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  • Heating With Jet Fuel

    2010 - 11.23

    Here we go, rushing and tumbling into another holiday season (and by holiday, I mean Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years). Not content with the usual pressures of the season, we have decided to stop funding our local power company’s fleet of jets and convert a fireplace to a more efficient heat source by having an airtight woodburning insert installed before the federal tax credit opportunity expires on December 31st.

    My wife did a rough tally the other day and calculated that our all electric house has cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of $80,000 to heat and air condition over the nearly 30 years we’ve lived here. Clearly, it’s time to make some changes and using wood as a heat source makes a lot of sense…up to a point.

    First, there is the matter of choosing the right woodburning insert for the fireplace and scheduling installation before the tax credit expires at year’s end. We are told that it will cost in the $450 to $5000 range, with 30% of that coming back in the form of a tax credit. Either that, or the tax credit is 15% of my income averaged over a 25 year period minus the lesser of either my weight or the sum of the digits in my phone number, except in February which has 28 (not counting Leap Year). I can just imagine what a $450 dollar woodburner might be like. Remember the Yugo?

    Then, the real fun begins. I will get to fell my own trees, cut the logs to 18-20 inch stove lengths, haul the logs out of the woods in a wheelbarrow, rent a splitter, split and stack the logs, carry loads of wood into the house and maintain a round-the-clock vigil by the fire to keep it burning and risk potentially devastating chimney fires that could incinerate me and my family.
    I mentioned renting a wood splitter because a lot of the wood around us is hickory which is rather hard to split with an axe or maul. It’s roughly the density of reinforced concrete.

    The recovery period for the investment in terms of savings on my utility bills is estimated to be about 7 years or so… assuming I don’t drop dead of a coronary while chopping wood before the 7 years is up.

    One alternative I have thought of is to downsize by using my house as firewood, but that might cause a few raised eyebrows among the neighbors. On the other hand, the whole heat with wood idea is already beginning to lose it’s appeal.

    So in the meantime, keep those voiceover jobs coming in so I can continue to help my utility company maintain their jet fleet.

    One Response to “Heating With Jet Fuel”

    1. Dave says:

      Awe…come on, burning wood is great! Didn’t you see “The Woodslayer”?


      Great website Dan,


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