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Thinking of pellet furnace for forced hot water and dhw off boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Jasbolto, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. Jasbolto

    Jasbolto New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Manchester NH
    I curruntly have a oil furnace that heats the house with forced hot water and the domestic hot water is off the boiler also I would like to use the existing distrobution system and replace the furnace with a pellet furnace my house is about 1400sq ft can people who have done this tell me about their experience with it and let me know what make and model furace they are using and if they would recommend it.
    Jason

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  2. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

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    Apr 16, 2012
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    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Hey Jason, welcome to Hearth. Let me help by clearing up that what you have is called a boiler. A furnace is generally a hot-air setup with ductwork. Now that that is out of the way, I installed a pellet boiler for my uncle it's a Harmon PB105. I was impressed with the unit, but bewhare that is is really a pellet stove with a nice water jacket. Same burnpot and all. The boiler tubes have rods you use to clean them and ash has to be removed manually. If you don't mind a little tending it's a nice unit. Some people expect a totally self cleaning unit, and those are made as well, just plan on 10K+ price. My uncle got his on CL for 6K, new.

    Do you have an indirect water heater (seperate tank) or a tankless coil?

    TS
  3. Jasbolto

    Jasbolto New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Manchester NH
    my hot water is not seperate it is a boiler mate off the boiler.My house is only about 1400 sq ft so I was looking at the hydroflex 60 from what I have found they are around $5,000 I don't mind doing some work to keep it clean and running.
  4. heaterman

    heaterman Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Falmouth, Michigan
    Get in touch with Marc Caluwe in Bellerica MA. He has a couple nice pellet boiler lines and can steer you in the right direction. His number is 781-308-8583. I would advice purchasing a unit that is designed as a real boiler rather than something that has been adapted from an existing unit in a manufacturers product line. I'm sure he can put you in touch with someone to help you with your project.
  5. Jasbolto

    Jasbolto New Member

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    Oct 14, 2012
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    Loc:
    Manchester NH
    Thanks I spoke with Marc today
  6. thro9

    thro9 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
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    14
    I just purchased a Harman Hydroflex 60 boiler and am looking for anyone who also has this boiler to share ideas on it's functionality. I'm using it as a primary heat source with an oil backup. It's also heating my DHW. I've had some issues with venting but I hope I have all that worked out now. I've been trying different pellets (Lignetics, Hamer and New England) and different feed rates to keep it at it's highest efficiency but am still using more pellets then I originally thought I would. Thoughts please. Thanks.
    My house is a colonial and just under 2400sf and is well insulated. Last year I went through about 1000 gallons of oil in a very mild winter.
  7. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    566
    Loc:
    Billerica, MA
    1000 gallons of heating oil @ $3.75/gallon is $3,750.
    with wood pellets you should be able to cut this in half with any decent pellet boiler.
    This brings you to $3,750 / 2 = $1,875

    If you pay $6 per bag of 40 Lbs, this corresponds with $1,875 / $6 = 312 bags of 40 lbs
    Or 312 bags is around 6.25 Tons of wood pellets.

    This seems a lot to me for a 2,400 SF home and for a mild winter like 2011/2012

    How many bags are you burning per day right now?
    How well is your house insulated?
    Can you measure the smoke temperature (stack)?
    thro9 likes this.
  8. thro9

    thro9 New Member

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    Jan 19, 2013
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    14
    I'm at about 2 bags a day, sometimes more. I seem to be getting a lot of buildup in the boiler. I'm cleaning and removing ash in the burn pot daily but the manual also states some of the other cleaning needs to be done just twice a season. However, with the way it builds up I'm diligent about staying on top of it and doing it every week. The house is insulated just fine. I have an attic cover and have newer windows and don't feel any drafts in the house. When I was heating with the oil it seemed to do a fine job. I'm not familiar with the smoke temperature (stack). How would I measure this? Thanks!
  9. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Billerica, MA
    I think you are right within what you should burn, based on your oil consumption of last year (see above)
    Nov to March is 5 months, times 30 days per month = 150 days x 2 bags/day = 300 bags

    I would try to figure out how you can get an idea of your stack temp.
    The high end boilers that are available in North America, like the Windhager BioWIN, have a stack temp of around 230F

    I'm not sure what the Harman HydroFlex60 is supposed to be.
    I remember reading somewhere on this forum between 350F-400F
    If the stack temperature goes up, it's time to clean the top heat exchanger.

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