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help picking something for next year.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by payton, Jan 6, 2008.

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  1. payton

    payton New Member

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    i would like to install some kind of central heat for next year. we currently have a natural gas furnace with forced air. i see the add on wood furnace things at stores like fleet farm, but they are epa exempt so you have no clue how efficient they are. would one of these work ok or do they wast wood? how much would a small tram boiler with 1000 gallons of storage cost?

    Payton

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  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Conventional wood-burning boilers cost about twice as much as furnaces, and gasification boilers cost about twice as much as conventional wood-burning boilers, and that's without storage. So it's not the most economical approach if you have forced-air heat. But it can be done. I don't know the exact pricing on Tarms, but it's probably comparable to the EKO and the EconoBurn. Cozy Heat has EKO pricing on their website (banner on the top), and you can contact EconoBurn for their pricing through their website (bottom banner).

    I believe there are some relatively efficient, clean-burning wood furnaces, but I'm not as familiar with the furnace world as I should be. There's one made in Canada called the Caddy which is supposedly pretty good. There's a thread or two around here with more specifics.
  3. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    There seem to be a couple things unanswered. Do you plan on keeping the furnace/boiler more than 50 feet from the home?

    I have seen forced air furnaces that work with 50' underground ducting. They are cheap and easy and epa rated. Usually not very many BTU for a large operation, but they could heat a normal house easily.

    If you are going to be close to the house then
    IME, if you don't have the baseboards/infloor radiant then boilers aren't a good option.

    good luck
  4. payton

    payton New Member

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    yes it will be within 50' or inside our house. how much smoke do these produce? we live in town and have many neighbors close by.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I used to have one in my basement in a small house with forced air heat. It ran just about like a woodstove. That was around 1985. The thing burned a lot of wood and produced a lot of creosote, but I expect they've improved the design since then. The first thing I did after hooking it up was to overfire it, melting the pot metal nameplate mounted on the cast iron loading door. That's probably how they decided whether or not to honor the warranty.
  6. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    While baseboard or radiant may lend itself to wood boiler use more easily I do not see why exchanger use is not a viable option after all isn't that a proven option in air conditioning use as well as large scale open area heating ? The heating of DHW is also an advantage not offered with the outdoor forced air units. Don't get me wrong all these units have good applications and for a smaller home it might be a great solution.
  7. tigermaple

    tigermaple Member

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    Check out a Greenwood if smoke is an issue. They burn very clean.
  8. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I'm not knocking the boiler or the gasifier idea, but the cost difference between a forced air furnace and a wood gasifier is immense. Like $10,000 vs. $3,000. So if you don't already have hydronic heat, that's a pretty hefty premium to pay for the advantages of a boiler.
  9. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    No doubt he is in the boiler room, and we make boilers work. However, boilers are more expensive appliances than stoves. The stove I described costs 600 dollars and can heat 2000 feet of space. A similar boiler may cost 3600. So you have to do a lot of DHW heating to justify it.

    Also, the fact that he doesn't have the infrastructure to heat radiantly with hot water has to do with overall comfort. I prefer radiant heat to force air. I know others feel the same way. Many people don't even know since they haven't been exposed to radiant before.

    He may want to add the infrastructure, but it isn't cheap.

    I try to balance economy with comfort. Your looking at a large investment in time and money- if you choose a boiler over forced air.

    If you don't value the difference of radiant heat over forced then you can do well with stove. You loose options like heat storage and gasification efficiencies and some other things as well, but for 1G and 1 days work your off the gas grid.
  10. payton

    payton New Member

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    if i were to use the forced air one wouldn't the efficiency be low because it would be idling most of the time where as with a boiler you can store the heat in water for use until you you burn more wood?
  11. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Yes, you are correct. are those important to you?
  12. payton

    payton New Member

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    efficiency is important to me because i would like to have the smallest amount of work cutting and splitting the wood. the wood would be split by hand so every piece of wood that i can save saves me time and work.

    in my mind the heat storage and efficiency go hand in hand, because in order to have high efficiency you need to have quick hot fires witch you can not do if all the heat must go directly into your house and you need to have a fire constantly in order to keep the house worm. if there was a way to have a hot fire until the house was hot then completely shut everything down and not waste any wood, then fire up automatically when the house needs heat i would be all over it but i don't anything like this exists.

    our lower level is completely open so it would be easy to set that up for radiant heat and just turn on the furnaces fan to circulate the heat upstairs at night.

    just kinda thinking out loud

    Payton
  13. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    none exists.

    I consider time money. I sell my time. I get paid for my time.
    I don't think it is fair to consider just "wood cutting time" and say your saving time.

    the 9 g price difference it equal to a fixed amount of time that equals many years of cutting wood.


    Is it worth the price, thats your call
  14. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    Um, YO! TigerMape?! Don't tell some poor guy diggin' down deep for 8G's that line about smoke unless you know that from experience! I Have used my GW for over one full heating season now, and am VERY glad I put it outside!

    Jimbo
  15. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    Jimbo, who is this broad you have as your avatar? I can't recognize??
  16. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's Jeanine Pirro. She ran for governor of NY last election. Hot shot lawyer. Republican. Jimbo thinks she's hot. So do I, but I didn't vote for her.
  17. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    This also would lend itself to use on the outdoor ducted in wood furnaces since the warm air can NOT be put directly into your existing ductwork due to the heat level. Dumping it into a large room and then letting your fan pull it thru the cold air returns and send it around the house would seem to be a decent application.
    Before you decide on a unit to purchase list the advantages and disadvantages along with the costs including installation your time and fuel costs if you have to purchase wood.
    Do you plan to add to the system ? Other buildings, DHW, solar, storage and do you enjoy DIY projects.
    Good Luck
  18. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    I agree the boiler is a considerably more costly investment and the value is in the extent of how you use the system . I do have forced air now and grew up in a house with a boiler and warm concrete floors and intend to install some radiant into my existing house over the next couple of years in addition I also intend to heat my garage/workshop that is located about 15' from the boiler
    and that makes it a viable option for my use.
    If I didn't have these other applications and the outdoor furnaces could handle a 2 story 2800sf house that would have been a great option for me because an indoor wood furnace was not an option due to the WAF. Have you installed or used one of the outdoor ducted in furnaces before?
  19. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    I don't understand the last part, but I think I agree here, if that makes sense.

    WAF is a force to be reconed with - no doubt

    I am sure you did have different circumstances, but they do make bigger outdoor forced air wood stoves.
    Not for 600 dollars, but they do have them.

    that picture of Pirro scares the XXXX out of me-- she looks like she could suck out your soul. I was afraid to say anything, I thought she could be your wife.

    I do however like her here
    think about using this pic of her
    Pirro
  20. tigermaple

    tigermaple Member

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    Um, YO! TigerMape?! Don’t tell some poor guy diggin’ down deep for 8G’s that line about smoke unless you know that from experience! I Have used my GW for over one full heating season now, and am VERY glad I put it outside!

    Jimbo
    This is my second season with the Greenwood. Mine is in the barn, because that is where the wood is. I have no inducer and still have good draft in cold temps. If you load it and keep the door open, a lot of smoke comes out. I guess I wouldn't want in in the house without an inducer. Anyway I was talking about the smoke from the stack. How do you like you GW?

    That chick is much hotter than Hillary by the way.
  21. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    LOL, I'm trying to think of ANY chick that would NOT be hotter than Hillary :wow:

    I realized at some point that you were talking 'smoke up the stack', not smoke in the house. I like my GW. I think the customer service sucks big time. I dislike the way the refractory cracks to hell. I like the way I can burn less than ideal wood.

    Now that its 50 deg, I just wish I had storage :-S
  22. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

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    The lit for the models I looked at that were outdoor units with a single duct running back to the house had a disclaimer that the ducted in air could not be run into the existing ductwork due to the high heat. I never looked at the indoor warm air models however I understand many people do run them into the existing ductwook (next door neighbor) with no problems so there must be some difference in the warm air supply I guess.
  23. ISeeDeadBTUs

    ISeeDeadBTUs Guest

    It's ALL Good . . . :p

    [​IMG]
  24. wdc1160

    wdc1160 New Member

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    I read that her husband is philandering mobster
  25. wsurfer49

    wsurfer49 Member

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    Hi Payton'

    I just found this site myself as I was doing research on the wood boilers. I had initially looked at the OWB'S and saw a few models and several actually burning. I was back in Wisconsin in November and they are pretty popular there. After seeing them belch smoke and reading some of the government data I decided that they were not my best option. They are not much cheaper than some of the efficient wood gasification boilers. I have been heating my house in Northern Az for 15 years now with a wood stove. I have finally had it with the smoke and ash not to mention all the debris that is dragged in with the wood and the amount of wood that I burn and the frequency that the stove needs to be fed. And I am not even married. When I was the ex complained about all the above but that was about all we could afford.

    I am not trying to push you to my way of thinking but just to give you some insight as to how I came to my decision to go to radiant heating and move the wood burning outside. The homes that I have been in with any type of radiant heat are very comfortable with a constant temperature. The forced air homes have temperature variations of 3,4 as much as 8 degrees. Then there is the air blowing around and the dust factor. I also considered the money I put into my house as an investment and so if I spend a bit more I believe that in the long run I will get a good return on that money.

    In one of the threads the point was made too that if you are going to get into the wood boiler scene and do it yourself that you have to be a tinkerer. Having some experience would also be helpful though the only way to get experience is to do (hopefully after much research and some education). I have tackled projects that I have not had too much experience with and sometimes the learning curve starts out pretty flat, patience and determination usually overcome that. Well, guess I am just trying to say that if you decide to do something then it is probably doable. Just make sure you have as much good info to help you make your decision b4 you are way into something you don't want to really do.

    There is a lot of info here so have at it and good luck, Rob
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