Looking for help. wood or pellet boiler?

JBainbridge Posted By JBainbridge, Jun 4, 2014 at 9:01 PM

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  1. JBainbridge

    JBainbridge
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    May 31, 2014
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    Hello all
    I'm a new member on the forum but have been lurking here for about a year now.

    I currently heat my home and my dads home next door with an OWB and after burning 23 cord of wood last winter I'm done. This summer I want to install a gassifier but not sure what the best option is. I was originally leaning towards a Garn but am now thinking It would be nice to have a wood boiler with a pellet attachment like the Effecta or Varm.

    some of the questions I have are:
    Is running a pellet attachment on a wood boiler as efficient as a stand alone pellet boiler?

    Are there any other wood boilers that have pellet attachments besides the two I mention?

    Also are there any dealers that any of you know of in the southwest Michigan or northern Indiana area?

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. tjvt

    tjvt
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    The Wood Master Flex Fuel will burn cord wood or pellets.
     
  3. foamit up

    foamit up
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    Marc at www.ahona.com has some wood/pellet combo units. I have a Vigas wood boiler but if you want to go away in winter you have to have a baby sitter for boiler. That is not easy. I have a pellet boiler in another building and it is so easy to leave for the weekend, fill the hopper and go. I just hate to burn oil. Foamit UP
     
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  4. GregMajecki

    GregMajecki
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    Jul 29, 2013
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    I got my wood boiler fall 2013 and it was a lot of work and frustration with wet wood, setting and etc..
    Wood is a lot of work specially at the beginning.
    If you can afford pallet I would get good quality pallet boiler and spend les time in the basement feeding it.
     
  5. heaterman

    heaterman
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    My experience with combo units of all types, wood/oil, wood/gas, wood/whatever....has been more negative than positive.
    They work but they are a compromise to both fuels due to the different nature of the fuel itself. One example; heat exchanger design must be fairly open for wood, whereas a tighter design and better efficiency can be done with pellets or gas and oil.

    If you're going to burn wood you can't do much better than a Garn. If you were my customer I would rather recommend a separate unit for each fuel. You'll have less maintenance headaches. If you go with a good pellet boiler you'll pretty much eliminate the need for a backup anyhow if you set it up with a bulk feed system. Fill the the pellet bin every 4-6 weeks and forget about the thing. The good ones are that reliable.
    Where are you in SW Michigan? We have a couple Windhagers installed downstate and wondering if one of them might be near you.
     
  6. flyingcow

    flyingcow
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    I've got a very nice gasser/storage combo(installed in 2008). And i also really like the Garn.

    But if i was to do it over again......I'd get a really good pellet boiler. And don't look back. Right now I've got over 16 cord of wood to stack.I bought it all processed......and i still think, be nice to have pellets. And i'm very spoiled with the wood. Stack it on the pallets and I'm done with it until i need to move the pallets. Then fire up my tractor, slide a beer into the holder, and move the pallets....
     
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  7. JBainbridge

    JBainbridge
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    May 31, 2014
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    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Heaterman, I live near a small town called Marcellus. It's about 25 miles southwest of Kalamazoo.

    I was afraid of the Combo boilers not being as effective or reliable as a boiler designed for a single fuel type. My thought was if there was a shortage on pellets like last winter I could always burn cord wood. I still think I want to go with a pellet boiler though.

    I've never heard of Windhager (sounds German). I've read a lot of good things about Okofen or Kedel do they compare well to those? I'm definitely interested if you know of anyone in my area.

    Thanks again
     
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  8. maple1

    maple1
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    From all I've read on this place, Windhager would be my first look w.r.t pellets. There are a lot of happy users & stories on here, and getting to be more all the time.

    We don't know anything about your house - but from what I've read so far, I might be thinking of a Windhager for primary, and maybe also a decent woodstove if you're worried about periodic pellet supply problems or still have a hankering to burn wood. Seems to me also from what I've read that where you're at is a good place to be buying pellets.
     
  9. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    What's interesting to me is that you have a relatively automated way of dealing with the wood and you STILL have a hankering for pellets.

    PS: Is that face cords?
     
  10. flyingcow

    flyingcow
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    Good point. But if i was to do it all over again I'd do pellets. The cost is about the same for pellets as is for wood.

    It's 16 cords, not face cords. I am putting a boiler in my truck garage. Between my house and garage I'll be burning between 10 or 12 cord a year.Plus I'm trying to get my wood to the two yr seasoned stage. I'll buy 16 cord again next year, that'll give me enough extra to push it into 2 yrs. And I know, If I'm pushing others to pellets, why am I putting another boiler in? Because i will be writing my wood off as a business expense for the garage. Who is to say how much i will burn down there.....might be 16 cord? ;)


    Got to keep my baby warm 704026_602634776422974_1430587733_o.jpg
     
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  11. bigbobs

    bigbobs
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    Ah, you must haul milk, hence Flyingcow! Like the Moose Bars on the front end. Have they saved the radiator yet?
     
  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
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    I get the Flying Cow now!
     
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  13. flyingcow

    flyingcow
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    yes I had a bumper like that on my other truck.hit a 600-pound cow moose only ruin the bumper. I hit her at about 65 miles an hour
     
  14. TimfromMA

    TimfromMA
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    A pellet boiler will be alot closer to set and forget than a wood boiler. With pellets, as long as your pellet storage is full, you can set your desired temperature and walk away. If you have a storage silo, you can have bulk pellets delivered at set intervals just like oil.
     
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  15. heaterman

    heaterman
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    At this point we are the "go to" people for all things Windhager in Michigan.
    Contact info is on our website in my signature here.
     
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