good fire extinguisher, just in case.

      • Guest

        ….

        • Anonymous

          That reminded me about my Grandfather, he would take the barrels of ashes in the spring and put around the Christmas trees that were a little yellow, by fall they were really green. It is the nitrogen that is in the ashes, worked great, also like you said for gardens.

          The best part is that it is all Made in Maine

          • Wood ash contains negligible amounts of nitrogen, if any at all.

            The main effects it has on plants and soil are to raise the pH (make it more alkaline) and contribute a small amount of potassium (the “K” in N-P-K).

          • Anonymous

            Your right and I’m wrong, it is potassium, (thanks) as well as some phosphors & magnesium also (hardwood) calcium plus more potash. The following is a good place too see how to use ash in the garden.

            http://www.humeseeds.com/ashes.htm 

  • Anonymous

    From what I see of wood pellet packages, you have to be a lumberjack to be able to hoist them. I have enough trouble getting 20 lbs. of kitty litter in the house. 

    • Anonymous

      They weigh 40#. Yeah, it’s a bit of a load, but so is an armload of firewood. And in terms of safety and piece of mind, I’ll take a pellet stove over a wood stove any day (esp. when my wife and/or I are both out of the house for hours at a time. 

      • Anonymous

        I burn wood and can be out of the house for 12+ hours and no problem.

        • Anonymous

          I understand that. But all things being equal, pellets are safer. Lot’s more convenient, too. YMMV.

          I’ll never go back to wood as a main source of heat.

          • Guest

            Before I put in my wood/coal boiler, I had considered a pellet stove, but pellets took a steep jump in price for short while at that time.  It made me a little concerned about being at the mercy of the pellet manufacturers.  Price and availability don’t seem to be an issue at the moment, but if things really took a turn for the worse, wood is easily available.  We have a generator, but a long power outage could be problem with a pellet stove.  Not trying to rain on your parade, just saying why I went the way I did.

    • Anonymous

      OK, but I bet just about anyone could take two, 1 gallon buckets (balanced load) at a time, filled from the pellet bag, then carry to the stove? Smaller load, more trips. Good strength building exercise, keep at it, you’ll progress up to throwing a bag over each shoulder. Hire the neighbor kid or most companies that deliver a ton (50 bags, full pallet) or more will place it where you store it, garage, porch, etc. Order early next season. Just Keep them Dry.
      One HALF the price of oil BTU for BTU.
      Fuel Cost Comparison
      http://pelletheat.org/pellets/compare-fuel-costs/
      Fill in your own local fuel pricing to get actual Savings.
      Be sure to include all delivery and transmission charges.

  • Guest

    We installed an add-on wood/coal boiler (indoor) back in 2007.  It cut our oil use down to about 200 gal/year and saves us about $2K/year.  We end up burning  a little over a ton of coal and a cord of wood a year.

  • Anonymous

    Though not green I burn Coal

    • Anonymous

      No, not green but plentiful. America has enough high grade (anthracite) coal to last 200 years at current consumption rates. Burns clean and is low sulfur. I have two stokers in my house and another one in my moms house. Between the two houses I use around 7 tons per year. The new stokers are all but maintenance free and are automatic. Love them. I did a pellet stove but found the stove needed quite a bit of maintenance and the heat output was limited. Coal burns much hotter and you can get it wet with no effect. After all, coal is basically rocks. As a small perk, I have over the years paved my driveway with coal ash and have a rock hard great draining surface that never cracks or heaves. Win win all around I would say. 

      • Guest

        You’ve got that right about the heat output of coal.  I’ve also used the ash on my driveway and road.

      • Anonymous

        If you grow a garden and like tomato, mix the ashes in your soil.

      • Anonymous

        just started using this year and sorry i didn’t start sooner. much less work than wood or pellets. can store outside if need be and will not effect unlike pellets. do not need to season and the ash makes great grit for the driveway especially this year with all the freezing rain and ice with more coming to night.

  • Anonymous

    Natural gas is the way to go if you have access to it. Right now it is the same as $1.20 a gallon heating oil. Wood is great if you don’t mind the mess & hassle of dragging wood into your house.

  • Anonymous

    When I built my new house in 2010 we planned from day one to have wood as our primary heat. We bought a combination wood/oil boiler and havent looked back. we have about 75 acres of woods so fuel will never be a problem. My way of “sticking it to the man”.

    • Guest

      your the “man”…lol..i do the same in corinna

  • Anonymous

    New MOD slogan: “Buy Oil, Feed a Terrorist”.  I have burned wood as my primary source for 34 years.  I now also have a pellet stove.  All support Maine industries.  I would use wood or pellets in my truck, if I could figure out how!  One draw-back to wood heat is mistakenly asking the wife to put another log on the fire while she was doing the dishes!  Not a good situation for several days.  

    • Anonymous

      Does “the wife” have a name?

    • Anonymous

      i agree with terrist but do you realize that 85% of our oil comes from canada and mexico? we could get rid of the 15% that we buy from the terrorist if obama would let us drill in the us and allow the pipeline to be built. HE IS THE ONE FEEDING HIS FRIENDS THE TERRORIST!

      • Anonymous

        You are wrong my friend, plain wrong.  It isn’t Obama at all.  A short lesson on oil and a free market world economy is in order here.

        Oil, no matter where it originates, all goes into the proverbial one big oil tank.  Then it is sold on the world market to the highest bidder.   Doesn’t matter if it comes from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, or the United States.   You might be surprised to know that the U.S. actually EXPORTS oil!  American oil companies sell their products on the world market for as much as they can get!  They are not confined to selling their product in the U.S. (even though they take their product from our soil and get GOP tax breaks to do so!).  So much for blaming Obama.  On top of demand you have oil speculation by the investment firms on Wall St. and its’ equivalents around the world.  So free market forces play the dominate role in how much you must fork over for gasoline or heating oil.  Consequently when demand goes up in China, oil becomes scarce and prices go up.  American oil companies sell their oil where they can get the most money and if China will pay more than Americans the oil goes to China.  So, to summarize, even if North America produced 5 times the oil it needed for all of it’s energy needs it would still be sold on the world market to the highest bidder.  Want an example of this?  Look at Venezuela where the citizens cannot afford their own oil because it is mostly exported on the foreign market (CITGO in the US for instance).

        By the way, Obama stopped the oil line construction because (in an election year publicity stunt) the GOP demanded it be approved without taking the time to do an environmental study.  The President is not against the oil line, he just wants to make sure it won’t screw up the big aquifer in the center of our country.  People like you would be the first to criticize him if the line leaked leaving our citizens in the prairie states without water.  Jerk!

        • Anonymous

          WOW i guess we know obama has one friend on line who likes to call people names. you must have had a prompter to write that big fancy response like the big o does,….

          • Anonymous

            No i just think that Mr Picklewalker is smart enough to know just whats going on and not falling for all the rhetoric being spewed during an election year. He is just not going to have the wool pulled over his head like a lot of folks are willing to do. And he sounds like he is able to put a full sentence together, which is refreshing. Just an observation.

          • Briney

            Implying that the  president of the United States is a friend of terrorists was a lousy thing to say.

          • Anonymous

            Yesterday’s anti-government terrorist is today’s Arab freedom fighter, and given U.S. military and CIA assistance…..doubt me?  Ask my friend TOTUS!   

        • Anonymous

          you’re drinking too much Kool Aid George.

          The President announced some time ago that he would not make a decision on Keystone “until 2013”.  Coincidentally, after the 2012 election is over.  And its not because of the lack of an environmental study it is purely “a publicity stunt” as you put it.  The US State Department announced on 8-26-11 that the study was complete and received by them.

          See, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/08/171082.htm.

          The Congress simply wanted a decision on the project that wasn’t delayed for purely political reasons and cause unnecessary delay.  What’s wrong with that?  I guess disagreeing with your unsupported assertion of facts makes me a “Jerk” too. But than how do we distinguish YOU from your definition of the word?

          • Anonymous

            If congress was serious about lowering the price of oil they would keep all the oil drilled here in this country for it’s citizens, if that were the case I would say by all means drill all you can boys.  I guess money trumps the welfare of the country and citizens because ya the oil is shipped out of the country, so more drilling will not do a thing.

          • Anonymous

            You are correct Randy.  It is so hypocritical to say “drill for oil to make America energy independent.”  Drilling for oil in North America has absolutely nothing to do with American energy independence.  Like it or not we currently live in a free market economy.  Personally I don’t like an unregulated free market because people are so greedy.

        • Anonymous

          Georgie…and which prez. terminated drilling in the Gulf?  um, a hint, begins with ‘O’.  And whose administration failed to acknowledge flaws in the Government’s design for the Safety valve they helped design and approved?  Again, it begins with an “O”.

          • Drilling in the gulf? Really?  Ask the people that live down there about how that’s working out with BP.

          • Anonymous

            You are so correct Steve. Dang if you do, dang if you don’t. The disciples of Limbaugh would criticize Obama no matter what he did. These people are so short on memory they probably think Gingrich is an honorable candidate!

      • Briney

        What a lousy statement: “Feeding his friends the terrorists.”  What kind of a  friend to terrorists would deploy a commando unit to take out the world’s worst terrorist – Osama Bin Laden?    

        What kind of a pal was he to disposed Libyan terrorist 
        Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi when he backed NATO and  Libyan rebels in dumping this fiend?  In between he knocked off 22 other terrorists and a couple of traitors who linked up with Al Queda.  

        He has also placed  Iran on notice that blocking the Strait of Hormuz is the “red line.”

        As for the pipeline? Time is needed to make sure farmers and ranchers who supply a major portion of our food, do not have their farmlands and ranches ruined.

        Either we get our pipeline or we’ll block the bill extending unemployment and tax breaks for the working people, said Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Perhaps, the president wanted to get all sides of the issue before just endorsing the project?

        • Anonymous

          Check your foreign aid history. Just months before the Libyan uprising, Obie approved over a million dollars of military equipment for Omar’s army…and it was shipped!   Guess who is still running EGYPT?  The ARMY, and with Obie’s blessing and foreign aid. Guess who is now negotiating with the Taliban in Pakistan?  Right, Hillary and Obie. 

          Our foreign and military policy changes from week to week, country by country…..Obie’s not capable of steering a consistent course

          • Guest

            Did Obama help hide Osama until he was elected and then take him out? Or was the Bush family behind the scenes hired as consultants and the kill  all took place while Obama was on vacation in Hawaii. In reality the terrorists accomplished not only a violent attack but were also successful in deteriorating our economy as well as the world economy all while you know who was reading childrens books at a school. We can’t be forgetful in who our commander in chief was during this point in history. Our administration at that time couldn’t even handle a natural disaster (Katrina). How soon people forget the facts.

          • Rather be negotiating than sending our troops over there to get killed. 

          • Anonymous

            You must be a friend of Cleanearth Oden.  All talk, no listen, no comprehension!  Nuff said.

        • Anonymous

          Disqus generic email templateman has he got you hook line and sinker. unbelievable!

      • Anonymous

        If the US drill all it’s potential oil it would hardly make a dent in the world supply. Plus it would be sold on the world market.

        • Anonymous

          Disqus generic email templateof course! so let us just sit by and pay through the nose while the nuts in iran block our shipping lanes. better yet, let us cut all the trees down to heat our buildings and cut the rest to sell to china for pulp. hello?

  • Guest

    I heat my home with whatever is the cheapest.

    If we block the oil coming from Canada, we might as well as revisit the Big A dam proposal, because if oil keeps getting more expensive, heating with electric may become more cost competitive.

    I am for whatever that can stand on its own merit, but if it needs green taxpayer offsets, then it becomes a liability in a bankrupt economy.

  • Anonymous

    This change somewhat back to solid fuels such as wood here in northern New England is inevitable.

    Worldwide Peak Oil is upon us.  Conventional crude oil production has been flat since 2005, after growing for decades.  Total “liquid fuel” production has managed a small increase, but only because of things such as natural gas “condensates”, tar sands, and biofuels such as ethanol, the latter being an especially poor substitute for oil given the poor energy return on ethanol production. The important thing is that all these other liquid fuels are not as nearly available and affordable as true crude oil and associated products have been.

    America has managed to squeeze some additional natural gas out of the ground with hydraulic “fracking”, but that will only aid people who live on the natural gas distribution grid, which *wouldn’t be* most of ME, NH, and VT. It also remains to be seen just how long fracking can keep the cheap nat. gas flowing too, given that the life span of a natural gas well has been dropping steadily for some years now (that is, horizontal and/or fracked nat. gas wells deplete faster) and now that some truck and bus fleets are converting to natural gas.

    There is electric heat, which heats a fair amount of Canadian homes, but mainly only because they have so much hydroelectric capacity.  We have some nuclear, but politics aside, it’s still pretty pricey and complex to deliver. Then too, it remains to be seen if nuclear could possibly supply the substantial number of BTUs to replace what we now get from oil (even if we figure that most new electric heat were to be done via ground source heat pumps.)

    The US has coal, but even then, most of the best, close-to-the-surface coal has been had already as well and brown, or “soft” coal, burns poorly in household stoves.

    Oh, and propane is a byproduct of oil production, so it’s price rises pretty much in lockstep with heating oil.  I’m surprised it is being counted on as a backup by so many in this article.  Folks best consider propane for very infrequent backup use at best, in my opinion.

    It would be nice if newer homes faced the sun more, but in the end, it will be wood to the rescue as far as heating most of the non-urban areas of the Northeast is concerned.  Oil will never be affordable again, excepting a few *momentary*, recession-induced, price crashes such as we saw circa 2009.

    • Anonymous

      oil could be more affordable if the politicians in washington would have the guts to stop the speculators on wall street with their speculating. there is plenty of oil out there but the speculators make it sound like their isn’t so the paper they buy every day goes up in price by the end of the day when they sell.
      back in the 60’s potatoes were bought and sold this way and they stopped it since people were waging their life savings on the merc and some made it and some lost big time. they should do the same with oil, stop the speculating and you would see the price cut in half. these guys never even take possesion of the oil. just buy paper and sell paper every day.
      the politicians have no guts and these speculators grease their pockets so why would they stop them???

  • Guest

    We have a really well insulated house and burn wood all winter, less than 100 gallons of oil. Invested in a good stove so we can be gone 12 hours and the house is still toasty when we get home.  To heck with oil or paying for pellets.

  • Anonymous

    I’ve been saying this for over five years in this paper and all I got for responses was…..too much mess, too much hard work, wood stoves are carcinogenic…..well, all those folks can continue to support the middle east or fracking. My fuel bills for a four bedroom house w/three baths has stayed constant at around 1000 a year, sometimes a bit more when the spring(?) here is chilly. Wood is the renewable energy.

    • Anonymous

      There are several problems with wood – too much mess, too much hard work, wood stoves are carcinogenic and most importantly, no thermostat.  No thanks.

      • Anonymous

        Blah blah blah bangorian

      • Anonymous

        1. “. . too much mess,”   Well don’t be so sloppy, rake up after. The bark and chips burn too.
        Pellets are very Clean and Neat.
        2. “too much hard work,”  Don’t be so Lazy, Save on your gym membership and you could use the exercise.
        Pellets come in 40 lbs bags, can be delivered right to you and are easy to handle.
        3. “wood stoves are carcinogenic”  Learn how to burn wood correctly. Use well seasoned, dry wood. Don’t overfill or choke the stove for a clean burn.
        Pellet stoves burn a small amount of pellets at a time with excess air for a Clean, smoke free, highly efficient burn.
        4.  “no thermostat” Although this is true for most wood stoves there are models available with thermostatic dampers.
        Most Pellet stoves are thermostatically controlled and can also be remotely controlled by a millivolt thermostat just like your oil furnace.
        Oh, you forgot, What about fuel cost? That’s right, Wood and Pellets are Way Cheaper than oil by about 1/2, AND they are from a Renewable Natural source, Trees!

        • Anonymous

          Who’s buying oil? Not me.  Natural gas is the way to go.  Cheap, clean and no fuss.

      • Anonymous

        Ah, yes, the urban attitude.

        You turnips burn all the wood you want, but for Bangorian, $4,$5 or $6  oil is the way to go.

      • Anonymous

        No thermostat needed when you know how to operate the stove. A simple broom and dustpan cleans up the mess. Hard work is to be admired. Unfortunately, too many people want simple and lazy.

      • Anonymous

        Try automatic feeder coal stoves, You’ll be surprised.  Mine holds 200 lbs of coal digital thermostat, day – night setting,  no work other than picking up the coal, no chance of chimney fires and it takes care of itself for about 5 days at a time till I refill it and dump the ashes.

    • Anonymous

      We got an outside wood boiler a couple years ago.  We fill it every 12-16 hours but when it’s mild out it runs 24.  Not to mention we can burn softwood in it during the spring as well so when we’re cutting we have virtually 0 waste as we cut everything up that would have been left in the woods otherwise.  Having oil heat nowadays is crazy!!  Oh, Bangorian…we have a thermostat as well.  So nice sitting in shorts inside when the temp is hovering around 0.  LOL

      • Anonymous

        They do make the house quite comfy in the winter and the spiders are all kept outside I love my wood boiler.

  • Anonymous

    Thank God for my new natural gas boiler.  Goodbye oil, I don’t miss you.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Bangorian, for Once you’ve done something Right!
      LOL !

  • Anonymous

    For those of you who burn wood, how did you find home insurance?  Who did you go through?  How much more are they charging you?  I ask ’cause my home owners policy will not cover a wood stove or any resulting fire damage that could be traced to one.  I’d sure love to rehook-up the stove that came with the house.

    • Anonymous

      Aldin – I use wood in my house as my primary heat.  When I first bought my house the inspector for the Insurance Co. looked at my set up and said it was fine.  Never had a problem since (13 yrs). 

      If it was me I’d look for a new insurance company that will insure homes with wood stoves and then dump my current insurance company.  As long as your stove set up is correct and complies with regulations you shouldn’t have a problem.  Good luck!

    • Anonymous

      Try Vermont Mutual insurance company.  Most companies require that you have a separate flue to serve the woodburning appliance(separate from oil heat flue) to comply with the current codes, but some companies will grandfather both on one flue.

      • Guest

        Maine Mutual Group is pretty good to deal with as well.

        • Anonymous

          I had MMG of Presque Isle for many years.  Agreed, they are good too.

      • Anonymous

        I think (in Maine) this code has been changed back and now allows more than one source of combustion to use the same flue.  I understand the concern was back drafting of carbon monoxide.  Still a legitimate worry.

        • Anonymous

          Thank you, GeorgeP.  I wasn’t aware that it had been changed.

    • Anonymous

      State Farm charges me $40 /yr for my wood stove. Had to send photos of the install to my agent. No problems.

  • Old Bear

    US Congress does nothing to help with the price of fuel. Between the IRS and Big Oil and US Congress everybody in the northeast are going to get jar of vasoline on Arpil, 15th. This should help with the cost that we are paying for oil and gas and what we may have to pay on taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Wish I could cut and chop wood to burn but getting to old and lazy. I also find that wood is not that cheap anymore to buy it almost as high as oil….I hate oil but thats the only way I can keep warm in the winter 

  • Tom

    It’s a balmy 82° in my house right now thanks to my friends ash, maple, and oak.

    • Anonymous

      I hope yellow birch and beech are acquaintances of yours, too.

  • I live in West Virginia and have a wood burning stove in my basement. My annual home insurance premium is 500 dollars.my insurance is with Farmer’s home.

    • Anonymous

      I’m rather surprised that coal isn’t the least expensive source of heat in W.V.  Don’t they still mine coal there?

  • Anonymous

    I think that alot of us mainers have lost our way.  We live differently from alot of other places.  We need to covent what we have, and not let other states buy up all of the land.  Their are generations that are losing out. When the rest of the nation that is riding around in their hummers for the fun of it, we are driving broken down fords/chevys to get us from one snowed drift to another, to work, or maybe just to plow a family members driveway, and standing on other nations to feed us fuel is the dumbist thing that I can think of. 
    Oil- brought in over seas
    Natural gas as gone from nothing to wicked expensive to suposibly nothing
    Ask people about coal, and grand kids are wondering what they are talking about
    Propane-more expensive than a package red hot dogs
    How long are we going to put up with this?

    • Anonymous

      So burn Wood and Wood Pellets from MAINE.
      Finest kind.

    • Guest

  • i grew up with wood heat burned like 4cord of less winter, wife saw big difference in heat bill so she let me buy 8cord for this winter and going to be buying for ever but still going to have oil and propane for back ups, and hoping to get a pellet stove in a year or so, already have a hook in my dinning room set up from previous owners of the house…. wood heat is much hotter and better… 

  • Anonymous

    I have an “add on” wood furnace which I hooked into my hot air system in my home.  The initial investment is not that bad, but it isn’t cheap.  My 1100 sq foot home required a $1200 furnace and appx $800 more to have it installed to code.  But, I haven’t used a drop of oil for heating since I got it running.  So the $2000 I would have spent on oil, was invested in a product that requires no more investments, aside from general chimney care.  There is also a tax break for buying alternative energy products. 

  • Anonymous

    We are heating two houses with a pellet boiler. It is expensive to purchase and install and requires more attention than oil but the savings are substantial. The system will have paid its cost in savings in less than three years. The pellets are produced nearby supporting jobs in the Maine economy , as well as reducing pollution. We have no additional cost for insurance – make sure your system is UL approved and is installed by a certified person.

    • Anonymous

      I’m an installer of pellet boilers; and was skeptical at first (having been an oil technician prior)…but I have to admit they are great! Get past the initial sticker shock and realize that  it’s a four year payback/investment. If you have the means for the initial cost; you are putting a couple hundred dollars a month into your pocked after four years.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing beats the toasty warmth of a wood stove on a cold winters day and its such a nice feeling when you don’t hear the furnace kick on for 3-4 days straight!

    • Anonymous

      and u cant beat the pretty flames, nothing puts home back into the household like a nice fire.

  • Anonymous

    wood heat, renewable, reliable, good stuff

  • Anonymous

    Or you could heat your home with the ground below.  No lugging wood… No oil man… Geothermal.  It doesn’t get more local than this.
    http://www.ELCOgeothermal.com

    • Anonymous

      geo is good if you have cheap electric like canada which we will never have here thanks to the greenies  and windmill pushers. electric rates here are 14 cents per kwh vs canada is 4 cents per kwh and geo uses quite a bit of electricity

      • Anonymous

        Even with our electric rates I am saving over 70% to heat my home… plus I get cooling in the summer!

    • Guest

      ….

      • Anonymous

        No more so than installing a oil burning system in a house. 

        Since installing a system in my house I have saved over 70% of my utility costs.  And that is with our expensive electricity rates ‘topofmaine’!!

    • Anonymous

      Doesn’t there need to be a certain geological make up to implement geothermal energy?

      • Anonymous

        No, in fact there are multiple ways of harnessing the earth’s heat.  Check out the website http://www.ELCOgeothermal.com.  We have installed horizontal closed loops, vertical closed loops and I personally have an open loop system using my domestic well. 

  • Anonymous

    Why in the world are we heating our public buildings with oil in a state full of trees? We send millions out of this state every year to keep our schools, court houses, town offices warm when we could be using that money right here in Maine to pay Mainers to work up the wood and feed the wood boilers. Create hundreds of good paying jobs, save money, and stick it to big oil. Or we could just continue burning oil and whining about high taxes.

  • Anonymous

    Power outages are not common but when they occur in winter, then what? Chunk wood burners still perform as do many propane appliances. Still, pellet burners offer an advantage to the handling of chunk wood, especially if, as I do, you process it starting at the stump. I enjoy the work, right now but totally understand how others feel with that amount of effort. Either way wood fuel in any form is a locally produced renewable resource and should be regarded as a regional asset.

    Even Colby College got in on the act by installing a new boiler using wood. Municipalities looking to save on school heating costs are looking at wood. Any foresters out there want to ‘chip’ in on the increased demand for forest products having a negative impact on the resource?

    • Anonymous

      “Power outages are not common but when they occur in winter, then what?”.  Many of the newer pellet stove designs are available with battery backup options(lead acid or sealed lead acid battery and DC to AC inverter) to drive the fans and feed auger in the event of a commercial power outage.  It’s additional expense when compared with a chunk type stove, but for some who experience a greater than average number of power outages it provides reliable independence from commercial power.

  • Old Bear

    Should it ever come down to this with the price of oil. If the US gets out of the Middle East and let them do there thing  by eating  there oil. I bet the price of oil would come down fast. Plus the US Government stop being so selfish and give the American people a break. Thank You Baby Bush for all turmoil you brought to this country by trying to fight your father war. Its killing the American people wallets.

    • Anonymous

      Soon you will be able to drive to Portland, and sit by the big pipeline to Montreal and listen to Canadian crude pumped into tankers going back to Europe full.  or maybe you still think our neighbors are ‘foreigners’? 

      LePage is negotiating a deal with Hydro Quebec that could make electricity cheap enough to heat with.

      • Old Bear

        Thanks for infor.

  • Old Bear

    Don’t you see how dump your statement is. Only Mo@on make statements like that. 

    • Guest

      I stand by my statement. Mostly because you believe Bush is to blame for everything.

      • Old Bear

        How caused 9/11 and how kept the price of  gas up when he was in office big oil man. The one in there is dumb in a big way. He’s done nothing to inprove this country. He has brought us down even more. So I guess that makes me stupid in your book thanks.

        • Guest

          I was wrong to call you stupid. I am sorry.

          • Guest

            Nice to see that.  I’ve said things on here I wish I hadn’t said.  Says a lot about a person when they can humble themselves.

  • I’m in the process of planning to re-do my house and have already decided what I’m going to do. Given the current rate’s and the cost’s, I’m going gas. Even up here in The County, gas is cheaper than oil and is a lot more available (and is going to be even more so once the Millinocket mills’s figure out that wood chip bio-gas is a commodity), and is a lot safer. Add to this is going to be the newer Eco-Tite blue foam expanding insulation, that fills in every air leak when applied, and sealing the house wrap and the house isin’t going to ‘bleed’ heat like so many homes do. The only thing that has me worried is the property tax’s when I do all of this. At the rate Maine likes to ‘re-apraise’ home’s for property tax at the drop of a hat once they find out you’ve made improvement’s, I might have improved my way right out of my home. And LePage wonders why so many of us are sick to death of seeing our property tax’s go up ! His coming State of the State speech, and the responce, are going to be HUGE eyeopener’s come the next election cycles and the required local Town Meeting’s soon to happen.

  • The solution to America’s heating needs are varied,climate specific, locally appropriate fuel options.  For Maine, wood products make a lot of sense.

    One thing I think will become much more prevalent is pellet heat.  It is the convenience compromise between split wood and oil.  It can be locally produced. Especially for people in Portland and surrounding areas, it is an attractive options because it requires less storage, it is cleaner and more convenient than wood, wood is more expensive in the city than the country, and you can use it with a thermostat to keep the house warm all day without tending.  

    For families like mine, it would be more economical than wood because we are out of the house all day. During the day, oil would have to take over once a wood fire goes out.  With pellet, I could  just load a hopper and leave.

    I’m waiting for the day when I have a pellet stove.

  • Anonymous

    The money I spent in heating fuel I can pay for a round trip and living expenses in Texas for 7 months out of the year.

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like you need to spend a little of that $$ on new windows and weatherstripping!

  • Guest

    ….

  • Anonymous

    One wood heating method that doesn’t get mentioned much is wood gasification.  I have a downdraft gasifier with 670 gallons of water for thermal storage in my basement that I’ve used for year-round heat and hot water for the last 4 years.  We’ve burned hardly any oil since we installed the Tarm, but it is available as backup any time I don’t keep the storage temperature up.  No smoke, no creosote, and the most efficient wood burning technology possible makes the substantial investment worth it for our fairly large house.  We have about 1 fire a week for hot water in the summer and 2 fires a day during the heart of winter, with no midnight stoking necessary.

    • Guest

      I’ve heard Tom and Professor Hill talk about this on their Hot & Cold program, but not until after I had installed my wood/coal add-on boiler.  Will definitely consider this down the road.

  • Anonymous

    Keep your chimney clean, keep burnables away from the stove, and put the ashes out safely . . . wood heat starts a lot of house fires.

  • Anonymous

    The only thing Maine has is wood, so burn it up

  • Anonymous

    Great the secret is out now, the price of wood just went up about 50 to 100 dollars a cord thanks to this column…

  • Anonymous

    check out http://www.smartclickenergy.com and you might like their prices for home heating oil.

  • Anonymous

    Say what you want, if oil was $1.00/gallon nobody would be using wood! Everything we do is driven by money. It’s that simple……

    • Anonymous

      I’d still be heating with wood. Forced hot air and baseboard heat aren’t comparable to the warmth and comfort of a wood stove.

  • Anonymous

    ground source, water-water,  geothermal heat pump, the most cost efficient heating out there.  I got a $800 rebate from Bangor Hydro for the pump,  3 cent/kw our reduction on cost of electricity (on all power consumption), and the feds are knock off another 30% when I go do my taxes.  I giggle when I see the oile truck back up my neighbors driveway.

  • Anonymous

    ground source, water-water,  geothermal heat pump, the most cost efficient heating out there.  I got a $800 rebate from Bangor Hydro for the pump,  3 cent/kw our reduction on cost of electricity (on all power consumption), and the feds are knock off another 30% when I go do my taxes.  I giggle when I see the oile truck back up my neighbors driveway.

  • Anonymous

    It should be pointed out that a vast amjority of the oil we use comes from North America.
    That, and wood smoke is NOT clean.

    I do support people using wood heat, though, as it employs local woodsmenand does not need to be transported great distances.  I fear though, as it gets more and more popular, the prices will go higher and people will start switching to the new cheap & trendy fuel.  Thousands of people replacing a heating system is not a money or energy saver when you look at it from a broader perspective. 

  • Guest

    I installed a natural gas furnace 4 years ago.Luckily- North Brewer was one of the first areas around to have the lines installed.  The largest bill I’ve received was $180.00 for a really cold month last year. No cleaning, no smell, no noise. My annual heating expense is just shy of 40% of when I heated with oil.

  • Anonymous

    Time now to petition Gov. Le Page to hold a big ARBOR DAY celebration that would reforest all of the cleared forest in Maine, and call a halt to the clear cutting of wild lands for wind turbines—4+ acres for the foot print, then the access road, then the transmission lines…….WE NEED ALL THOSE TREES TO CONVERT CO2 TO CARBON AND RESTORE LIVE GIVING OXYGEN TO THE AIR!

    Besides hydro power; reforestation is essential to keeping Maine green and alive…. Planting trees is inexpensive and great community service for schools and groups like the Rotary. If China can plant a million trees to stabilize the Mongolian desert with the help of TIMBERLAND’s CEO and KYOTO’s endorsement; surely Maine can do the same working with the many new land trusts. 

    Sustainable forestry should supply ample quantities of both hard and softwood for wood pellet factories and people who cut their own. 

    Fill those wood lots with new trees; get them free from the VILES ARBORETUM in Augusta. Get your orders in now. Contact your local high school’s community service planners and tell them this is really important for the survival of Maine. Contact the ROTARY and other community service groups to pay for lunches, a forester to lay out the plantings and train volunteers, and to recruit volunteers.

     

  • Anonymous

    http://www.maine.gov/oeis/docs/heatcalculatorMEv3_1.xls

    Try that.  It’s a fuel value comparison spreadsheet.  Fiddle with the numbers.  You can adjust the efficiency to match your furnace or stove, adjust the price to match what’s being charged today, and adjust the final column to match what you actually spend, then compare what you burn with other fuels.

    And don’t forget:  No matter what you burn, proper weatherization and combustion safety come first.

  • Anonymous

    they’ll find away to double tax and raise price’s on this too

  • Anonymous

    I own my own 50 acre wood lot for this reason alone. To cut and burn. It saves a small fortune I cut it during the spring and let it season as much as it can til the cold weather comes along. My cost for heating my home all winter … $0.00  It’s a lot of work but to save thousands, it’s worth it.

  • Anonymous

    And, I might add, once this woodlot is pretty thinned out, then I’ll sell it (at a profit), and buy another one. I wish more people could / would do something like this. It would keep more money in people’s pocket to stimulate the economy. 

  • Anonymous

    Like the North Atlantic Blues festival , Albie Barden at Maine Wood Heat is one of
    Maine’s best kept secrets.
    Albie, whose dad was a professor at UMO, is the premiere  builder of Masonry Heaters in the United States.
    After getting his undergraduate degree at Brown and his Masters Degree in Theology from Yale
    Albie returned to Maine in the early 1970’s  to open Maine Wood Heat with his wife Cheryl in Norridgewock.
    What is a Masonry Heater?
    see    https://mainewoodheat.com/masonry-heaters/masonry-heater-project-diaries/belanger-heater/

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