Wood usage

The wood store is relatively impressive – or so people have been kind enough to say. Essentially it’s the space between the two sheds with a corrugated plastic roof over it  and a slatted back so that the air can move through it.  Over the spring and early part of the summer all the driest wood I’d collected, from whatever source, got cut up and/or split and stacked in this space so that for the second half of the summer it got a final drying.  There were 55 builder’s barrow-loads.  The quality of the wood is extremely variable.  There’s some really good oak and ash there.  Plus some very worm-eaten pine – which had spent quite a lot of time on the ground before being dealt with and had been very well attacked by some wood-boring grub which made deathwatch beetle look positively benign.  And lumber right down to a couple of hardboard-on-cardboard doors.  These take space and burn well – but not for long!

The logburner in use

The logburner in use

There were two evenings in April when we had to light the log burner.  Here it is shown alight.  The pile of logs to the left is about 3 barrow-loads and the black thing on the wood is a glove which came with the stove.  The only bit of the stove which gets really hot is the door on the front – the top and sides are fine to touch.

The Autumn article covers the generation and use of electricity.  It could be argued that the Solar PV is nothing to do with having an low energy house.  More important in purist terms is how the space heating is performing.

Below is the chart showing when we lit the log burner since mid year until the end of last week and how many barrow-loads of logs have been used in the same period.

Log burner use and consumption 2013

Log burner use and consumption 2013


We’ve used 21 barrow-loads of wood in this period.  This, as mentioned elsewhere, has provided us with all the hot water we need (for showers, washing up, etc. – the usual DHW – and we certainly do not belong to the cold shower fraternity!) and has kept the house warm as well.  It’s been good to note that there was no need to light the fire on either 19th or 28th December.  These were lovely sunny days and warmed both the house and the thermal store to meet all our needs for that day and night.

And, while we use the wood saved over the past few years and the lumber left over from building the house itself (there are quite a few pallets to be got through yet) it has cost nothing but my effort and some electricity to drive the saws.  The builders, Touchwood Homes, calculate that, if we had had to buy wood in it would have cost £371 based on a cost of 4.2p/kWh.  I’ve never bought firewood, so I can’t validate this.

We’ll keep on counting though the rest of the winter and spring so that there’s a full year’s worth of data on wood usage.

Comments welcome – and Happy New Year!

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