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#271922 2-Jun-2020 09:30
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Does anyone know the comparable cost per kJ for manuka, pine, briquettes and pellets?

 

I bought a 6 pack of Solid Energy briquettes from Bunnings yesterday and it cost $9.98, and weighs 9.7 kg, so $1.02/kg

 

A Firetime 20 kg bag of pellets also from Bunnings costs $13.20 so 66c/kg

 

A 9 pack of dry round wood from Solid Energy cost $12.98 - weight unknown but seems lighter than 10 kg.

 

So, why would anyone use anything but pellets in a wood burner?  ( I wrap them up in newspaper and chuck them in while the fire is going - they're hard to start by themselves ).

 

PS: I do have 3 cubes of macrocarpa but it's not seasoned yet, and cost me $400 delivered.  Is firewood cheaper or more expensive than pellets?


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  #2496470 2-Jun-2020 09:40
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<rant>Fires are horrible antisocial things in cities. Two of our neighbours use them, it means we can't hang out washing, ventilation systems can't run, etc. In the country, sure. Heat pumps are good options in the city. I found when I removed my freestanding fireplace and took out the chimney the house was warmed even when the fire wasn't going as I'd filled in a big hole.</rant>




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  #2496480 2-Jun-2020 09:57
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I have an ULEB fireplace, and pellets are supposed to be even more cleaner at burning than other wood based products.


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  #2496481 2-Jun-2020 10:06
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@timmmay

 

I think context is everything. Completely agree with you re old inefficient fireplaces burning coal. Even just riding my bike through town in winter I end up smelling like a coal sweep. But take on the other hand a good ULEB (Ultra Low Emission Burners) like I had - a Pyroclassic - burning good dry wood that has been drying for at least a year and you see nothing coming out the chimney at all when it's running. Maybe all cities should be clean air zones?

 

As for the OP's question. I think buying wood in winter is always going to be expensive. And it's usually wet. You really want to be buying it in bulk at the start of summer (ie when it's cheaper usually) and then letting it dry all summer so it's ready for next winter. Or in an ideal world, 2 years in advance.
It would also be interesting to compare $ to total heat output, rather than to weight.


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  #2496484 2-Jun-2020 10:08
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Delphinus:

 

I think context is everything. Completely agree with you re old inefficient fireplaces burning coal. Even just riding my bike through town in winter I end up smelling like a coal sweep. But take on the other hand a good ULEB (Ultra Low Emission Burners) like I had - a Pyroclassic - burning good dry wood that has been drying for at least a year and you see nothing coming out the chimney at all when it's running. Maybe all cities should be clean air zones?

 

 

Maybe the new ones are better, but burning wood for heat seems a bit caveman in 2020.




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  #2496485 2-Jun-2020 10:11
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Many of the older fireplaces can be converted to cleaner burning using the retrofit Intensifire https://intensifire.co.nz/

 

I'm not sure how it works but presume it forces secondary combustion somehow to limit PM2.5 emissions.


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  #2496489 2-Jun-2020 10:14
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timmmay:

 

<rant>Fires are horrible antisocial things in cities. Two of our neighbours use them, it means we can't hang out washing, ventilation systems can't run, etc. In the country, sure. Heat pumps are good options in the city. I found when I removed my freestanding fireplace and took out the chimney the house was warmed even when the fire wasn't going as I'd filled in a big hole.</rant>

 

 

As others have said this may be true for low combustion open fires and wood burners, but ULEBs are amazing pieces of technology and have little environmental impact on others,




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  #2496491 2-Jun-2020 10:18
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wellygary:

 

As others have said this may be true for low combustion open fires and wood burners, but ULEBs are amazing pieces of technology and have little environmental impact on others,

 

 

Well, not strictly true.  It takes my ULEB 30-40 mins to establish the draught so that it can switch into ULEB mode.  But if you start with a top down burn you don't see much if any smoke anyway.




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  #2496499 2-Jun-2020 10:23
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timmmay:

 

Maybe the new ones are better, but burning wood for heat seems a bit caveman in 2020.

 

 

 

 

All our heat sources in NZ are from the sun, and wood is just an organic battery.


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  #2496513 2-Jun-2020 10:55
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Person moves next door to <thing>, complains when <thing> happens.





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  #2496954 2-Jun-2020 17:44
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Delphinus:

As for the OP's question. I think buying wood in winter is always going to be expensive. And it's usually wet. You really want to be buying it in bulk at the start of summer (ie when it's cheaper usually) and then letting it dry all summer so it's ready for next winter. Or in an ideal world, 2 years in advance. It would also be interesting to compare $ to total heat output, rather than to weight.

 

 

+1 on that. Shop around and outside the main fire-burning times buy a mix of pine to get things started and something heavier like gum to keep the heat going and dry it for a year or two. That seems to be the best value for money. In particular for wood you're paying to saw up tree trunks while with pellets and whatnot you're paying for a helluva lot of extra processing.

 

 

Edited to add: Ah, yeah, based on @shrub's comments I meant buy by the truckload or cubic metre, never in bags. And beware of thrown vs. stacked cubic metres, a thrown cubic metre of wood shrinks to a lot less than that when stacked.

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  #2496962 2-Jun-2020 18:06
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If your buying firewood by the bag your going to be ripped off. Always buy wood for next season in bulk a year in advance. If you forgot there are plenty of bulk options available (Google your area).

 

It amazes me when people buy a $15 bag a day($450/month) when a truck load ($300-$400) will last all winter.




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  #2496967 2-Jun-2020 18:15
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neb: In particular for wood you're paying to saw up tree trunks while with pellets and whatnot you're paying for a helluva lot of extra processing. Edited to add: Ah, yeah, based on @shrub's comments I meant buy by the truckload or cubic metre, never in bags. And beware of thrown vs. stacked cubic metres, a thrown cubic metre of wood shrinks to a lot less than that when stacked.

 

I was under the impression that pellets were waste wood processed into pellets.


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  #2496969 2-Jun-2020 18:18
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timmmay:

Maybe the new ones are better, but burning wood for heat seems a bit caveman in 2020.



We grow our own trees to replace the ones we cut down for wood each year, so for us the time is the only cost, plus petrol for the saws and splitter. We're on slightly over an acre.

We turn our hot water cylinder off once it gets cold enough to need the fire on - the wet back means no water heating bill for winter. We also cook stews, soup and sauces on the fire when it's going, and a fiar bit of that is bottled and lasts for a year or two. We also do preserves on the fire too.

Has anyone got a recipe for heat-pump plum sauce?

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  #2496971 2-Jun-2020 18:35
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gchiu:

 

neb: In particular for wood you're paying to saw up tree trunks while with pellets and whatnot you're paying for a helluva lot of extra processing. Edited to add: Ah, yeah, based on @shrub's comments I meant buy by the truckload or cubic metre, never in bags. And beware of thrown vs. stacked cubic metres, a thrown cubic metre of wood shrinks to a lot less than that when stacked.

 

I was under the impression that pellets were waste wood processed into pellets.

 

 

 

 

Pellets are just compressed waste wood, schools are replacing their coal boilers with pellet boilers as they burn super clean.




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  #2496990 2-Jun-2020 19:16
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Ge0rge:

We grow our own trees to replace the ones we cut down for wood each year, so for us the time is the only cost, plus petrol for the saws and splitter. We're on slightly over an acre.

We turn our hot water cylinder off once it gets cold enough to need the fire on - the wet back means no water heating bill for winter. We also cook stews, soup and sauces on the fire when it's going, and a fiar bit of that is bottled and lasts for a year or two. We also do preserves on the fire too.

Has anyone got a recipe for heat-pump plum sauce?

 

 

 

With the Covid-19 people are reassessing their lifestyles.  Looks like you're there already.

 

BTW, is an acre enough to grow enough trees to replace the ones you burn in winter?

 

Has anyone got a recipe for heat-pump baked potatoes? 


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