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Caddy vs Max Caddy is the question

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by IHnum1, Mar 5, 2010.

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  1. IHnum1

    IHnum1 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2010
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    Loc:
    Western NY
    I currently have an old wood furnace (1970's - 1980's vintage I'm guessing) in the basement which was in the house when I purchased it. It has worked ok for me for the last 4 yrs, although I'm looking to upgrade and after lots of reading on this site (thanks to all), I'm going with one of the PSG products.

    My house is 1600 sg ft today, although a few years down the road I will be adding on so I will have around 2500 sq ft to heat, although I have new windows and added insulation (house is pretty energy efficient). I know this isn't the best way (heat load calculation!), but it gives some background.

    I have been talking with PSG and they recommend the Caddy for 1600 - 1800 sq ft, therefore they suggest the Max Caddy if I'm going to add on down the road. To quote the manufacturer "it is far easier to reduce heat output from a unit than increase it". My concern with the Max Caddy, is possibly always operating the unit on the lower side in terms of burn rate, therefore creating creosote. I get a significant amount of creosote from my current furnace when I operate on the low slow burn, but I'm also assuming the new technology in these will help with that.

    Some of you folks with PSG Caddy's, what size house are you heating with no problems. I'm in the Western NY area (Buffalo) which should help give you a sense of what my winters are like!

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  2. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    We went from an old usstove woodfurnace before we replaced it with a Caddy. Our old furnace would get the house much warmer, sometimes too warm and use alot of wood. Our house is an old victorian probably 150+ years old. 2400 square feet with 10' ceilings. Plus it heated our basement which is 1200 sq ft. Our caddy has kept us warm all winter between 70-74. Our LP furnace is a 100,000 btu furnace and the caddy is rated at a max of 110,000 output. If its a newer home and its insulated well, I could see the caddy doing just fine. We should probably have the Max Caddy here, but we have used only 40 gallons of LP which included heat, cooking and our clothes dryer. As far as shutting them down for the long run. If your wood is well seasoned you can close them down and still maintain good combustion. Far different than the old furnace. I feel we still have alot to learn because we are burning wood thats still not seasoned fully so our wood usage has been up. Hoping to have that corrected by next year. Hope this helps. Our house is well insulated, but has some major spots of heat loss. I'm hoping by next year to have those areas fixed and things will be much better.
  3. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Central NY
    I guess it's the "few years" thing I'd look at. If you were going to do this soon, like within 3 years, you may want to go with the max caddy and not run it with full loads of wood. That would allow you to run it with the auto damper open more fully. The regular caddy would be giving you short burn times after you add on to the house. Remember, there is only so much heat in a stick of wood. The Max should be servicable until you add on, maybe not running at peak performance, but it should work and your chimney should still stay much cleaner than what your used to. Right now in CNY we're selling them for $2999 (wood only) thru the end of the month and lots of folks are looking to go with the larger unit because of the value.
  4. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Franks, what kind of burn times will you get out of the Max with hardwood at low burn? How effective is the dhw option?

    The scratch and dent Caddy you have on Craigslist looks like a good value as well. While I would prefer a boiler, my house would require very little ductwork and that is a lot less money.
  5. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    There some guys up the road from us in Central Square, House Trucking. You may know them if your from the Syracuse area. They're up rt 37 off of 49. They claim 10-15 hours is easy with their Max Caddy.

    The one thing about the caddy we have on CL, it's not designed as a stand alone unit, so you would need to rig up a fan for it. The dent on it is minimal, so yeah, thats a great price for what it is, but it really should be installed side by side with an existing hot air system. Now, if your handy, and want to buy a 1200-1500 cfm fan from Graingers, an air filter , build a sheet metal box and do some wiring, you could make this unit work for you.

    I do have folks who have bought these Caddys and used them as shop heater, no fan, no ductwork, etc. Just let them burn and let the heat do it's thing.

    I dont wanna tread on trying to use these forums to sell stuff, so if you want to stop by or give me a call, we can talk about it more. If you havent been at our shop, 3/20 and 3/21 we are having an Inventory Reduction event, so I expect both of those Caddys to be gone before or during that weekend. You can also come drop your name in a hat to win a free 70K btu pellets furnace. We'll be having hot dogs cooked on the Traeger and sodas
  6. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    Syracuse NY
    Still undecided on the central heat strategy. After I get the shell of the house done this year, I'll have to make a decision before I start closing up walls and ceilings. Thanks for the feedback on the Caddys.

    The next time I'm up your way, I'll stop and check out those grills. I'd love to get rid of one more propane appliance even if it means buying pellets.
  7. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Since not happy decided to cut and paste his complaint to both the PSG threads, I guess I'll do the same with my response!

    "Yeah, but Dynamite buys is teh cheeepzorz! Funny thing is, In our retail shop I match pricing on PSG with Dynamite Buys all day long and make the sales. Folks get the same great deals and in the rare instance when a PSG (or any other unit) has an issue, they deal with a real person who will handle their problems for them. Local folks will just buy from an online mom and pop shop killer outlet because they assume there is no way a local shop can compete. It’s a shame really. "

    Really, folks should at least contact their local retailer and at least give them a chance to match pricing. The folks that do it in CNY are usually very happy to learn they can buy local.
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