01 September 2016

Bois de chauffage

This morning we are receiving a delivery of firewood. We found a company — a family-owned and family-operated business, I assume — that delivers logs cut into lengths (33 cm, or about a foot) that will fit into our little wood-burning stove. Below is a photo of the wood we have left from last season. It's not much — maybe one stère.

We got a delivery of three stères in May 2015, from the same supplier, who is located in Vallières-les-Grandes, up near Chaumont-sur-Loire. We already had one cubic meter of logs on hand. This time we have ordered four cubic meters of logs — that's four stères — because the person I talked to on the phone a couple of days ago said that was the minimum they could deliver now.

So despite having had a new oil-fired boiler installed last year, greatly improving our central-heating system, we're still burning between three and four stères — more or less a cord — of oak logs over the course of the winter. For several years, we had a lot of trouble finding firewood. Several vendors told us they weren't taking on new customers. And we never found logs cut to order until last year. What a relief. I hope the price — 66 euros per stère — hasn't gone up too much since last year.

These last two photos are ones I took about three weeks ago when I saw one of our neighbors hauling wood from a pile he keeps out on the edge of the vineyard to, presumably, his house. I doubt our wood supplier will arrive on a tractor, but you never know. And he will surely, like last time, just dump the load of wood in the driveway, meaning we'll have to stack it. It's a good thing my shoulder is hurting less now than it was a week ago.


  1. P.S. The price of the wood was the same this year as last — 66 euros a stère, cut to the right length. For one-meter logs, he charges 52€/st. The man who delivered it, with his son, was an old codger (say 70) who could have come out of medieval times. He spoke French with a really strong accent, rolling his Rs and using vowels from another age. I can't explain it better than that but I recognized his rural, archaic way of talking. He was talkative too, and funny. A good time was had by all, and now we have wood for another winter. It's much less expensive than heating with oil.

    1. August in the sunshine... just the time to be thinking about winter heat!!
      Ours was delivered last week...!!
      Take it easy, though, with the stacking and... given that the heat is still real heat...plenty of rest periods.
      Surely, whilst oil is more expensive, the new, more efficient boiler and the drop in fuel costs must be making the bill for that smaller?

    2. The oil is less expensive in dollars, and that's s good thing, but we don't seem to be burning any less of it.

    3. My oil furnace in Upstate NY cost me so much ... it was a crap 50s house with lousy or no insulation and it was oil instead of gas, which was not available out in the country.
      My first bill almost made me faint .. I did cry ... $700. USD ... for a month !!!!
      One of the many reasons I sold up and moved south .. where my electric bill for A/C will hopefully be less :)

    4. Good luck with the storm. It wiil be hugging the coast all the way up to Morehead City, according to forecasts.

  2. We switched to a heat pump a few years ago and are much warmer and spend much less on heating.

    1. We've always been plenty warm in this house. The wood stove, which we got 10 years ago, is much less expensive to run than the chaudière à fioul. We haven't noticed any savings as a result of having the new boiler put in, but that's because it's regulated by a thermostat and runs constantly rather than just when we decide to turn it on.

      Anyway, isn't a heat pump an outdoor thing that makes a lot of noise?


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