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Wood boiler

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Zach, Nov 7, 2013.

  1. Zach

    Zach New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Pa
    I bought my house a year ago, 1800's farm house with thick wall and no insulation. I put in a new Weil McClain propane boiler because the old oil boiler was shot. In my first year I spent a lot of money on propane which I would like to avoid through burning wood. I have begun collecting cutting and seasoning wood for next year. I have thought about many options but think adding on a wood boiler is the way to go. I have a detached garage/ inlaw suite I would like to heat as well. My plan is to add a shed onto garage to put the boiler and wood in then pipe it into my current hot water system. I also would somehow heat the garage. I am looking for advice on what boiler would best work for this situation. House is about 2,300 sq ft and garage would add another 700. I am willing to spend the money for a good system knowing in 5 years I will have paid for system. Thanks

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  2. BoilerMan

    BoilerMan Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    1,541
    Loc:
    Northern Maine
    Welcome to Hearth!

    Sounds like you are on the right track with collecting wood etc. You should do a heat loss of your house, and give us the total propane usage as well as the WM boiler model that you installed, this will give us a rough idea of the building's heating needs. Thermal storage is the cat's meow with any wood-fired boiler, and would make your wood-burning expierence much more enjoyable (not having to be home just to put wood in or the house will freeze) kinda thing.

    What type of heat emitters do you have? Cast Iron rads in a house of that vintage? Do you have steam or hot water? easy way to tell is if you have a circulator or not and how many pipes go to the radiators.

    You are at the right place!

    TS
    Coal Reaper likes this.
  3. Coal Reaper

    Coal Reaper Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    693
    Loc:
    NJ
    Lot of great options. Lot of things you still need to figure out. In pa check out smokelessheat and alternateheatingsystems.
  4. Zach

    Zach New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Pa
    Thanks for the response. The model I have is a wm97+. I have been converting bathrooms over to radiant heat but existing radiators are copper and water is circulated through them. As far as usage last year, I am estimating that I went through 800 gallons, which I feel like might be low. I will be keeping better track this winter, and looking forward to burning hardly any.
  5. Gasifier

    Gasifier Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,135
    Loc:
    St. Lawrence River Valley, N.Y.
    Yes. Look into planning on storage. That is the way to go with whatever boiler you choose. You will be very happy when you do. Being able to burn your wood flat out in what they call batch burning is the most efficient way to do it. Do your research, take your time. You sound like you are doing that already. Welcome to the boiler room.
  6. muncybob

    muncybob Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    1,978
    Loc:
    Near Williamsport, PA
    So, where in PA are you? We use to burn between 800 and 900 gallons per year for heat and hot water. Now we use about 10 gallons per year heating about 2200 sq ft. This year will be our break even point in $$ spent and that's only because I had to buy wood the 1st year. I wish we had the money and space at installation time for storage.
  7. Zach

    Zach New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Pa

    I live in Orwigsburg pa. I was also way off on propane consumption. I burned 1,600 gallons last year just on heat no hot water.

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