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Another "Which Stove should I buy?" thread

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by woodelf, Mar 19, 2008.

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  1. woodelf

    woodelf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    northeastern PA
    I saw the disclaimer and understand people have biases and such, but I'm a newbie at outdoor furnaces and would rather get info here than only from salespeople.

    We are planning on getting an outdoor woodstove this spring/summer and have really no idea what to look for. Sadly we're at the mercy of these same salespeople. :(

    I know we have a Heatmor and Woodmaster dealers in our area and would like to know the pro and cons of each from people who have used either. Any information I can have before they come might save them pulling the wool over my eyes.

    Concerns:

    Is it standard to be able to automatically switch back to the oil furnace if the outdoor one goes out?
    How big of logs? I'm not the strongest guy.
    Any special features needed that aren't included?
    Cost? Which is more?
    Installation. Is there anything I can do so they don't have to?

    I'm sure there are more and maybe someone else can create new concerns for me that I haven't thought about.

    Thanks

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  2. Kemer

    Kemer Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    Messages:
    213
    Loc:
    Northeast Pa
    What ever you do at least get a gasifier type .I know central boiler is coming out with a outside unit.By the way I'm from wilkes barre NEPA.
  3. woodelf

    woodelf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    northeastern PA
    Thanks for the reply. I don't even know the difference between gasifier and non-gasifier types.

    What are pros/cons of them?

    We're about 75 minutes nw of wilkes-barre.
  4. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    see:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/central_heat

    for some background.

    Basics on buying.

    Look for a maker with a long track record of making boilers or at least something related (pressure vessels).
    Find (here) at least 3 or 4 owners who have good experiences
    Consider efficiency - boilers that do not have the latest and greatest technology may end up being 25% to 35% efficient! That means less payback as compared to other fuels....also means increased pollution, wood use, etc.

    Here is one unit which explains things"
    http://www.woodboilers.com/wood-gasification.asp

    also, see this video (old) that I made about the benefits of high efficiency boilers.
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=110585530348764525
  5. antos_ketcham

    antos_ketcham Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Messages:
    155
    You do want a gasifier. Even if you don't have neighbors to bother with smoke, you have to work twice as hard to feed a traditional Outdoor Wood Boiler versus a gasifier. It is like one out of every two sticks of wood is lost to lack of efficiency - OWB's are generally less than 50% efficient. That said, the traditional OWB companies including Central Boiler and Heatmor are coming out with gasifier models in order to meet state and federal air quality guidelines. Check out this list: http://www.epa.gov/woodheaters/models.htm
    This shows the more efficient outdoor boilers that have passed EPA's test.

    I have a greenwood 100 - a gasifier. I am happy with the unit, but if I had known the new generation OWB's were coming out I might have picked one of those. The main advantage is cost. Not in the cost of the unit itself, but the fact that you don't need a shed to protect it or a back up source of power to prevent the unit from possibly melting down in a power failure. Knowing the different companies products and having owned a central boiler prior to the Greenwood I would today purchase the Heatmor Response http://www.heatmor.com/graphics/NEWSRELEASEHeatmorResponse.pdf

    The again, folks like Eric are happy with the Orlan Eko - another gasifier. This is an intriguing model you might want to check out too. http://www.newhorizoncorp.com/index.php

    Ah hindsight - a blessing and a curse.

    Good Luck.

    Pete
  6. woodelf

    woodelf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    northeastern PA
    Thanks for all of the info guys.

    I'm nearly 100% sure that we are going with an outdoor burner though. The layout of our house simply doesn't allow for an indoor fireplace or burner. Even though the furnace is right now in the basement it would be a nightmare bringing in wood and also putting in a chimney.

    Judging by the pics I've seen and threads I've scanned do gasifiers need to be in a building? Can they even be outside? Dumb questions, I know, but I have a guy coming tomorrow to at least look over the layout of the house/yard and see what our best option is (at least in his eyes).
  7. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    12,255
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Yeah, be careful - a sales person is likely to suggest the option that he sells!

    Many folks put gasifiers in sheds, or things like that. I think one of our members here has such a setup. If you end up wanted to stay with a 100% outdoor water stove, check out the new E-Classic from Central Boiler or other which meet the new EPA specification. DO NOT TAKE ALL THE BS ON THE WEB SITES AND BROCHURES TO BE THE TRUTH. As I said above, make sure that you confirm with the experts here as to whether or not your choice is a clean burning and efficiency design.
  8. woodelf

    woodelf New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    northeastern PA
    This guy sells the Woodmaster brand. Another nearby sells Heatmor. Anyone have good/bad luck with either brand?
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