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Thread: BTU's

  1. #1

    Default BTU's

    We have been burning firewood for a long time. We do not use any other type of heat source. We usually use about 6-7 cords of firewood a year. Locust seems to probably be the hottest burning wood in this area.

    What is the hottest burning wood with the most btu's in Alaska? How many cords of wood do you burn a year?

    It seems like everything I want to move with me is heavy. I have a couple wood stoves that I would love to bring along.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowchaser View Post
    We have been burning firewood for a long time. We do not use any other type of heat source. We usually use about 6-7 cords of firewood a year. Locust seems to probably be the hottest burning wood in this area.

    What is the hottest burning wood with the most btu's in Alaska? How many cords of wood do you burn a year?

    It seems like everything I want to move with me is heavy. I have a couple wood stoves that I would love to bring along.
    Spruce provides the most BTU in Alaska. It is common to mix birch with spruce, if available, for the birch will burn slower/lower/longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by .338WM View Post
    Spruce provides the most BTU in Alaska. It is common to mix birch with spruce, if available, for the birch will burn slower/lower/longer.
    The charts I've looked at, and my own experience, show birch with the most BTU per cord. Spruce is the most easily available (at least in south central AK) though. That said, they are both far lower in BTUs than common firewood in Pennsylvania. Weather is colder and the wood has less energy means more wood to stay warm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    The charts I've looked at, and my own experience, show birch with the most BTU per cord. Spruce is the most easily available (at least in south central AK) though. That said, they are both far lower in BTUs than common firewood in Pennsylvania. Weather is colder and the wood has less energy means more wood to stay warm.
    So much for my memory, I had it reversed. Here is a chart; http://www.alaskawoodheating.com/energy_content.php

    Fuel type: Density: Lbs per Cord Energy Content
    Birch1 41.0 3,485 23,600,000 Btu/cord
    Hemlock1 33.6 2,856 22,000,000 Btu/cord
    White Spruce1 30 2,550 18,100,000 Btu/cord
    Sitka Spruce1 30 2,550 18,100,000 Btu/cord
    Aspen1 28.4 2,414 16,600,000 Btu/cord
    Tamarack2 38.2 3,247 16,000,000 Btu/ton
    Black Spruce2 29.2 2,482 15,900,000 Btu/cord
    Poplar1 25.5 2,168 15,000,000 Btu/cord
    Cottonwood2 24.8 2,108 14,500,000 Btu/cord
    Wood Pellets 16,000,000 Btu/ton
    Lignite Coal3 17,400,000 Btu/ton
    Oil3 134,000 Btu/gal
    Electricity3 3,413 Btu/kWh
    Natural Gas3 1,000 Btu/ft3
    Propane3

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Bottom line.... in Pennsylvania you'd never cut and burn the best stuff in AK. Up here you just have to cut a lot of it!
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrowchaser View Post
    What is the hottest burning wood with the most btu's in Alaska?
    Birch.
    How many cords of wood do you burn a year?
    Three.

    (+200 gal heating oil).
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

  7. #7

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    I used heating oil years ago. We also had a coal stoker for a while. But we've been burning only wood for a long time now. I got tired of working
    on the furnace in the middle of winter or waiting for a delivery truck to show up during a snow storm. I like the security of a wood burning stove. In a emergency I can go outside and find wood. I can't dig up heating oil or even coal. But a oil furnace was nice for when you're away.
    I cut and burn birch when it's available. I don't use spruce though. But I do scavenge wood so I am open to burning lower btu wood. I have offered guys sycamore logs and they wouldn't even bother with them. Some guys around here only want oak, maple, locust, etc...

  8. #8
    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Birch, spruce, aspen are you only choices here.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    My wife and I heated our 1600 Sq Ft two-story home in the Fairbanks area solely with wood. We burned a pretty even mix of birch and spruce during one extremely cold winter. We burned almost 14 cords of wood that year.

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    Member Bullelkklr's Avatar
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    Kind of surprised that you needed to burn any wood at all. Just cutting and splitting and moving 14 cords around would keep ya warm all winter without heat.

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