Advice for new homeowner

adamcolvin99 Posted By adamcolvin99, Jul 29, 2017 at 8:25 AM

  1. adamcolvin99

    adamcolvin99
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    Jul 29, 2017
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    Howdy folks, I've been researching woodstoves trying to figure out the best option for getting wood heat in my 1200 square foot home my dad and I built here in East TN.

    While both my wife and I grew up with wood heat, it seems like new EPA rules are making it more difficult to find 'tried and true' models out there for what I'm looking for. When I was a kid, dad had a SOTZ double barrel woodstove kit in the basement of his log cabin, and when he built his new house we were entirely spoiled by the Woodmaster 4400 outside boiler he got.

    My house doesn't have a basement, so I can't setup a heater in the basement, my wife and I can't afford to pay cash for an outside boiler (we don't want to have to finance), and I don't really have room for an indoor furnace.

    My idea is to build either a very small detached outbuilding very close to the house, or a lean-to for setting up a hot air exchange system.

    With this idea I have a couple of options, one is super insulating the outbuilding and setting up a regular furnace (I have an older Ashley wood stove available, or I could setup a double barrel woodstove kit like my dad used to have) and patching that into my air vents. Or I could purchase one of these newer furnaces that have Insulated cabinets and the plumbing for HVAC setup in them and set it up in the outbuilding.

    I would really love to hear advice and recommendations from y'all on which way I should go, and specific models of wood heaters as well. Thanks!

    Here are the two models I've looked at:

    https://www.ruralking.com/epa-wood-furnace.html

    https://www.alpinehomeair.com/viewproduct.cfm?productID=453069970&linkfrom=froogle&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwevLBRCGARIsAKnAJveeFw_bd5eaaK-vjMc-2EX2zadfOwKPOYqgQnWHwuEDso7MGlrRJdYaAqd3EALw_wcB

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  2. maple1

    maple1
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    Sep 15, 2011
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    How is it heated now?

    One fairly important thing to consider is, what happens when the power goes out? With a traditional furnace setup, the heat would convect upwards to the living space above, helping to avoid an overheat situation. If the airflow is horizontal like what I think you are talking about, it won't convect very good at all and things could go bad in a hurry if your fan stops blowing.

    That's a small space - I think I would consider a wood stove.
     
  3. adamcolvin99

    adamcolvin99
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    Jul 29, 2017
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    Thanks Maple1, I have made it through the last couple of winters with a small propane heater. It does a good job, but it's expensive

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  4. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
    Feeling the Heat 2.
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    Jan 18, 2012
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    The outdoor hot air furnaces are a poor idea at best. They are extremely inefficient. What kind of money do you have to invest in this venture?
     
  5. adamcolvin99

    adamcolvin99
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    Jul 29, 2017
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    I was hoping to keep it underneath $3k. I'm guessing I may have to figure out a way to fit a stove into my living room floor plan

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  6. hondaracer2oo4

    hondaracer2oo4
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    Jan 18, 2012
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    If you don't have a basement to put a boiler inside then you obviously need an out building. To build a small outbuilding with a concrete floor then you are looking at probably around $2-2500 alone. Then you need your boiler, underground lines to get into the house plus a heat exchanger etc etc.

    With all that being said I picked up a used hardy owb about 6 years ago for $500. I spent about $2000 total on the boiler, lines and heat exchangers. I used that for 4 years. I did go through 12-13 cords per season. Three years ago I bought a heatmaster g200 gasser. I dropped to 7 cords per season just going to the gasser. I had the money to upgrade to logstor lines and upgraded my heat exchanger etc. that was all expensive though but I had the money. It cost 9k for the owb plus about $2k to upgrade lines and heat exchangers etc.
     
  7. maple1

    maple1
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    How big is your house, or how much space are you heating? Just wondering how that compares to the 1200 sq.ft. in question, i.e. do you think it would be worth it for that much space?
     
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Stick a small woodstove or pellet stove in the house. Way cheaper, quicker, very efficient, and modern stoves can be pushed almost right up against the wall.

    It's tough to heat such a small home with a woodstove because the stoves that can burn overnight usually make too much heat for such a small place. Pellet stoves can modulate or cycle to maintain a set temperature. Lots of people heat their small homes and shops with a single pellet burning stove.

    Wood boiler systems are very very expensive and in your application I don't think a very good idea. You only need a little bit of heat.
     
  9. adamcolvin99

    adamcolvin99
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    Jul 29, 2017
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    Hey guys thanks for all the thoughts. I hadn't researched wood pellet stoves because I've always cut my own firewood, but they look stupid simple. Anybody care to share recommended brands/models?

    I found this one on a quick Google search:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FQR70VY/?tag=hearthamazon-20

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  10. maple1

    maple1
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    They're not much good in a power outage - and require some maintenance. And purchasing of fuel - the related ins & outs of that seem to vary greatly from area to area. But could be a good choice. Maybe check the pellet forum.
     
  11. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    Wood stove wins hands down IMO. No effects if the power goes out.
     
  12. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Boilers don't work if the power goes out either. Really, these days, life stops when the power goes out so you just fire up the generator. You don't want your freezer full of meat to thaw and you don't need much power at all to run a pellet stove. Yes, wood stoves don't need any power and I love mine. Heating a house this small with a woodstove will cause some heat spikes unlike a boiler or pellet application. Modern build 1200 SF is a pretty small heat load.
     
  13. adamcolvin99

    adamcolvin99
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    Jul 29, 2017
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    I have both a generator and an inverter for power outages. I'll post back once I make a decision and install, but I'm leaning towards some of these new pellet stoves. Thanks everyone!

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  14. maple1

    maple1
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    Even with a smallish BK? :)
     
  15. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    I have the BK with the smallest output (I think), the 20 size boxes actually have higher output due to their design, and even in my 1700 SF home I have temperature swings especially in the shoulder seasons that might make a thermostat person unhappy. The swings are severely reduced with a good cat stove compared to a non-cat but woodstove burning in a small home almost guarantees some level of swing. I'm only talking 5 degrees or so.

    The low output cat stove is a wonderful thing.
     
  16. salecker

    salecker
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    If you got with a pellet stove you can look for alternate fuel for it as well.
    I know of a lady that burns nut shells,i think walnut.She getts them from a manufacturing plant,they are waste to the plant and cost nothing other than the time to get them and process them.She made some modifications to the stove but they were minor.
     
  17. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Go with a wood stove. Build a little bump out room to install the stove in...kinda like an alcove install...should be able to do it for $3k total (or less) if you are handy...
     

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