The long story: I have heated only with firewood for decades in a central forced-air furnace and burn around 5 true cords each winter and no more than 7 cords in the coldest winter. We like the constant steady heat flow of the warm fire box. The propane furnace cycles from chill to hot. Also, I save over $500 in annual gym membership fees since I cut, haul (Astro van), split (wedges), and stack all my wood by hand. I do have a Makita 14" battery chainsaw (very nice) for the woods and a 120 volt chainsaw for cutting longer pieces at the wood shed. I do not like the noise,smell, and kick of a gasoline chainsaw.
I normally burn a blend of red oak, red elm (killed by dutch elm disease), and sugar maple with smaller amounts of ash, iron wood, and bitternut hickory (actually a member of the pecan family). Our favorite firewood is sugar maple which dries fast and burns hot which is great during the first morning burn to warm the house. Oak coals better but burns cooler and takes 2-3 times longer to dry. The arrival of emerald ash borer in Iowa has resulted in a lot of ash tree harvesting and so a large supply of white ash tops for firewood. All the ash trees on our lot have died from emerald ash borer but we lose more trees to native red oak wilt. Before "gorging" on all that white ash and filling the wood shed, I checked the firewood forums for opinions on white ash as a firewood.
And so... The Most "Manly" "Art" is: cutting, hauling, splitting, stacking, and burning firewood by my un-scientific sampling of forum topics (and of course applying unbiased analysis). The "Firewood Hoarders Club" forum had more recent and current male topics/posts than any other forum I have seen (If you have seen more, the subject would most likely violate the WTW rules ).
Should I "gorge" on all that white ash? Yes and no. Maple still burns a lot hotter but we will favor feeding the furnace with only white ash after the morning chill and on warmer fall/spring days to consume the ash hoard. Ash does dry as quickly as sugar maple. Also, ash is the driest "green" wood and so the most cost effective "green" wood to transport with less water weight and more wood/heat weight.
Edited by iowahiker, 12 August 2019 - 09:40 PM.