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Wood furnace add on

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

  1. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    Based on what your saying, I don't think you should have any issues heating your home. Do make sure however to refer to the manual before purchasing or installing. There's strict duct clearances that need to be followed with any wood furnace. All your clearances will be in the manual. Stick with a 6" chimney and you'll be in good shape.

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  2. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Well, zipidy doo dah. It's like you read my mind. We already have a wood burning fireplace (insufficient but does do well and has great ambiance) and it will be replaced with an insert one day.

    Ok, the tundra is now on top contender. Now I need to figure out piping pricing and how that will be run.

    My thought is, learn everything I can by November 5th. This is the day I learn if I get laid off or essentially have a job forever. Crazy feeling and stressed to no end. After November 5th I hope to be making the purchase and enjoying a nice winter.
  3. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Feeling the Heat

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    Oh wow, hope everything goes your way!

    Well, I dunno how things usually go for you, but if I was buying a stove in November, it wouldn't be up n running 'til 'bout, ah, maybe April! ;lol
    woodsmaster likes this.
  4. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    I truly believe it will work out. It is a millage for "police/fire/roads". Our city has the lowest taxes around. With this small increase it will keep the services intact. If it fails, they close a fire house, and make some pretty substantial cuts. The city has cut from every area possible thus far. We have some phenomenal support from the residents and local business's. My only concern is if BIG government upsets people enough that they take it out on the small local government ( enough is enough kind of attitude) which I understand.

    Off my soap box I could go on for hours.

    I am usually the same way and procrastinate, however I will hire someone so its done correct (neighbor ) and me being anxious will motivate me enough to get it done.
  5. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    So, bang for buck: Tundra ?
  6. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Feeling the Heat

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    FWIW, I personally think it's the only real choice in your price range...
    STIHLY DAN likes this.
  7. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Can a wood add on and gas furnace be "on" and running at the same time?
  8. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Feeling the Heat

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    Depends, definitely wouldn't be an ideal situation by any means, but if what you mean is the wood runs out and the fire dies down, then the gas furnace kicks on, yeah, OK. But if you mean running the gas furnace while the wood burner is still hot, not good, something is likely gonna overheat!
  9. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Lol, thank you for the reality check of over heating... Silly thought...

    When people say they use the wood to keep the house a base temp so the furnace doesn't have to work as hard, or essentially: ( wood keeps it up to say 60 degrees and furnace does the rest.... How does that work?
  10. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Feeling the Heat

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    Well, how I did it was to run the wood burner as much as possible to keep the house at my preferred temp (70-72 for us), then if I'm gone too long of a stretch or the weather is just too cold and the house temp drops to, say 5 degrees less than ideal (65-68 for us), then the thermostat that controls the $$$ burning furnace kicks on.

    Still kicking tires?
  11. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    I still think I am sold on the drolet... I even checked the max caddy. Again its out of my budget, but it has bells and whistles I don't need. Oil burnin, Coal burning, blower with multiple settings with the click of a switch ... I think you definitely get what you pay for, and the unit is beefy but its not my exact fit. I think the drolet is my fit however I am only concerned with sqft. This is only due to not knowing and have no experience with wood burners at all.
  12. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    There are 3 types of installations on furnaces, and that's series, parallel, and stand alone. A stand alone is just that, a furnace that contains a blower with it's own ducting. A series install uses the central furnace's blower to distribute heat through the ductwork. A parallel install is 2 units ducted together which share the same ductwork, but run independently through the use of dampers in the system. A parallel install should not operate both units at the same time due to blower differences, usually the central furnace and woodfurnace would be set 5 or more degrees apart to help prevent this from happening. For us, I just turn off the central furnace. A serIes install is the only install that both units can operate at the same time, but more modern wood furnaces have an interlock that prevents the central furnace from firing if the temperature of the wood furnace is too high for safety.

    The best option to figure out your needs for the home, is to do a heat loss calculation or get a rough idea on the btu's needed to heat your home. From there, find the average output of the furnace and find a match. One that's sized too big will cause problems as well as one that's too small.
  13. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    How do I go about figuring out the heat loss.... As far as the BTUs, I assume its bit as easy as looking at my current natural gas furnace and seeing what it produces?..... Oh well, as of Tuesday I will know if I am going for this install or not... Then its crunch time to get one picked out, an installer setup get this thing fired up.
  14. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    As I said before the Tundra (couple other names same unit) is your best bang for the buck for your application. Canadian made. Your home as compared to a lot of ours should be quite a bit better overall insulation/air infiltration wise than the bulk of ours.
    It is a purpose built WOOD burning heater, not a coal unit that wood is an after thought ( Daka, Yukon others). Backed up by a company that seems to care about its customers. (US stove left a bad taste around here) I would suggest the Kumma but their units are double your budget.
    There are a couple others available, small names, one built here in WI, very obscure, and again double your budget ( was three times mine at the time also) I do not know if it is still made and at present the name escapes me. There some excellent European units as well, again way over budget, support questionable.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  15. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I Didn't go through the entire thread again, I only saw where you were concerned on sq footage. Theres a calculator on build it solar where you can plug in numbers to get a rough idea on what's needed. The only variable would be your ach, or air changes per hour. You should be fine. Here is a little program to play around with.

    http://www.builditsolar.com/References/Calculators/HeatLoss/HeatLoss.htm
  16. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Feeling the Heat

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    Looking at your current furnace size won't tell the whole story. Your gas furnace makes xxx BTUs for the 10 minutes or so that it runs, then shuts off for an hour. A wood furnace makes less BTUs on average, but it is constant, so it really adds up. If you knew how many minutes per day your gas furnace actually was firing you could calculate it out. Or if your furnace is the only thing gas fired in your house (I know, not likely) then you could roughly figure it out from your gas bill. Amount used x BTU per therm x furnace efficiency or something like that. Use laynes calculator ^^^ really handy!
    STIHLY DAN likes this.
  17. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Holy moly... Well there is alot if information on that site..... I figured out my heating degree days is approx 5300. As far as My heat loss it's a tough one to figure out. They offer wood exterior as an option and mine is brick. My house was also built with 2x6 construction. I assume the windows are decent as well. Then figuring space from the sheath to insulation.... It appears to be a calculus nightmare. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit. Although I do see the importance of it all, I wish I could build a darn fire, sit back and watch the house be warm.

    PS this appears to be another one of life's onions. Knowing absolutely nothing about something makes it seem so elementary. The more I learn, the more layers of the onion there are. It literally keeps going and going.

    I want a wood burner. Ok, what kind? wood insert, wood add on furnace, out door furnace.
    Ok, furnace it is. Ok home square footage and I should be set. Wrong again.

    Ok budget ( so I thought is $2000 has now become $3000.). Triple wall piping, through the wall kit, installation by a licensed wood man (so insurance covers it) ( township permit). Some of this I knew. Some I knew and amazing how much I had to learn. Wow. All for a steal box and wood to burn. Lol.... Ok again exaggerating a bit. I can't wait to throw logs in and heat my home. All the prep work is amazing and I haven't spent a dime.
  18. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu Feeling the Heat

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    Good thing about an add on wood furnace is that it is just that, an add on, doesn't have to be "perfect". You kinda make it the "right size" by loading it appropriately, light wood load for a light heating load. And when it gets real cold and it can't keep the house warm even with a full load of Oak or Locust, some good hardwood, well, then the gas furnace just kicks on for a bit. And you'd probably be surprised how seldom that would happen once you get used to running a wood burner. In my experience, others may argue, I'd rather have a wood burner that is just a bit on the small side than too big. (In other words, it won't quite keep up on those few coldest days of the year) Too big means a big firebox that is hard to get burning hot without putting a larger load of wood in it, then it's prolly gonna run ya outta the house (hot). Or you put a load of wood in and don't let it burn hot, (clean) then it smolders away and plugs your chimney up! (been there, no fun)
    FWIW, I still believe the Tundra would be a good choice for you, JMO...
  19. arbutus

    arbutus Feeling the Heat

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    Get the one with the secondary burn if you are going to be using it regularly. I don't have experience with an add on furnace, but with a regular wood stove - both the older non epa and the newer epa rated with secondary burn. Much longer fires, much better performance in terms of wood used and even heat from the model with a secondary burn.
  20. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Ahhh... Well it's bed time and I again think I am sold on the drolet heatmax / tundra.

    It does have a secondary burn.

    Less than 2 days and I will know my answer ( I hope).

    All input is welcomed and appreciated ......
  21. georgia hillbilly

    georgia hillbilly New Member

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    I own a Charmaster and wouldnt have anything else, even if it was free of charge. look on craigslist for a used one and save a pile. I just made a thread about how well they work, and how many less parts they have that can go bad.
  22. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Great news, I am keeping my JOB!!!!

    Now the I am pretty set on the Drolet, it's time to find an installer.
  23. Woodman37

    Woodman37 New Member

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    I have to agree with stihly Dan on this one. Spend a little more and it will definitely pay off in the long run. I had a woodchuck model 4000 installed 3 years ago and it's more than already paid for itself considering what I would've spend on oil in that time. Plus it's American made and I think one of the best quality made.
  24. Overmann55

    Overmann55 New Member

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    Dave here... totally legit folks. I have several people who completed the project and are currently saving on wood, seeing a lot less smoke overall - no more THICK BLACK smoke at all...save on wood, get more heat etc. No Brainer and the project is not that hard to do. I will even send you the directions and a parts list if you want to try it out. Worst case scenario is you have two little holes that you will need welded or capped if you decide it is not for you. But I promise you that this works well and your stove will run better than it ever has. I understand if you are skeptical... but I am not selling anything. ... just trying to help people out. Good Luck and stay warm.
  25. KL3540

    KL3540 New Member

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    Thank YOU for actually responding. I truly like when real people do things to help others. I will have to do some research when I build a barn now. As for heating my home this way, the cost added up to much to justify it.

    I would have to add electronic dampers, piping and all this got to expensive. Best guess around 8k.

    As for the local heateplace, lol... I had them out for an estimate and he never called me back. NEVER. I asked several comparison questions regarding the drolet and caddi. He was honest and admitted he has never installed one which I appreciated. I read alot and asked alot of questions. He had great answers why everything from his piping is a better class than the local farm store to prices of install and why I would need the electric dampers. However, he still never called me back. I am still waiting by the phone.... 5+ months later.

    However, I can't to the Englander with the modification because insurance wouldn't cover if I torched my house..... Sooo I decided I will sell a little wood here and there, enjoy my natural fireplace for the one being, and when I build a barn I will install a wood furnace in there.

    When I finish my basement, I will most likely throw a wood insert type burner down there ...

    Sorry for being drawn out, I thank you for your reply.

    I am on several forums and love to put out simple things I learn to help others.

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