Another help me choose add on furnace

Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
So small update, the kuuma just isn't in this year's budget, hours are getting cut back a little at work. So called my local Menards to ask about the tundra and Heatpro since they are special order I wanted some info. Tundra is on the website for $1800, long story short they said they would get back to me on the Heatpro since it wasn't on thier website. Couple days later they called me and said they could get me a Heatpro for $2100. I was surprised at the price. This might be the direction I go.

This was a week ago, since then the Heatpro is now on the website for $2300 (with thier 11% off), don't know if they will honor the phone price or not but getting the bigger firebox for a longer burn is what I am leaning toward.

This polar vortex we just had is also making me learn hard for the Heatpro.
 

Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
185
Manitoba
So small update, the kuuma just isn't in this year's budget, hours are getting cut back a little at work. So called my local Menards to ask about the tundra and Heatpro since they are special order I wanted some info. Tundra is on the website for $1800, long story short they said they would get back to me on the Heatpro since it wasn't on thier website. Couple days later they called me and said they could get me a Heatpro for $2100. I was surprised at the price. This might be the direction I go.

This was a week ago, since then the Heatpro is now on the website for $2300 (with thier 11% off), don't know if they will honor the phone price or not but getting the bigger firebox for a longer burn is what I am leaning toward.

This polar vortex we just had is also making me learn hard for the Heatpro.
If they honor the $2100 price point I'd go with the heatpro... if not the Tundra is still a good option to save yourself $500.

The polar vortex really didn't last that long... so what if a guy has to use a gallon or 2 of LP per year in extream weather conditions.
 

Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
If they honor the $2100 price point I'd go with the heatpro... if not the Tundra is still a good option to save yourself $500.

The polar vortex really didn't last that long... so what if a guy has to use a gallon or 2 of LP per year in extream weather conditions.
So true, also leaning for the bigger firebox to get longer burns while I am at work for 10 hours. Honestly I believe the tundra will heat the house, hell I heat it now with a pellet stove made for 1800 square feet, and it almost kept up last week except for the windy days. I just don't want the house to cool down before I get home from work.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,123
NE Ohio
It honestly sounds like the Tundra would be a better fit for your house...like @Case1030 said, that cold spell we just had was "1 in 25 year" temps...and I'd rather "right size" a wood furnace for my house than to have one that can "keep up with any winter storm ever"...reason being, if the Heatpro proves too big, then you will have to shut down more often in the spring and fall...which means more cold starts (PITA) which means a dirtier chimney too...the spring/fall (shoulder season) comes every year, and lasts much longer than any cold spell ever will...I would guestimate that shoulder season burning is 50% of my wood usage on average.
They always say that you can build a small fire in a big stove, but you cant build a big fire in a small stove...which is true, to some degree...but, building real small fires in these newer fire boxes doesn't work out real well...they don't get up to proper operating temp, so the heat output is real low, and they burn dirty that way too...just doesn't work out as well as you would think.

And the Tundra should give you 10 hour burns...it did for me...sometimes 12 hrs if it was a lil warmer day.
In the spring and fall warmer temps, I often loaded at 6 am and 6 pm. (occasionally once per day)
Once "winter" actually hit, I loaded at 6 am, 4 pm, and again at 11 pm.
And any time you load you vary the wood type and size of the load for the expected heat demand in the next xx hours...it takes a bit, but you will learn your house. Once you get good at it you can often hold the house temp swings to 2-3*
 

Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
185
Manitoba
Kinda funny how it works out, I'm always a little wary about recommending stove size... best way to figure it out is based off your pellet useage.

My house is partially hard to heat, just because the climate I live in. The polar vortex was cold but that's our normal winter to get extreamly cold weather for week after week. It's still -20 f tonight not much of a warm up. January and February always seem to pack a punch with a hook.

My furnace is a little oversized with consideration to our climate. I like the thought of being able to push the house up to 80f regardless of outside tempurature to take the chill off.

My dad thought the heatpac (2.4cf box) might be good enough for this house... I would have been seriously disappointed to say the least.

With that being said I have trouble keeping a fire going any warmer than 32f without cooking myself out of the house... although that's fine with me because I can just switch to my small insert. You just need to find the happy medium like benu mentioned.
 

Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
It honestly sounds like the Tundra would be a better fit for your house...like @Case1030 said, that cold spell we just had was "1 in 25 year" temps...and I'd rather "right size" a wood furnace for my house than to have one that can "keep up with any winter storm ever"...reason being, if the Heatpro proves too big, then you will have to shut down more often in the spring and fall...which means more cold starts (PITA) which means a dirtier chimney too...the spring/fall (shoulder season) comes every year, and lasts much longer than any cold spell ever will...I would guestimate that shoulder season burning is 50% of my wood usage on average.
They always say that you can build a small fire in a big stove, but you cant build a big fire in a small stove...which is true, to some degree...but, building real small fires in these newer fire boxes doesn't work out real well...they don't get up to proper operating temp, so the heat output is real low, and they burn dirty that way too...just doesn't work out as well as you would think.

And the Tundra should give you 10 hour burns...it did for me...sometimes 12 hrs if it was a lil warmer day.
In the spring and fall warmer temps, I often loaded at 6 am and 6 pm. (occasionally once per day)
Once "winter" actually hit, I loaded at 6 am, 4 pm, and again at 11 pm.
And any time you load you vary the wood type and size of the load for the expected heat demand in the next xx hours...it takes a bit, but you will learn your house. Once you get good at it you can often hold the house temp swings to 2-3*
Your reload times would be almost the same as mine, that does make me feel a lot better. Of course saving more money would be a huge plus. I didn't think about burning more wood than I needed in the shoulder seasons
Kinda funny how it works out, I'm always a little wary about recommending stove size... best way to figure it out is based off your pellet useage.

My house is partially hard to heat, just because the climate I live in. The polar vortex was cold but that's our normal winter to get extreamly cold weather for week after week. It's still -20 f tonight not much of a warm up. January and February always seem to pack a punch with a hook.

My furnace is a little oversized with consideration to our climate. I like the thought of being able to push the house up to 80f regardless of outside tempurature to take the chill off.

My dad thought the heatpac (2.4cf box) might be good enough for this house... I would have been seriously disappointed to say the least.

With that being said I have trouble keeping a fire going any warmer than 32f without cooking myself out of the house... although that's fine with me because I can just switch to my small insert. You just need to find the happy medium like benu mentioned.
I burn around 6-7 tons of pellets, but the house is nowhere near as warm as I would like it when it is colder out (sub 25 degrees). That's around 65-70 main floor (where the stove is) , 60 upstairs, and no heat in the basement. Evening out the heat throughout the house is the main reason for switching to a wood furnace. Also I would like to actually use my basement in the winter, it hovers around 40-45 degrees right now (36 in the vortex). Makes for a very cold floor for the main level.

Anything above 25 and it stays very warm, unless it's really windy, so I believe I have good insulation. Windows need some addressing, project for the coming summer.
 
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Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
185
Manitoba
Your reload times would be almost the same as mine, that does make me feel a lot better. Of course saving more money would be a huge plus. I didn't think about burning more wood than I needed in the shoulder seasons


I burn around 6-7 tons of pellets, but the house is nowhere near as warm as I would like it when it is colder out (sub 25 degrees). That's around 65-70 main floor (where the stove is) , 60 upstairs, and no heat in the basement. Evening out the heat throughout the house is the main reason for switching to a wood furnace. Also I would like to actually use my basement in the winter, it hovers around 40-45 degrees right now (36 in the vortex). Makes for a very cold floor for the main level.

Anything above 25 and it stays very warm, unless it's really windy, so I believe I have good insulation. Windows need some addressing, project for the coming summer.
So by my understanding your using around 2-2.5x40lb bags per day in cold weather?
 
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Boilers

Member
Mar 19, 2018
60
Indiana
So true, also leaning for the bigger firebox to get longer burns while I am at work for 10 hours. Honestly I believe the tundra will heat the house, hell I heat it now with a pellet stove made for 1800 square feet, and it almost kept up last week except for the windy days. I just don't want the house to cool down before I get home from work.
Tundra T2 owner here. 9-10 hour burns are pretty easy. That is...you will still have plenty of hot coals, which will kick on the blower every so often, but heat output at that point is pretty minimal. One thing thats very important is your ducting. The Tundra will keep your basement pretty warm from radiant heat alone (no ducts needed). Read the directions in the manual regarding the ducts and think about how to get the heat to your house within those guidelines. I missed the boat on this when I installed mine and I've been fighting it ever since!
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,123
NE Ohio
Tundra T2 owner here. 9-10 hour burns are pretty easy. That is...you will still have plenty of hot coals, which will kick on the blower every so often, but heat output at that point is pretty minimal.
A speed control for your blower helps with this...a lot. By the time the blower shuts off, you can stick your hand inside the firebox (depending on how you adjust things)
 

Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
185
Manitoba
Yes that would be accurate
Well if you burn 6-7 tons of pellets. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's about equivalent to about 7 cords of medium density wood by my understanding. Now I'm kinda leaning towards the heatpro. Especially if you want to keep your house warmer than the pellet stove and come home to a warm house after 10-12 hours in cold weather.

What pellet stove model are you currently using?
 

Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
Well if you burn 6-7 tons of pellets. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's about equivalent to about 7 cords of medium density wood by my understanding. Now I'm kinda leaning towards the heatpro. Especially if you want to keep your house warmer than the pellet stove and come home to a warm house after 10-12 hours in cold weather.

What pellet stove model are you currently using?
It's an older stove, came with the house when I moved in. An Enviro EF-3.
20190205_220346.jpg
 

Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
Well if you burn 6-7 tons of pellets. Correct me if I'm wrong but that's about equivalent to about 7 cords of medium density wood by my understanding. Now I'm kinda leaning towards the heatpro. Especially if you want to keep your house warmer than the pellet stove and come home to a warm house after 10-12 hours in cold weather.

What pellet stove model are you currently using?
Also I have only been in the home for 2 years, last year I burned the pellet stove only during the day and let the lp furnace do the work at night. This kept the upstairs warmer at night. I went through 4 tons of pellets and probably 600 gallons of propane. Water is the only other thing heated with propane. However I went to Florida for 6 weeks (last week of January to first week of March) so the house was just set to 50 and obviously only using propane.

When I bough the home I asked the previous owners what they burned, they didn't use the pellet stove and burned around 1000-1200 gallons for the year of propane. Maybe that number would give you a better idea?

So I am sitting with either a $2500 propane bill, $1200-$1400 wood pellets (plus still some supplementary propane), or switch to wood.

I am not set on what I am purchasing so if you have a different idea let em fly. All I know is I have 10 cord of CSS wood outside currently and just need to decide on how to burn it.
 

Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
185
Manitoba
91600 btu per gallon x 1100 gallons of lp= 100,760,000 × 0.90% efficiency~= 90,684,000 btu delivered per year.

Not sure what your water tank uses for LP... but that would need to be subtracted from the beginning fuel starting btu.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,123
NE Ohio
When I bough the home I asked the previous owners what they burned, they didn't use the pellet stove and burned around 1000-1200 gallons for the year of propane. Maybe that number would give you a better idea?
Well, propain has 91,500 BTUs per gallon, fuel oil has about 140,000.
My place, that the Tundra heated fairly well (to 72-73*) previously took on average 700 gallons of fuel oil to keep the place 65* at night, 68* in the daytime...and that's with an old coal-converted-to-oil furnace (but it was a pretty good conversion) so I'd guess 60-70% efficiency?
So 700 x 140,000 x .65 = 63,700,000 BTU per year.

Yours would be 1100 x 91,000 x (whatever the efficiency rating of your furnace is...80%? 95%?)
1100 x 91,000 x .80 = 80,080,000 BTUs
1100 x 91,000 x .95 = 95,095,000 BTUs
So yeah, you might have a bit more heat load than we do...
Feel free to check my math...its late...I'm tired...
 
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JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,141
Wisconsin Dells, WI
When I bough the home I asked the previous owners what they burned, they didn't use the pellet stove and burned around 1000-1200 gallons for the year of propane. Maybe that number would give you a better idea?
You are approaching what we used to use per year in LP. We are not quite as cold though, with you being in the UP.

So I am sitting with either a $2500 propane bill, $1200-$1400 wood pellets (plus still some supplementary propane), or switch to wood.
You must have expensive LP and buy cheap pellets. LP by us is $1.45/gal and my buddy buys very good pellets (https://pellethead.com/product/uncle-jeds-cold-remedy-douglas-fir-bear-mountain/) for $355 per ton delivered.

So yeah, you might have a bit more heat load than we do...
I would think so, as you guys really don't see very cold temps on a consistent basis. :p ;lol
 
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Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
You are approaching what we used to use per year in LP. We are not quite as cold though, with you being in the UP.



You must have expensive LP and buy cheap pellets. LP by us is $1.45/gal and my buddy buys very good pellets (https://pellethead.com/product/uncle-jeds-cold-remedy-douglas-fir-bear-mountain/) for $355 per ton delivered.
Propane was 1.85 this season with a prebuy, which I didn't do since I burned the pellet stove at night this year. I buy a hardwood pellet (pro pellet) that is 227/ton. I have also tried a softwood pellet that sells for 205/ton. The hardwood seems better quality, less ash and what not. Tons of hardwood VS softwood, to be honest I can't tell the difference.

My pellet usage might less, kinda estimating since this is my first full winter here with no vacation. As of now I am up to 3 ton burned and around 15% burned of propane of my 500 gal tank. I might get away with only 5 ton burned, future weather will tell.
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,141
Wisconsin Dells, WI
Propane was 1.85 this season with a prebuy, which I didn't do since I burned the pellet stove at night this year. I buy a hardwood pellet (pro pellet) that is 227/ton. I have also tried a softwood pellet that sells for 205/ton. The hardwood seems better quality, less ash and what not. Tons of hardwood VS softwood, to be honest I can't tell the difference.
My buddy is very anal when it comes to burning clean. He's tried all sorts of different ones and has settled on pretty much the most expensive pellet one can buy. ;lol I guess it burns really clean and he also uses less of them compared to the cheaper ones. He knows it would cost him less just to burn LP, but he refuses to use LP.

He's heating 1,428 sq ft. of living space and 1,100 sq ft. of garage space. He has two pellet stoves. He lives a bit closer to you in Crivitz, WI. Last year, by the end of February, he burned through about 3 tons. He has a newly constructed house which is very tight and well insulated.
 
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Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
My buddy is very anal when it comes to burning clean. He's tried all sorts of different ones and has settled on pretty much the most expensive pellet one can buy. ;lol I guess it burns really clean and he also uses less of them compared to the cheaper ones. He knows it would cost him less just to burn LP, but he refuses to use LP.

He's heating 1,428 sq ft. of living space and 1,100 sq ft. of garage space. He has two pellet stoves. He lives a bit closer to you in Crivitz, WI. Last year, by the end of February, he burned through about 3 tons. He has a newly constructed house which is very tight and well insulated.
That would make since, the less your cleaning the less junk is in the pellet, thus more btus availible. From the reviews I have heard they all say to stay away from the big box stores and youll be fine. To be honest the most I have never seen a ton of pellets around here is 300 a ton. I've done quite a bit of math and if it ever came close to burning lp cheaper I would do it in a heartbeat haha. My breakeven would be propane down to 1.20 or the pellet going up to 300 a ton at current lp prices.

I'm not really saving much burning the pellet stove, my calculations are around 500-700 a winter over propane.

I could see myself having a setup like yours when I am all said and done, I love keeping track of numbers and adjusting things to get the most efficiency out of my appliance. I literally have a half full notepad of this furnace purchase, return on investment time, how much I would save, things I have found on this forum, etc. My wife thinks I'm crazy sometimes
 

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,141
Wisconsin Dells, WI
To be honest the most I have never seen a ton of pellets around here is 300 a ton.
I believe his price included shipping for 6 or 7 tons in total.

My wife thinks I'm crazy sometimes
Same here, except include pretty much her whole family. ;lol Don't give two sheits though, that's their issue.

You may want to do it sooner than later as JRHAWK9 might file for a patent on his after market modifications.
;lol Although they may not all work for everyone.
 

Gbawol42

New Member
Dec 16, 2018
38
Saint Ignace, MI
Yours would be 1100 x 91,000 x (whatever the efficiency rating of your furnace is...80%? 95%?)
1100 x 91,000 x .80 = 80,080,000 BTUs
1100 x 91,000 x .95 = 95,095,000 BTUs
So yeah, you might have a bit more heat load than we do...
Feel free to check my math...its late...I'm tired...
Did some recon on my furnace, it's a tempstar dc90, made in 1999. Says the efficiency is 90%.

So for the sake of auguement lets say the water heater used 200 gal for the year:

800 x 91000 x 90% = 65,520,000 btu needed.
1000 x 91000 x 90% = 81,900,000 btu needed.

So I am probably between those numbers.
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,123
NE Ohio
Did some recon on my furnace, it's a tempstar dc90, made in 1999. Says the efficiency is 90%.

So for the sake of auguement lets say the water heater used 200 gal for the year:

800 x 91000 x 90% = 65,520,000 btu needed.
1000 x 91000 x 90% = 81,900,000 btu needed.

So I am probably between those numbers.
So what I get from this is, on a warmer year you have a similiar heat load to us, and the Tundra would for sure do a fine job most of the time. On a colder year, you may have to supplement the Tundra with 200 gallons of propain during the colder times...
 

Case1030

Member
Dec 12, 2017
185
Manitoba
In an ideal world you could buy the heatpro get good burn times in cold weather, also quicker recovery times after being away from the house.

In warmer weather when you need less of a heatlload that would be a PITA to fire up the heatpro furnace for short burns just use the pellet stove.

Or buy the tundra and use the pellet stove (in cold weather) to substitute extra heat to achieve your longer burn times if needed.

Ether way you would be able to heat on 90% cord wood while making life simple.