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Author Topic: Wood burning add on furnace  (Read 1236 times)

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Offline deanathpc

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Wood burning add on furnace
« on: December 06, 2012, 10:55:05 AM »
Anyone here have a wood burning add on furnace?  I'd like to pick your brain if you would allow it.

Currently using heating oil and it jumped another $0.10 / gallon.  Which to some may not sound bad but at 150 gallon min its costly.  $3.799 is the highest yet.

Dean

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Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2012, 06:38:12 AM »
Hi...could you clarify what you mean by a wood burning add on furnace?  I'm unfamiliar with that term...
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.


Offline lpdbw

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2012, 08:34:10 AM »
I've seen the ones you install side-by-side with a forced air furnace, but I have no experience with them.

I have LP gas hot water radiant heat.  I installed an outdoor wood-fired boiler made by Heatmor.

I'm relatively happy with it, but it does have issues.

My house is big and poorly built, so it uses a lot of heat.  In cold weather, I can't go 12 hours between loading wood.

I have to go outside to load wood.

It requires electricity to heat my house, because of the fire blower and the water pump.  In the past, I had to run my generator for it to work, but I'm setting up a battery/inverter combo to make that quieter and to save fuel.

In a normal winter, I'll use up to 4 cords of wood, and still burn some LP gas.

When I'm out of wood, the LP gas has to heat the water to the outdoor stove, to keep it from freezing.

I have it set up so it automatically fails over to LP gas, which works well when I'm out of town.

All in all, I'm pleased with it.   

Offline MarkR

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2012, 08:48:46 AM »
My last house had an add-on wood burner next to the NG furnace. Essentially it used the blower on the furnace to circulate the hot air off the wood burner. Like the regular furnace, the wood burner had a thermostat too, that opened an air vent when calling for heat.

I'm sure there are differences from model to model, but the biggest problem I had was the inability to regulate the heat with any precision; it was either 90 degress in the house or the fire was out. It was very hard to regulate the fire (firebox too big?).

Did I save money? I don't think so. The price / BTU of natural gas is much less than wood - unless you have a source of free wood.

Ultimately, we only really used the wood burner on the very coldest days (below 0 F) to keep the furnace from running all the time.

Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 08:54:57 AM »
A lot depends on the chimney/flu.....a gas (oil or natural) furnace needs and usually gets a much smaller chimney than that needed for wood....so using the same stack for both can be a problem.
Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed

Offline deanathpc

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Re: Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 01:42:46 PM »
Good point doc.  I have a service tech coming in to inspect the furnace.  Even the heating guys went Ouch when I told them that I use 150 gallons of oil a month. So something isn't right. :(

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Offline Paul

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 09:42:53 PM »
That is the type of woodstove we have in our basement.  Ours has a small thermostat controlled "squirrel cage" blower and the hot air from the woodstove is piped directly into the plenum of the oil furnace.  While there is always some hot air from the small woodstove blower working its way through the ducts, when the plenum gets warm enough, the furnace blower kicks in.  With this setup, if the power goes out, the cellar stays toasty and there is sufficient convection heating to keep the upstairs reasonably comfortable.

The woodstove does have its own chimney.

As for temperature regulation, we have never had a problem.  The woodstove keeps the house about 76-78 degrees in the daytime.  I do not stoke the fire before going to bed because we prefer a lower temperature for sleeping.  By morning, the house is about 70.  (I keep the thermostat on the oil furnace set at 65 just in case.)
To keep a steady temperature, our stove needs to be stoked roughly every three hours (five or six times a day).

In addition to the wood, we use about 1/4 tank of fuel oil a year - mostly when we are off shopping or visiting the kids for the day and things of that sort.

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2012, 07:39:29 AM »
Aww...now I get it...thank you Paul....no one around here has that type of furnace....most have outdoor ones, but they don't operate in the way that was described...others (like my sister and myself) have woodburners in our house...but they are not connected to the main heating system...

Woodburning has issues in itself....one, you need to tend to the fire....ours being a type that can be cooked on, has a smaller firebox, thus you need to tend it more often...if you go away, you will come back to a cold house....that's just how it is...if you go away for a couple days....you come back to a FREEZING house....thus you must make accommodations for your water pipes...
you also have to do a lot more dusting with an indoor one....
Outdoor ones tend to not be as warm as indoor ones....(in my opinion)
All the outdoor ones that I have seen, have their own chimney....but they still need electricity to run on....one guy around here fixed that problem, using a small windmill....he generated enough electricity on his own to run the blower...

I always chuckle about the movies where the folks go to the "cabin" for the weekend, build a cozy fire, and you see the snow falling down outside the windows....it appears to be romantic and sappy....hahahhah.....those of us whom heat with wood, no the fallicy in this....it's romantic for about one day....hahahha!  I have come to the conclusion, that keeping yourself warm in the Northern States, is going to be a pain in the behind, no matter how you look at it....hahahaha!
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline AuricTech

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2012, 01:57:10 PM »
For people with wood furnaces/wood stoves, something like this thermoelectric battery charger seems like it could be useful.
American parachutists...devils in baggy pants...are less than 100 meters from my outpost line. I can't sleep at night; they pop up from nowhere and we never know when or how they will strike next. Seems like the black-hearted devils are everywhere....

Offline Haverwilde

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2012, 06:15:45 PM »
A couple of folks here in town (including the contractor that built my house) invested in an outside wood fired boiler. No worrying about house chimneys and stuff. It is piped into the house system. Usually it is used with hot water baseboard and radiant heating systems. It can also be hooked up to a hot tub. They are expensive systems and need electrical power. But if you have lots of firewood it can also save a bundle.
Diabolus fecit, ut id facerem!

Offline Paul

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2012, 07:49:37 PM »
Numerous local governments here in good old NY have banned the installation of the outside wood furnaces.   (We are saving the planet... one frozen family at a time.)

Offline Amisheggpicker

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2012, 07:28:43 AM »
haverwilde....that's what the folks have around here...and Paul....that's what's happening in the local towns also....some snooty folks whom make a pretty penny, don't like the smell of woodsmoke...so they went to city hall to force those with the outdoor woodburners to remove them....and they didn't exactly win, but they didn't exactly loose either.....All those with existing woodburners had to put a very large chimney pipe on them, so the wind would carry the smoke above the houses....and I believe there is now a ban on installation of any new woodburners.

I have an old old friend from the city....he owns a "camp" (actually a house) in my neighborhood.  My neighborhood is entirely woods, and it adjoins the State Game Lands....he puts in an outdoor woodburner....his wife is so ritzy that when they come up, she refuses to let him burn wood in it....if he does, she leaves and goes back to the smog filled city...he just laughs and piles more wood in the burner...haahaha!
Proverbs 21:20  In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil,

but a foolish man devours all he has.

Offline Cajun Napalm

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2012, 08:34:23 AM »
he just laughs and piles more wood in the burner...haahaha!

Thats exactly what I would do too! :)

Offline Langenator

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2012, 08:44:12 AM »
And here I thought those ritzified city folks liked to burn a few logs to pretend to be rustic and all that...going all the way back to that stupid Walden Pond BS.
Fortuna Fortis Paratus
“In the house of a wise man are stores of food, wine, and oil, but the foolish man devours all he has.” Proverbs 21:20
"We are content with discord, we are content with alarms, we are content with blood, but we will never be content with a master." -Pashtun malik, 1815

Offline deanathpc

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Re: Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2012, 08:39:35 AM »
Quick update for those that are curious..

Furnace is disgusting.  The guy has his vacuum out now cleaning it.  I was shocked how plugged it was.  With the price quote I'll be getting new jets too.  This should help greatly!

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Offline Flight-ER-Doc

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Re: Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2012, 09:02:54 AM »
Quick update for those that are curious..

Furnace is disgusting.  The guy has his vacuum out now cleaning it.  I was shocked how plugged it was.  With the price quote I'll be getting new jets too.  This should help greatly!

Sent from my ADR6350 using Tapatalk 2


Good deal.  Its amazing how machines will run, even when not maintained.  Just not run well.  This week I've got an AC tech coming to service our unit (right now it's 32 degrees F outside, with freezing rain)...because it's cheaper now than it will be in May :)

The furnace guy was here in July to check the furnace out. 
Yes, I'm a physician.  No, I'm not YOUR physician.  Nothing I say here is medical advice.

Do I treat Glocks like I treat my lawn mowers?  No, I treat them worse.  I treat my defensive weapons like my fire extinguishers and smoke detector - annual maintenance and I expect them to work when needed

Offline Bill Quick

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Re: Wood burning add on furnace
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2012, 12:11:38 PM »
When I was a kid growing up in Muncie, IN (cold there in the winter!), we had a coal furnace.  I remember the scary rumble when coal was delivered down the shute to the coal bin in the basement.  My dad would shovel a bunch into the furnace before he left for work in the mornings, and when he got home in the evening.  I think my mom also topped things off as necessary during the day, but don't remember for sure.

Back then, everybody took that sort of thing for granted.  And even though my dad worked for the gas company, we didn't get a gas furnace until the middle 1950s.  We turned the coal bin into a ping pong room at that point. ;D
"You can get a lot farther with a kind word and a gun than a kind word alone."  --   Al Capone


 

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