Fired up for wood | The Columbus Disp...

Fired up for wood | The Columbus Dispatch

There are 104 comments on the Columbus Dispatch story from Jan 23, 2011, titled Fired up for wood | The Columbus Dispatch. In it, Columbus Dispatch reports that:

Pete Morris of Upper Arlington is a seller of wood-burning stoves and uses one to heat his house in the winter.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Columbus Dispatch.

Shirley Brandie

Lehigh Acres, FL

#85 Jan 24, 2011
Will Burns wrote:
<quoted text>
Burning wood from your own source is more expensive? You need to retake basic math.
And do you suck the public teet, by that I mean do you work for the EPA why else would crybabies email you about wood smoke?
Reread the sentence...

No, I don't work for the EPA. I have a web site dealing with wood smoke. The number of people affected by wood smoke is incredible and the numbers grow daily. Thanks to people like you the bylaws and bans are falling into place.
Question: Why are you so beligerent? You have no idea what it is like to be in the path of 24/7 wood smoke.
Will Burns

United States

#86 Jan 24, 2011
Reality check wrote:
<quoted text>Check out the link Shirley provided,talk about lunatics.
What a bunch of lunatics in that link. Wood smoke preventing a guy from using a breathing machine? Those crazies need buried in a snow drift
Will Burns

United States

#87 Jan 24, 2011
Shirley Brandie wrote:
<quoted text>
Reread the sentence...
No, I don't work for the EPA. I have a web site dealing with wood smoke. The number of people affected by wood smoke is incredible and the numbers grow daily. Thanks to people like you the bylaws and bans are falling into place.
Question: Why are you so beligerent? You have no idea what it is like to be in the path of 24/7 wood smoke.
I heat a buidling with scrap wood, all kinds partical board osb etc, anything burnable. Doesn't bother me one bit.

If wood smoke is so bad how did we settle this country? How did my neighbors where grew up live into their 80s and not only burn wood but coal in two fireplaces all their lives?

“Zuzu's Petals”

Since: Sep 10

Bedford Falls

#88 Jan 24, 2011
Reality check wrote:
<quoted text> I'm being totally honest with you.If I were you I'd talk to a different insurance company. You'll also find insurance companies that have underwriters who don't know how to insure a log home either. We live in a 3000 sq ft log home and heat with a woodburner and yes we are fully insured.
I would but no need, we have the geothermal with a generator to back-up. There were several homes in this area, insured by Cincinnati Life, who were dropped or their premiums were increased significantly.
tom the traveler

Coleman, MI

#89 Jan 25, 2011
Reality check wrote:
<quoted text>That's B.S. if properly installed and up to code. Our insurance company charges $50.00 more per yr. with the woodburner.
Been that way for 23 yrs. and 2 different insurance companies.
Using a wood stove properly requires an IQ above 40 and unfortunately, that means the insurance companies don't want the risk.

I knew a yuppie who was not mechanically inclined (he was an accountant) put something in a wood stove that blew up. There was no fire but the explosion and smoke was pretty funny actually.

I hate to say it, but these days you probably need a warning label on a baby stroller that says "not intended for use with a jet engine, severe injury may result".
Smokey says

United States

#90 Jan 25, 2011
tom the traveler wrote:
<quoted text>
Using a wood stove properly requires an IQ above 40 and unfortunately, that means the insurance companies don't want the risk.
I knew a yuppie who was not mechanically inclined (he was an accountant) put something in a wood stove that blew up. There was no fire but the explosion and smoke was pretty funny actually.
I hate to say it, but these days you probably need a warning label on a baby stroller that says "not intended for use with a jet engine, severe injury may result".
And the lable probably needs to be refective and in spainish

Since: Mar 10

Location: smokefree places

#91 Jan 25, 2011
"I heat a buidling with scrap wood, all kinds partical board osb etc, anything burnable. Doesn't bother me one bit. "

That makes you a criminal.

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#92 Jan 27, 2011
Will Burns wrote:
<quoted text>
I heat a buidling with scrap wood, all kinds partical board osb etc, anything burnable. Doesn't bother me one bit.
If wood smoke is so bad how did we settle this country? How did my neighbors where grew up live into their 80s and not only burn wood but coal in two fireplaces all their lives?
In isolated, rural areas with low population this might work but in a densely populated urban setting this can create real problems.

Many Londoners almost choked to death shortly after WWII when stagnant air and coal smoke was trapped over the entire city.
elayne

Westerville, OH

#93 Jan 27, 2011
any answers?

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#94 Jan 27, 2011
elayne wrote:
any answers?
Natural gas. North America is the new Saudi Arabia of energy potential with the tremendous discoveries of gas using new technologies; of course, the caveat is the drilling process and the safety of that is going to have to be worked out.
chillaxed

Grove City, OH

#95 Feb 3, 2013
Charles wrote:
I cannot imagine anyone living in Upper Arlington using wood as the sole heating source in the winter.
I cannot imagine neighbors in UA not complaining about the smoky haze setting over the entire neighborhood. Ditto for anyone in a middle to upper middle class suburb anywhere in Ohio.

If you're asking for hundreds of health conscious complaints and ultimately an outright ban on your wood stove investment, upper middle class suburbs like UA are a great place to throw your money away.

Since this thread has been started, natural gas has gotten cheaper than ever (unless you were duped into buying fixed price contracts years ago). With regional fracking and brand new gas pipelines coming into Ohio from out west (Which should lead to price wars similar to Ohio's "too many grocery chains,"), Ohio stands to be the land of cheap gas for decades to come.

The only caveat to this prediction is if the gas companies conspire to fix prices in order to boost their profit margins. But now we have an entire Federal office devoted to consumer protection so I wouldn't worry too much about the price fixing possibility.
chillaxed

Grove City, OH

#96 Feb 3, 2013
Biggie BC wrote:
<quoted text>
In isolated, rural areas with low population this might work but in a densely populated urban setting this can create real problems.
Many Londoners almost choked to death shortly after WWII when stagnant air and coal smoke was trapped over the entire city.
Even in rural areas, you run the risk of your gas stove being regulated if and when housing tracts are built nearby. The outcome is similar to farmers finding they can no longer use certain insecticides because "the gated mcmansion complex" was just built next door.

I once talked to an elderly man who lived in Ohio in the 1940's. He mentioned that buildings in urban Ohio neighborhoods were often covered in coal soot because most of the homes were heated with coal.

There's a good reason coal furnaces, basement incinerators, and even wood stoves have been regulated out of our cities.
chillaxed

Grove City, OH

#97 Feb 3, 2013
Will Burns wrote:
<quoted text>
I heat a buidling with scrap wood, all kinds partical board osb etc, anything burnable. Doesn't bother me one bit.
If wood smoke is so bad how did we settle this country? How did my neighbors where grew up live into their 80s and not only burn wood but coal in two fireplaces all their lives?
Your neighbors likely had more resilient genetics than most. Because the hard scientific data exists today when it comes to the health dangers of living in homes where burning wood (or coal, or whatever) is common. And the data isn't pretty. Correlation does not equal causation, and just because your neighbors did well in a polluted home doesn't mean the majority of the population will do just as well.

Thanks to good science, we also know the dangers caused by
* radon gas in all kinds of homes (even drafty homes that "Breathe")
* how radon gas can exist at higher levels in the summer than in the winter.
* 3rd stream pollution. Like smoke coating the walls, furniture, and air ducts.
* 2nd hand smoke wafting through entire apartment complexes.
* HVAC filters that fail to reach a minimum filtering criteria. Those old blue $1 filters do next to nothing in terms of filtration and even damage your furnace and a/c.
chillaxed

Grove City, OH

#98 Feb 3, 2013
tom the traveler wrote:
<quoted text>
Using a wood stove properly requires an IQ above 40 and unfortunately, that means the insurance companies don't want the risk.

I knew a yuppie who was not mechanically inclined (he was an accountant) put something in a wood stove that blew up. There was no fire but the explosion and smoke was pretty funny actually.

I hate to say it, but these days you probably need a warning label on a baby stroller that says "not intended for use with a jet engine, severe injury may result".
It also depends on the individual insurance company, that company's corporate culture and their ratings criteria.

Some insurance co's will endure the risk in one category - say wood stoves or beach houses - if it means they can insure the same person's multiple cars, multiple homes, business insurance, and commercial assets (<and the big money is in commercial lines coverage).

Yuppies, urbanites, and suburbanites in general are some of the least mechanically inclined people in the US. I wouldn't insure them for wood stoves for fear of burning down the house and surrounding homes.

But if I were an underwriter, I'd consider rural dwellers abilities to handle wood burning appliances especially if they had farms, farming equipment, truck fleets, etc and there's space between the house and surrounding buildings.

The only caveat to this is that the data pointing to health problems for occupants of homes with regular wood burning appliances. If I were a health insurance co and I were absorbing tens of thousands of dollars in health costs related to wood smoke derived illness, I might consider subrogating losses against the homeowner's insurance co.

I would also consider health claims by neighbors as a significant risk, since wood smoke always seeps into neighboring houses no matter how airtight.
borsch belt

Grove City, OH

#99 Feb 3, 2013
Zoe Regen wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, since our home was not a new build when we replaced our system with geothermal, we upgraded the insulation as well as new windows and doors. Our home was over 20 years old at that time. You also receive tax incentives, or at least, we did! Nice and warm. Extremely happy with geothermal system and current utility cost!
People should look at all of their options and research when replacing an existing system or building a new home!
My family installed a geothermal system in the early 80's when Reagan was giving major tax incentives for geothermal installation (a complex, triad system of wells, solar panels, and heat pumps).

We were in a suburban neighborhood of all electric homes from the early 70s (all-electric from the oil embargo; Gas lines only came on in the late 70's). Others in the neighborhood installed the geothermal systems, and similar systems worked perfectly for neighbors as close as 2-3 blocks away.

But our system never worked properly, rendering most of the system a huge waste of money and time, not to mention turning our otherwise nice big house into a "white elephant" when it came time to sell.

> Our well water levels beneath our home were insufficient. Or just flat out too dry for the system. We were on city water so there was no way of knowing otherwise until we drilled.
> the system worked so-so to begin with but with quite a few problems, so the installer / service tech was at our house every other week. There was only one installer / technician in the entire metro area.

After a number of these $10K-$20K systems failed...
> The installer fled to florida and filed bankruptcy, so even those who's systems worked had no idea how to service or even operate their geothermal systems. Few in the entire region had any expertise on geothermal systems.
> the piping for the solar panels stated leaking, leaving water marks on the upstairs bedroom ceilings.
> unable to use the geothermal system, we were back to flipping on the electric furnace. So much for saving money by not converting to gas!

Our home was a hot item when it later went on the market. Five bedrooms, huge kitchen, full basement, WBFP's, top rated schools.

But as soon as would-be buyers saw the complex system of tanks in our basement, they ran - they didn't walk - away from the house.

And of course, as soon as word traveled among brokers about "that huge science experiment in our basement," broker activity came to a halt. Brokers tend to chat with each other about houses before they show them and/or wasting their time if by word of mouth they hear something's wrong with the house.

The house eventually sold after being on the market 3-4 times longer than necessary, but the new buyers ended up having the system removed from the basement at no small cost.

And today we know more than ever about the dangers of radon gas. I can't say I'd want a system bringing ground water into a house that's already on city water.

It's great to hear that your system worked well. I could definitely see the benefits in places where the ground water is certifiably sufficient (like if you already have a confirmed and reliable ground water table; coastal areas up north or on the great lakes). or even in places where natural gas lines just don't exist like out in the country, coastal maine, etc.

But in the end, all this talk about what essentially boils down to science experiments can turn out to be enormously expensive if the system doesn't work property.

I've even heard of Ohioans with newer homes complaining "that heat pumps just don't work in Ohio because it's too cold." They're great for places like Georgia and Tennessee where the winters are mild.

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#100 Apr 21, 2013
chillaxed wrote:
<quoted text>
I cannot imagine neighbors in UA not complaining about the smoky haze setting over the entire neighborhood. Ditto for anyone in a middle to upper middle class suburb anywhere in Ohio.
If you're asking for hundreds of health conscious complaints and ultimately an outright ban on your wood stove investment, upper middle class suburbs like UA are a great place to throw your money away.
Since this thread has been started, natural gas has gotten cheaper than ever (unless you were duped into buying fixed price contracts years ago). With regional fracking and brand new gas pipelines coming into Ohio from out west (Which should lead to price wars similar to Ohio's "too many grocery chains,"), Ohio stands to be the land of cheap gas for decades to come.
The only caveat to this prediction is if the gas companies conspire to fix prices in order to boost their profit margins. But now we have an entire Federal office devoted to consumer protection so I wouldn't worry too much about the price fixing possibility.
The smoky haze will be a real challenge for those with pulmonary diseases, and I doubt they will leave the issue unchallenged. Ask the older generations how they liked dusting the house every day after passage of steam locomotives and unregulated factory emissions. Could you with a straight face tell me they want to go back to the "good old days."?

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#101 Apr 21, 2013
borsch belt wrote:
<quoted text>
My family installed a geothermal system in the early 80's when Reagan was giving major tax incentives for geothermal installation (a complex, triad system of wells, solar panels, and heat pumps).
We were in a suburban neighborhood of all electric homes from the early 70s (all-electric from the oil embargo; Gas lines only came on in the late 70's). Others in the neighborhood installed the geothermal systems, and similar systems worked perfectly for neighbors as close as 2-3 blocks away.
But our system never worked properly, rendering most of the system a huge waste of money and time, not to mention turning our otherwise nice big house into a "white elephant" when it came time to sell.
> Our well water levels beneath our home were insufficient. Or just flat out too dry for the system. We were on city water so there was no way of knowing otherwise until we drilled.
> the system worked so-so to begin with but with quite a few problems, so the installer / service tech was at our house every other week. There was only one installer / technician in the entire metro area.
After a number of these $10K-$20K systems failed...
> The installer fled to florida and filed bankruptcy, so even those who's systems worked had no idea how to service or even operate their geothermal systems. Few in the entire region had any expertise on geothermal systems.
> the piping for the solar panels stated leaking, leaving water marks on the upstairs bedroom ceilings.
> unable to use the geothermal system, we were back to flipping on the electric furnace. So much for saving money by not converting to gas!
Our home was a hot item when it later went on the market. Five bedrooms, huge kitchen, full basement, WBFP's, top rated schools.
But as soon as would-be buyers saw the complex system of tanks in our basement, they ran - they didn't walk - away from the house.
And of course, as soon as word traveled among brokers about "that huge science experiment in our basement," broker activity came to a halt. Brokers tend to chat with each other about houses before they show them and/or wasting their time if by word of mouth they hear something's wrong with the house.
The house eventually sold after being on the market 3-4 times longer than necessary, but the new buyers ended up having the system removed from the basement at no small cost.
And today we know more than ever about the dangers of radon gas. I can't say I'd want a system bringing ground water into a house that's already on city water.
It's great to hear that your system worked well. I could definitely see the benefits in places where the ground water is certifiably sufficient (like if you already have a confirmed and reliable ground water table; coastal areas up north or on the great lakes). or even in places where natural gas lines just don't exist like out in the country, coastal maine, etc.
But in the end, all this talk about what essentially boils down to science experiments can turn out to be enormously expensive if the system doesn't work property.
I've even heard of Ohioans with newer homes complaining "that heat pumps just don't work in Ohio because it's too cold." They're great for places like Georgia and Tennessee where the winters are mild.
My experience in Ohio with heat pumps is that they blow cold air, and when they go into emergency heat mode the costs really zoom. Gas heat is warm (and cheap) heat.

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#102 Apr 21, 2013
chillaxed wrote:
<quoted text>
It also depends on the individual insurance company, that company's corporate culture and their ratings criteria.
Some insurance co's will endure the risk in one category - say wood stoves or beach houses - if it means they can insure the same person's multiple cars, multiple homes, business insurance, and commercial assets (<and the big money is in commercial lines coverage).
Yuppies, urbanites, and suburbanites in general are some of the least mechanically inclined people in the US. I wouldn't insure them for wood stoves for fear of burning down the house and surrounding homes.
But if I were an underwriter, I'd consider rural dwellers abilities to handle wood burning appliances especially if they had farms, farming equipment, truck fleets, etc and there's space between the house and surrounding buildings.
The only caveat to this is that the data pointing to health problems for occupants of homes with regular wood burning appliances. If I were a health insurance co and I were absorbing tens of thousands of dollars in health costs related to wood smoke derived illness, I might consider subrogating losses against the homeowner's insurance co.
I would also consider health claims by neighbors as a significant risk, since wood smoke always seeps into neighboring houses no matter how airtight.
Very simple. Not suitable for urban or suburban settings for reasons stated in your last sentences.

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#103 Apr 21, 2013
chillaxed wrote:
<quoted text>
It also depends on the individual insurance company, that company's corporate culture and their ratings criteria.
Some insurance co's will endure the risk in one category - say wood stoves or beach houses - if it means they can insure the same person's multiple cars, multiple homes, business insurance, and commercial assets (<and the big money is in commercial lines coverage).
Yuppies, urbanites, and suburbanites in general are some of the least mechanically inclined people in the US. I wouldn't insure them for wood stoves for fear of burning down the house and surrounding homes.
But if I were an underwriter, I'd consider rural dwellers abilities to handle wood burning appliances especially if they had farms, farming equipment, truck fleets, etc and there's space between the house and surrounding buildings.
The only caveat to this is that the data pointing to health problems for occupants of homes with regular wood burning appliances. If I were a health insurance co and I were absorbing tens of thousands of dollars in health costs related to wood smoke derived illness, I might consider subrogating losses against the homeowner's insurance co.
I would also consider health claims by neighbors as a significant risk, since wood smoke always seeps into neighboring houses no matter how airtight.
Being not mechanically inclined is a very good reason to have your gas heating system inspected EVERY fall by a professional. Following this habit has led to my 30 year old gas furnace still working perfectly while other rusted hulks of the same model have been toted off to the junkyard. Nothing substitutes for preventive maintenance, especially on a combustion device. Do it every fall and ask them to inspect all gas piping too.

Since: Jan 11

Location hidden

#104 Apr 21, 2013
chillaxed wrote:
<quoted text>
I cannot imagine neighbors in UA not complaining about the smoky haze setting over the entire neighborhood. Ditto for anyone in a middle to upper middle class suburb anywhere in Ohio.
If you're asking for hundreds of health conscious complaints and ultimately an outright ban on your wood stove investment, upper middle class suburbs like UA are a great place to throw your money away.
Since this thread has been started, natural gas has gotten cheaper than ever (unless you were duped into buying fixed price contracts years ago). With regional fracking and brand new gas pipelines coming into Ohio from out west (Which should lead to price wars similar to Ohio's "too many grocery chains,"), Ohio stands to be the land of cheap gas for decades to come.
The only caveat to this prediction is if the gas companies conspire to fix prices in order to boost their profit margins. But now we have an entire Federal office devoted to consumer protection so I wouldn't worry too much about the price fixing possibility.
"But now we have an entire Federal office devoted to consumer protection so I wouldn't worry too much about the price fixing possibility." Well, I'm a skeptic, but I hope you're right. Gas is at historic lows so I am on Columbia Gas month by month plan. Hope that was right choice.

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