Annual Cost of Operating a Wood Burning Stove

April 9, 2020

How Much Wood Do I Need For A Full Year?

There is no ‘average’ that a homeowner can expect to burn in a single season as it will depend on many factors, however, EPA certified wood stoves may consume between 3-6 full cords of wood in a single season plus/minus depending on usage, climate, and heating requirements. The cost for this can range from $0 (if you have access to free wood!) to $3,000+ (if you live in an area with expensive wood). Your specific requirements and costs will vary dramatically based on your environment, usage, and local costs. For accurate estimates consult your local Regency fireplace expert

See our Wood Usage & Cost Estimator at the bottom of this article for a quick reference point as well as the potential yearly savings of upgrading to a new hyper-efficient Regency Stove featuring Eco-Boost triple burn hybrid catalytic technology. In the most extreme cases a homeowner can save up to $2,700 in heating costs per year by upgrading from an old inefficient wood stove to the latest high-efficiency hybrid stoves from Regency.

Key Things to Consider When Estimating Cord Wood Needs

Even with identical stoves two homes can use significantly different amounts of wood depending on a wide range of factors. The following are some key considerations for estimating the amount of wood you will use in a single year. For an analysis of your real-world situation and recommendation on proper unit sizing consult your local Regency fireplace expert

Types of Wood Burning Stoves or Inserts

What type of wood stove or insert are you using? Is it EPA-certified or not? Is it catalytic or non-catalytic? EPA-certified catalytic stoves will use the least amount of wood throughout a season whereas non-EPA stoves will use significantly more wood. Not sure which one you have or which is right for you – see our guide to Catalytic vs Non-Catalytic wood stoves.

Size of Your Home

How large is the home you are heating? Are you looking to heat the full 3,000 sq ft? Or are you only heating an 1,100 sq ft home? This will be one of the biggest factors affecting wood usage and choosing the right unit size.

Volume of Space to Heat

How large are the rooms, how high are the ceiling, what is the total volume of air within the home that needs to be heated?

Construction of the Home

How is the home physically constructed? How many windows are there? How effective is the insulation? Is the home airtight or not? These will all affect the efficiency of your wood stove or insert.

Fireplace Usage

How often do you use your fireplace? Are you heating your home 24 hours a day with your wood stove? Or are you burning wood only when you are home? This is another major factor that will affect your wood consumption.

Environmental Factors

Do you live in a windy area or in higher altitude? How cold does it get outside? This will tell you a lot about your wood consumption as it’s a direct correlation to what the wood stove or insert needs to counter in order to keep you warm.

Type of Wood

What type of wood are you using? Different wood offers different heat output levels and burn slower than others. Typically, hardwoods produce more BTU’s and burn slower, and as a result you will use less throughout the year.

Moisture Content of Wood

Ensuring you have properly seasoned wood with a moisture content below 20% will go a long way to ensuring your stove is burning efficiently. The higher the moisture content the lower the efficiency, heat output, and greater risk of creosote buildup.

Wood Usage & Cost Estimator

The following is a basic comparison and estimation of the amount of wood a typical medium sized wood stove can consume. This is intended to be a broad estimate and does not consider any of the external factors mentioned above instead focusing solely on the efficiency of each stove.

This wood usage calculator is useful for new owners planning for upcoming season or for people considering the change to a new EPA-certified wood stove. The yearly savings potential highlights the difference in annual wood costs of running a non-EPA stove and a Hybrid Catalytic wood stove.
 

 

Regency EPA Stove

Non-EPA Stove

Yearly Savings Potential

Usage

Cost/Cord

Cords

Cost

Cords

Cost

High (24hrs/day)

High ($600)

4.6

 $       2,730.00

9.1

 $    5,460.00

 $               2,730.00

Medium ($400)

4.6

 $       1,820.00

9.1

 $    3,640.00

 $               1,820.00

Low ($200)

4.6

 $           910.00

9.1

 $    1,820.00

 $                   910.00

Low (12hrs/day)

High ($600)

2.3

 $       1,365.00

4.6

 $    2,730.00

 $               1,365.00

Medium ($400)

2.3

 $           910.00

4.6

 $    1,820.00

 $                   910.00

Low ($200)

2.3

 $           455.00

4.6

 $        910.00

 $                   455.00

 


Note: Prices for wood will vary dramatically throughout North America and as such three benchmarks were chosen. Cords and Costs were calculated on standard unit size, efficiency, daily usage, and used an average heating season of 26 weeks. Actual numbers will vary, this table is meant simply as an educational tool and does not guarantee any real world savings or costs.
 

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