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Wood furnace add on

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by KL3540, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Ok, I have been wanting a wood insert for years the replace my existing wood burning builders box. Being the wall is stoned about 12' high, I would have to pull this down, pull out old box, put in one I select. I really like the xtroodrinare and Napoleon. Ok with that said, way to much of a project for my current budget.


    I still have a wood burning fireplace which makes things cozy but is oviously not efficient.

    The other day I happen to stumble on wood burning furnace add ons. Specifically the englander 28-3500. It had some fantastic reviews and is very reasonably priced. So, being it is from a big box store, I walked into a place around the corner from me who specialize in inserts, burners, outdoor burner, etc. They essentially laughed about any big box store brand, said even though they adverstise made in USA they are only assembled her and are chinese junk. They also included the USSTOVE Clayton ..... I was shocked and listened to what they had to say. Immediately they suggest a Harmon but it was $3600 plus I would HAVE to get dampers and they suggested the automatic ones which were about 1200 for that and the duct work. This does not include the exterior vent pipe Nor installation.
    I was blown away. Their price would be about $6000. Huge change when I had the initial look of $1200 for an englader. I realize I would still have to have extras: piping, duct work etc. However I didn't see that one in my head totalling 6k.
    So hear are my questions. Is the englander a good product? Where is it made? Can it compete against a Harmon at triple the price?
    My plan was to add a wood furnace to my current forced air furnace. I live on 10 acres with plenty of wood. I also have a good source for unlimited wood. I am not overly concerned having to go downstairs to put wood in the furnace as i have a walk out basement where I store the wood. So it would actually be easier with the furnace Down there as we currently have to bring wood up.

    My house is about 2850. 350 is a bonus room I am not concerned about as we don't use it and the heat is shut down up their. My first floor is 2500 sqft and basement is 2500 sqft. I leave the basement vents shut off. Would this furnace heat my first floor?

    How much generally are all the extras that would need to be purchased aside from the stove?

    Again, this model received great reviews and I don't want to make things overly complex but if you have other models feel free to let me know.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2013

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Moved this to where folks have more experience with whole house heating with furnaces.
  3. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Guess What find a different dealer, Englander stoves are made here state side, USStove ya mostly chicom likely assembled here, not a fan of their's. Englander wood furnace works well but is not of the latest technology. I have couple of friends with them and they like there units.

    Dampers, Code thing, and prevents over heating of AC parts, additionally duct work for a solid fuel appliance has different spacing requirements than conventional heating furnaces, again code thing, so be sure of your Ins. Co. before you do anything.

    Look into a unit called the Tundra. New on market but based on fancier unit of that mfg's line to fill a price point in the market. Canadian made.
  4. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I would include Khumma in my considerations also.

    EDIT: I think I spelled that wrong...
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013
    Gasifier likes this.
  5. hobbyheater

    hobbyheater Minister of Fire

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  6. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Insurance co. I dread the call but you are correct. It's a necessary call.

    Do you think the average HVAC guy would know the codes if installing the wood furnace add on to a natural gas forced air system?

    When I see my neighbor next, I will ask him. He is an HVAC guy.

    Thank you for the input. Keep any and all tips and furnace suggestions coming.
  7. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

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    +1 on the Drolet Tundra recommendation. The Englander is just old school fire-in-a-box type heater, primary combustion only. The Tundra has secondary combustion too, burns much cleaner, more heat with less wood. Nothing fancy though, just basic modern wood burning technology. Only around $500 more than the Englander. Available various places, Menards, Lowes, Northern Tool, others too. (Some places call them the Heatmax, same unit though (maybe a different color?)
    Yeah, talk to your HVAC neighbor dude, That's what I did, my guy made custom plenum and adapters for my very complicated system, did a real nice job! Best part, no cash outlay, gotta love the barter system!!! :cool:
  8. lampmfg

    lampmfg Member

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  9. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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  10. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Ok, the Englander is still in the running. It has phenomenal reviews and a great price.

    I think US stove company is out if the running. I have read to many bad reviews.

    I am also now considering:

    Daka 832FB
    Daka 621FB
    Daka 622FBT
    Shelter SF2639
    Shelter SF2631
    Drolet Tundra heatmax

    These all appear to have secondary burn and comparable prices. The shelter was really hard to find any further info on including reviews.

    The daka seems to be a pretty good unit as well. Please elaborate if anyone has one. Likes dislikes on all models.

    I haven't had the opportunity to look at the Kuma yet.
  11. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    None of the above have secondary burn, but the Tundra. The Kuuma has it, but it wasn't in the list. The daka says "secondary burn chamber", but it's more of a heat exchanger. In order for proper combustion to take place, preheated secondary air must enter the burn zone, which usually is insulated to maintain a high temperature. Something the Daka, Englander and Shelter furnaces don't have. The Tundra may not carry 100% of the heat load, but it will be a bit more efficient than the other furnaces. Our furnace is the Caddy, and the tundra is built with the same firebox. The firebox is pretty much bulletproof and the secondary heat exchanger of the tundra will extract quite a bit of heat from the furnace.
  12. Domonic

    Domonic New Member

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    I put in the englander last year as a stand alone unit tied into my existing duct work. First time I've ever heated with wood and we kept our 2800 sq/ft home comfortable all winter. Burned about 6 cords of wood which wasn't as dry as it should have but we burned no oil! We did fill the stove at nite if we happen to wake up. If not there were coals enough in the morning to start the fire right back up. It may be a little more trick figuring out how to run the stove to get the most out of it but in the end well worth it I'm my opinion. This year I'm ahead of the game with 10 cords cut and split ready to last this year and part of next.
  13. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Wow, that's FANTASTIC !!! It really seems to get the best reviews. That may truly be the model I go with. Even if it doesn't have a secondary burn chamber. It may be a little more work if I have to fill it more (burn time wise) and more splitting. However, at this point in the game, I enjoy splitting. I currently have about 10 face cord split and stacked. I have another cord that needs to be split and stacked. 30 trees down and stacked ready to be cut and split. Then another 50 dead still standing the I need to fell etc. lots of work ahead but I hate to see it all go in a Bon fire pit.
  14. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

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    +1 on what layne69 said ^ none of the units mentioned have true secondary burn except the Tundra, well and I guess the Kuuma stuff too, I dunno what they got going on in there on their units, is like some kinda magic! ==c Anyways, all the other furnaces you listed "say" they get secondary burn, I'm throwin the BS card here! They don't have secondary air tubes over the fire! I had (notice I said had) a Yukon Big Jack, it was designed like the Dakas and the Shelter, they're built great but, they say they get secondary burn, yeah, for about 15 minutes right after a full load of fresh wood! Then it's back to fire-in-a-box-smoke-dragon! If you don't mind cutting extra wood, and cleanin your chimney every couple weeks during the winter, go for it! I've been there, ain't going back either! Take the advise of the wisdom being offered by those who have gone before you, you won't regret the extra $500 spent for the Tundra! (or do it really right the first time and getcha one dem Kuumas!)
    lampmfg likes this.
  15. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    If anyone can youtube David Brisson Englander. Do you call BS on this or is it a legit home made secondary burn?
  16. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    How much to the Kumas run?

    It appears the tundra specs 2500 sqft. If I am wrong correct me. I think the tundra looks sweet.

    I don't mind spending $2000, but that is about my limit as I will still have to Purchase piping, dampers, etc and labor.
  17. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    The video shows a modified englander furnace. That's the same light show I get in our furnace, without the modifications. You can save a few dollars and purchase a furnace in return to modify it to burn cleanly, but you also void it's warranty, and void a policy with the insurance company. I haven't seen the Tundra in person yet, but like I say I do know the firebox. For your budget, the tundra would fall within or below your budget. The burn tubes are stainless, there's a multiple-speed blower, a secondary heat exchanger and a fully insulated firebox with the tundra. For 500.00, it would be well worth the extra to upgrade. Not saying the englander is a bad furnace, but going from a basic furnace to a more advanced combustion furnace was a night and day difference. The same can be said for those who have upgraded their stoves.
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  18. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah, your basement isn't where you want a burn lab to be.
  19. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

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    Kuumas, yeah, prolly gonna blow your budget, I think they're in the $4k range, they have prices listed on their site BTW.
    As for the video you mentioned, you right, he's got some legit secondary burn goin on there. On his most recent video (the 8 minute one) notice (about the 1:43 mark) what he says, about why he did what he did. He says "I was concerned about how much wood she was chewing through"
    All those lazy, floating flames you see at the top of the firebox in his video, the gasses that are being burnt would be creosote in your chimney if not burnt up. Also, that's wasted potential heat. 98% of it those gasses would not burn (read smoke) without that secondary burn system he installed.
    I guess if ya don't mind spendin a bunch if time cuttin/modding on your new furnace (to get that clean burn), voiding the warranty, and canceling your home insurance, go for it! Me, I'd spend the extra 5 bills, get me a quality built furnace, with modern technology clean burn, that's not gonna void my HO insurance if I have a fire.
    Will the Englander heat your house? Yup, probably. Will a 1982 Ford Fairmont get you to work, yup, probably.
  20. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Lol, great analogy.... You made several great points. Main one is insurance!!! Point taken. Will the tundra heat my house?
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Yeah I own a raft of Englander stoves and if their furnace had ever been made a clean burner like them I would already have one in this joint and some of the others sold.

    Get the one designed for it. Grief and wood savings pay you back many times over many years.
  22. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Depends....There's many things to take into consideration. Climate, layout of the home, insulation levels, tightness, etc. If you could supply some information, we could get a better idea of what your looking at.
  23. STIHLY DAN

    STIHLY DAN Minister of Fire

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    When it comes to burning wood, spend the $$$$$$$$$$$$$. It is well worth it. I have the KUUMA, and it is $4,600 which is a lot of $$. I was very nervous about this endeavor. It was so worth it. So much heat, so easy to use, and no cleaning or maintenance. Plus very little wood used. Makes wood burning fun and cheap. Spend the cash now and save for the next 20 years of easy cheap heat. This unit changed my life.
  24. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    A Kuma does sound nice but frankly its not in my budget.

    I am from south eastern Michigan (thumb area). My home was built in 2007 and very well insulated. It's a ranch with 3 bedrooms on the east side of house and master on the west side of house. Between the rooms is the family room/ kitchen and dining room which is open to each other. 3 bedrooms are 8' ceilings, master has 10' ceiling and kitchen / family rand from 10-13' tall. Main floor is what I am concerned about at 2500 sqft.
  25. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Minister of Fire

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    I'm sayin a Tundra would likely heat your house. If not completely, then 95%, you know, all but the coldest days type of situation. The Tundra is rated to heat up to 2500ft by the mfg. so unless your house has a high heat load for it's size/age...

    You could do what I did/doing, put the furnace in, use/enjoy it for a couple years, let my bank account recover. Now I am gonna install a small wood burning insert (anybody wanna buy some nice gas logs?) in the fireplace to "take the chill off" (and fire TV for ambiance ==c) on those spring/fall days when firing "the beast" (see avatar) would just be too much heat!
    For any of you who are familiar with my setup, you are prolly saying "why not just use the oil backup on those days?" Well, I guess when I have 10 cords of "free" wood stacked up, ready to go, I have a hard time (read cheap) burnin the oil unless we are going away...;em ;lol

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