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Suggestions on new furnace

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by JamesW1984, Dec 27, 2007.

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  1. JamesW1984

    JamesW1984 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2007
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Springfield, MO Area
    I just posted in the boiler room about my wood/oil furnace.

    I have a 28 yr old Longwood wood/oil furnace w/ a beckett oil burner. I don't really mind cutting the wood, although I'd rather not have to if all things were equal (which they probably won't be). Anyway, I live in southwest Missouri and we don't have a lot of oil burner techs in this area. I just called my heating guy about a combustion test on a new burner I was thinking about buying (mine doesn't work properly and I need a combustion test on the current set up or a new one, either way). My heating guy said the only people he knows of are from Kansas City or St. Louis (4 hours away), but are often in the area. I'd rather have a system that people in my area know more about. I live in a semi-rural area about 15 miles from Springfield, but I can't get natural gas. I'll either have to have heating oil, wood, electric, or propane, or a combination thereof.

    I really can't afford a new furnace, but right now I generally work all day and spend an hour or so a night trying to get a fire started in the furnace since my oil burner is down and I'm getting tired of it (been doing that for a month). Several nights I just give up and do without, but taking a shower in the morning sucks really bad when it's below 60 degrees in your house.

    Heating oil doesn't seem to be a good choice for this area, so are there combination wood/propane furnaces? A guy at work has an outdoor furnace ( think maybe a boiler?) he said he only has to start the fire once a year and then rake the coals after that and the fire goes right back up. He said it also heats his hot water. He said it cost him $6000 for his, so that's a bit expensive for me.

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,413
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    Sounds like you have only a couple of choices for a furnace. Oil is out, NG not available, wood is too difficult, so just choose between electric and propane. How do the fuel costs mount up for these two in your area. That is, is propane more expensive to heat with than electric?

    A propane furnace as a central heater has a lot of benefits. For wood burning when you are able, you can install a stove.

    Total cost should be much less than 6000$ if you can reuse the ducting.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    49,653
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I'm a little surprise at your oil co's response. Springfield isn't exactly a tiny town. Regardless, you'll need to get the oil burner taken care of unless another sort of backup heat is put in. Might as well get on the list now. How well insulated is the house? If only moderately, that is the best investment now. The bathroom is easy. Put in a safe, oil-filled radiator or a baseboard heater for that room. You can even get one with a timer so that the room is warmed up for your morning shower.

    For supplemental heat, if the oil/wood burner is confirmed ok to go for a few more seasons, I'd consider a steel wood stove that has a good overnight burn. How large is the house and how many stories? Do you have a spot on the first floor that can accommodate a stove with some rearrangement? If not, the boiler room is the right place to continue discussion.
  4. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    Loc:
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    Oil is the most popular home heating fuels out here in the East, so like BeGreen, I'm surprised there isn't somebody qualified to tune up your burner closer than 4 hours.

    As to your question about a combination wood furnace, I think maybe Yukon makes one with a propane burner. I might be wrong, but it's worth checking out. Forced air wood furnaces cost a lot less than boilers, so I'm guessing something in the $3,000 range is more likely.

    You might also check out Cozy Heat's banner at the top of this page. I see they sell pellet furnaces. That's another option worth considering.

    BG is right about the space heater in the bathroom. I don't think I'd be able to think clearly if I couldn't get a hot shower in a warm bathroom.
  5. atlarge54

    atlarge54 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2007
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    185
    Loc:
    Hoosier
    Don't know what you have for a utility company, our local REMC provides help with cost calculators. They sell both elec. and LP. Sounds like you have a lot of investigating to do before you make a decision and money is a little tight. More info on your house would be a lot of help. I know of a couple people who have installed wall mounted gas burners (non vented) and claimed to have saved a lot on heat bills. What is your A/Cond. situation? If it needs upgraded a comb. A/C heat pump might help through most of the heating season. If you don't like to cut wood stay away from an OWB. Insulation is the best thing you can do, look in your attic. I think blown insulation in an attic is hard to beat on a dollar return basis. A new LP furnace should have a plastic chimney so might be able to leave your existing wood burner in place. Lots of options and this is a good place to find a little help. Last summer I put in a 85K Goodman (95%) furnace and 24K A/C (13SEER) for just over $2000. I ran my elec and gas lines and spent about $150 for an A/C man to vac. down and charge A/C system.
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