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I'm almost there.....decision that is.

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by trailrated, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. trailrated

    trailrated Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Messages:
    232
    Loc:
    Maryland
    I want a wood furnace some kind of bad. I'm leaning towards the Englander wood furnace sold at Home Depot. The layout of my basement leaves me with very limited chimney options.

    Thought about a wood/oil combo unit as well. A lot of coin they cost and I'm not sure I want the fancy electronics they have. Like the YuKon models. Or if I could share the chase and flue with my existing oil furnace.

    Looks like I'm gonna have to punch through the block wall and go straight up with pre-fab. It will look getto until I can get it closed in. I just can't get a straight answer on codes regarding sharing of flue between the two systems.

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  2. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
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    3,132
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Most times the sharing of the flue is not recommended. I believe it is even against code in some places. Have you considered the Kumma forced air furnaces? They sound like they are very efficient. http://www.lamppakuuma.com/ I do not have any experience with them but these furnaces sound like they are nice. Take a look at a lot of models and do a lot of research. Best to take your time and get the right one for your needs. Tell us what you are heating. How much sq.ft., insulation value, etc.
  3. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,815
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    I would recommend if your currently heating with a EPA certified stove, to stick with a EPA furnace like a Caddy or Kuuma (non EPA but proven clean). The price is higher, but there's many benefits over a standard unit.

    As far as electronics go on wood furnaces, some have many components, while others few. All will have a limit/control for the blower. The Caddy has a simple servo connected to a thermostat that open an closes the primary damper on the furnace and a blower control. This controls the heat output and works to keep the home at a set temperature. The Kuuma has a thermocouple, 2 fan controls and a computer. The furnace regulates the air based on firebox temperatures to keep a clean burn. Furnaces like the Englander are just manual operation.

    You cannot share a flue. The Caddy has the option for and electric element for backup or an oil backup. What I like about our furnace (Caddy) is I have the option in the future to add electric or oil. Personally I prefer to have both the wood furnace and central furnace separate. Our lp furnace is 90% efficient and our wood furnace is EPA certified, so it's a high efficiency combo.

    In the end, choose something that will work for your footage, climate, layout, etc. If your on a budget then a Englander will do just fine, but choosing a furnace like a Caddy or Kuuma offers quite the upgrade. Pricing could be as low as 1000 for a basic furnace, to upwards of 4500 for the bells and whistles. You also need to look at your ductwork and make sure you can follow proper clearances. I suggest reading the manuals to furnaces your considering to see if they will work for you.
    Taylor Sutherland likes this.
  4. stee6043

    stee6043 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
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    2,303
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    I'd echo the above and also ask whether or not you have any HVAC dealers in the area that sell wood furnaces and stoves? If so, go see what they have in the price range you're looking to spend. The challenge with Home Depot will be getting service and/or parts in the future if you need them. I'd be more comfortable buying from a place that could get me an oddball part 5 years from now and is willing to put a little effort in to find it. You will get almost zero post-purchase support from any of the big box stores.
  5. KTLM

    KTLM Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2010
    Messages:
    73
    Loc:
    W Pa.
    Great advice from these guys. No problems and plenty of heat from my ESW furnace. Wood usage is not too bad once you learn how to burn it. You can get parts support from the manufacturer but not the box store. The guy who sold mine to me didn't even know what he was selling. (Is this some kind of a heater?)
    Personally, I would have installed a higher tech unit if my budget allowed. Both the Kuuma and Caddy get great reviews from people who use them. Search them on hearth.com, the research is free and well worth the time.
  6. trailrated

    trailrated Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
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    Loc:
    Maryland
    Good advice, I appreciate it. Couple reasons I was leaning towards the Englander is cost and the simplicity of it. A lot of us wood burners heat with wood to get off dependency of city/govt services. ie: oil, gas etc. These high tech furnaces have the electronics that I want to avoid. Having to depend on service calls is something I want to get away from.

    Gasifier - I'm heating approximately 2200 sq foot main level, same square footage in basement. The basement is not finished and stays a constant temp all year.I'd say standard installation, not sure of R value.

    Stee6043 - Thats part of my problem - I don't really have much choice in wood stove installers. I posted here a while back looking for reputable dealers. One company near installs Yukon's but I don't really want all that mess. Even though the stove is from Home Depot, its an Englander and they have excellent customer service and be contacted directly for parts, etc.
  7. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    1,815
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    There's nothing high tech about the Caddy as far as electronics are concerned. The difference between a englander and a Caddy's electronics is the damper motor, that's it. Both Englander and Caddy have a limit/control for the blower operation. The firebox of the Caddy is similar to a NC30, it's 3.5 cf. The Caddy also has a secondary heat exchanger, which puts more heat into the home. Stack temps are low, so efficiency is high. If your not concerned about burning a little more wood and not concerned with the certification then the englander will be just fine. I've been on both sides of the fence when it comes to wood furnaces, and the newer more efficient models are light years ahead.

    One thing to look at also is the size of the home. If you have alot of ductwork, there's not much of an opening on top of the englander. Air flow will be low into the ductwork. Other furnaces have a large plenum opening and a large blower. In return the heat is pushed further into the home, so there's better circulation. If you home has an open floor plan, then this may be of less concern. Just some food for thought.

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