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Newbie with questions

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jasnake65, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. jasnake65

    jasnake65 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Mich
    Have propane for heating and heat roughly 1500 sq ft plus basement. Been looking to add a add on furnace to my existing furnace. First I was looking at the ones from Tractior supply, Hot Blast furnace, then I found a Chief add on and now a PSG add on.
    Looking at a add on funace or now im thinking replacing my existing furnace with a gas/wood one or add on wood. Wondering what have people used and liked or done things differently. Live in Mich and would want someone to install and also for insurance reasons. I know this is a can of worms i just open up

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  2. sloeffle

    sloeffle Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2012
    Messages:
    103
    Loc:
    Morrow County, Ohio
    We have a PSG Caddy wood only add on with the blower / fan limit switch and are very happy with it so far. You can install a oil or electric add on to the Caddy. My insurance company did not have a issue with the furnace since it is UL listed. You might run into a issue with your insurance company if it is your only heating source. We have geothermal as our main heat / cooling source and use the Caddy when temps are <40F to help with the electric bill.

    The installation of the Caddy is pretty straight forward. Just make the plenum is built to the specs in the book and you follow the necessary clearances. If you are dumping into a existing furnace plenum you will need a zoning damper or some kind of mechanical damper to keep the hot air off of the A coil. I have about 400$ worth of 24V Honeywell automatic zoning dampers in my setup. <>

    I would also look at the Kuuma Vapor Fire ( site sponsor ) and the Energy King 385. I looked at the Energy King but did not like the heat tube exchanger setup. I believe you had to remove allot of the firebrick in order to clean them.

    Scott
  3. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    I assume you have central heating via ducts and not radiators, etc. If so, I am currently using an America Eagle Yukon Polar II. It is a wood burning furnace with gas backup built in. The gas backup blower comes with a couple small pieces to convert it to LP gas. It comes standard setup for natural gas. This is my first year running it, and so far I really like it. I got approval from my homeowner's insurance company to use it and did the install myself with some backup help from my dad after getting some insane quotes from installers. Also, a lot of installers did not want to touch it at all. Probably because a lot of people do not use wood burning furnaces in Maryland. Last winter, we mostly heated the house with space heaters in the rooms we were in, with the oil furnace set to come on at night if the temp dropped too low. We only bought 50 gallons of heating oil because we did not want to have a bunch left in the tank after we installed the Yukon. Our electric bills were pretty hefty though. To give you an example of the savings, we kept the house around 68 degrees last winter. This winter, we have it at 75 degrees. In November, the outside temp was 6 degrees colder this year compared to last year, but we used 60% of the electricity we used last year. The natural gas backup thermostat is set up to come on at 68 degrees, but that has yet to happen. The furnace heats the house (2,100 sf upstairs and 2,400 sf downstairs), that I have yet to run it all day long. Pretty much just burn wood at night and wake up to a house that is 75 degrees. The temp in the house drops during the day, but it does not reach 70 until after the sun goes down.

    I looked at several wood/gas backup furnaces before deciding on the Yukon Eagle. I would post links to them, but I am not on my main computer with those sites bookmarked.
  4. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,816
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    I would look into a Caddy also. Well built furnaces that are EPA certified. Clean, long burns and a nice view of the fire. We have one and it does well. If your current gas furnace is in decent shape, I would do an add-on which would cost less.
  5. jasnake65

    jasnake65 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Mich
    Thanks for the replys. Also have AC so that also fits into the scheme of things. Have to look at the other brands you mentioned. Has anyone hooked it up in the garage and ran the duct work down or are you better off with it being next to your unit. I know you would lose heat with the another run but might be cheaper with the chimney
  6. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,816
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    Most manufacturers if not all prohibit running the ductwork in that configuration. If there was an outage, there's no way for the heat to escape from the furnace. Having the unit beside the existing furnace allows for a proper connection. Putting the unit in the basement allows any residual heat from the woodfurnace to enter the home. Insurance companies tend to frown on installs in garages also.
  7. jasnake65

    jasnake65 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2012
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    Mich
    Thanks for the quick reply, won't be doing that then
  8. lampmfg

    lampmfg Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Loc:
    Tower, MN
    Check out the Kuuma Vapor-Fire Furnace line.

    Kumma VaporFire 200 Delivered And Running!!!

    Discussion in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Binny, Yesterday at 9:38 PM.

    Binny New Member

    joined: Sep 26, 2011

    13 posts

    Hudson Vally NY

    Well after all of your help and questions being answered I decided to to go with a Kumma Vaporfire 200. Expectations were high and they were by far exceeded. I ran separate ductwork from the Vaporfire to the existing registers in my home. I am currently burning less then ideal wood and getting 8hr burn times I would expect them to go to 10-11 hours maybe more when I start burning locust and oak. My house is 2200sft and it was 31deg last night - woke up to a 73 deg house!! with a bed of coals. Best of all - NO SMOKE. Granted the first 5 - 10 min a small amount of light smoke can be seen coming from the chimney but it quickly turns to vapor and stays that way usually even through reloads. Very little ash. I should have went with the glass door though. Sometimes I just cant help myself from opening the door to see whats going on in there. I might get it because I was told that opening the door during a burn decreases the burn time from the cooling of the fire chamber. I will keep you guys posted. Feel free to ask any question. Overall excellent product built like a tank and absolutely great people to deal with.

    Binny, Yesterday at 9:38 PM
    #1


  9. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yeah, installing in the garage was a no-no on the Yukon Eagle furance too. Essentially, if the power goes out and the blower is not working, the Yukon Eagle - Polar II will continue to heat the house to a degree since hot air rises and cold air falls. Just not as efficiently as with a blower. Plus, the fire has to be reduced in size. A heat dump is also an option for the furance I believe.

    I think my big hang up with Kuuma is that I wanted a unit with an oil or gas backup since we wanted to get rid of the 25 year old oil furnace we had in the basement and I did not want to have to deal with buying and installing two new furances.

    http://www.charmaster.com/furnaces.html

    http://www.yukon-eagle.com/WoodFurnaceHOME/tabid/36/Default.aspx

    http://www.firechiefwoodfurnace.com/

    http://www.blazeking.com/EN/furnaces-heaters.html

    http://www.lamppakuuma.com/

    http://www.energyking.com/products-ek.php

    And that is essentially all the bookmarks I have on this subject. Hope the new furnace lasts 30+ years and all those bookmarks are obsolete by the time I need a new furnace.
  10. lampmfg

    lampmfg Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    71
    Loc:
    Tower, MN
    The problem with many all-in-one units is they are just average with each heating medium. In the long run many would be better off purchasing systems that specialize in each medium.
  11. fabsroman

    fabsroman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Messages:
    977
    Loc:
    West Friendship, Maryland
    Yeah, I have not used the natural gas hardly at all, so would not know how efficient it is. The manual provides for ways to adjust it and instructions on how to determine the efficiency based upon smoke readings, but since I have not used it since testing it back in October, it really is not a priority. The wood though is pretty insane. I have not been using much at all to heat the 2,100 sf upstairs and the 2,400 sf downstairs has been decently warm too. Just told my wife that I think it would have to get below 30 degrees here all day long before we would have to burn the furnace during the day. I lit the fire at 11:00 pm last night and used 4 logs. Threw in another 3 logs before getting to bed at 3:00 am and it is still 73 degrees in the house at noon with it being 43 degrees outside. Of course, might have a lot to do with the house's insulation too. I think the efficiiency raiting for the furnace is given on the website.

    Just found this for the gas burner on my unit:



    It is certified by Underwriters Laboratories to

    provide up to 80.1% steady state efficiency. It can

    be switched from LP Gas to Natural Gas or visaversa.

    This burner can be interchanged with our

    Wayne model MSR oil burner at your option.

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