Choosing an add-on furnace

Andy_

New Member
Mar 31, 2019
2
Ohio
I have 3400 sq ft heated by two heat pumps / electric furnaces. This was our first winter in the house and we had electric bills as high as $610 with the thermostats set at 66F. We're in the woods and have lots of fallen trees and standing dead trees so next winter I want to add some wood heat. My plan is to install an add-on wood furnace in the basement to heat one side of the house (~2000 sq ft). There is a fireplace in the basement so I can use the existing chimney.

I'm trying to decide what to buy. I went to Tractor Supply and Menards and looked at the Hotblast 1551 and the Shelter SF1000. The sticker price on each is $1400, but Menards always has the 11% rebate ($1246) and TSC is willing to take off $200 ($1200).

The SF1000 has a smaller firebox (4 cu. ft. vs 5.2 cu. ft.) but moves more air (1500 CFM vs 1100 CFM). Reading the forums, I see complaints about the draft blower on the SF1000, and complaints about the automatic damper control on the 1551.

Can anybody recommend one over the other, or suggest another option in a similar price range? Thanks in advance for any input.
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
811
South Central Minnesota
I have 3400 sq ft heated by two heat pumps / electric furnaces. This was our first winter in the house and we had electric bills as high as $610 with the thermostats set at 66F. We're in the woods and have lots of fallen trees and standing dead trees so next winter I want to add some wood heat. My plan is to install an add-on wood furnace in the basement to heat one side of the house (~2000 sq ft). There is a fireplace in the basement so I can use the existing chimney.

I'm trying to decide what to buy. I went to Tractor Supply and Menards and looked at the Hotblast 1551 and the Shelter SF1000. The sticker price on each is $1400, but Menards always has the 11% rebate ($1246) and TSC is willing to take off $200 ($1200).

The SF1000 has a smaller firebox (4 cu. ft. vs 5.2 cu. ft.) but moves more air (1500 CFM vs 1100 CFM). Reading the forums, I see complaints about the draft blower on the SF1000, and complaints about the automatic damper control on the 1551.

Can anybody recommend one over the other, or suggest another option in a similar price range? Thanks in advance for any input.

To me the Shelter and hotblast units are only worth scrap metal value. As mentioned the only ones worth considering at Menards are the Tundra II or Heatpro. Unfortunately it appears there was just a price increase on both, but there is always the 11% off. I have not seen anything I'd buy at TSC in the way of a wood furnace.
 
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Andy_

New Member
Mar 31, 2019
2
Ohio
Well I'm glad I asked. Thanks sloeffle and 3fordasho, I will take a look at the Drolet units.

Any other recommendations in that price range not available from big box stores would be appreciated too. Thanks!
 

sloeffle

Minister of Fire
Mar 1, 2012
555
Central Ohio
Well I'm glad I asked. Thanks sloeffle and 3fordasho, I will take a look at the Drolet units.

Any other recommendations in that price range not available from big box stores would be appreciated too. Thanks!
The only other wood furnaces I would recommend are the Kuuma and the Caddy by PSG. They however are in a higher price range. IMHO - the Tundra and Heatpro are probably your best bang for the dollar for a new furnace.

I see that you are in Ohio, maybe @brenndatomu knows someone that has a used Kuuma or Caddy for sale. He seems to always be scoring good deals on stuff.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,127
NE Ohio
The only other wood furnaces I would recommend are the Kuuma and the Caddy by PSG. They however are in a higher price range. IMHO - the Tundra and Heatpro are probably your best bang for the dollar for a new furnace.

I see that you are in Ohio, maybe @brenndatomu knows someone that has a used Kuuma or Caddy for sale. He seems to always be scoring good deals on stuff.
I gotta agree with these guys...don't walk, RUN from anything by Shelter/Firechief right now!
The Tundra II or Heatpro will be your best bang for the buck right now...really nothing else out there in that price range that I would even consider anymore.
I haven't seen any deals on used Caddy or Kuuma lately...you almost have to have an alert set up on your phone for when this stuff comes up, if you don't call right away, it is gone! That said, I do still have my old Tundra 1 that I need to sell...if you wanted a cheap used one. It does have the typical cracks (no effect on the way it works) but that will be repaired before sale. It comes with all the really sweet high performance (automation) mods already done.
Oh, and get that wood cut now! If you have dead dry stuff, it might be usable this next winter, if you CSS it right now! If you don't have DRY wood you will not be happy with any wood furnace you get. The best plan is to cut enough right off the bat to supply for 3 years...almost any wood will be ready to burn after 3 years CSS, if it is top covered...maybe a bit less if it is in a sunny/breezy spot...depending on species.
FYI, it sounds to me like 12-15 cords would probably be a 3 year supply for you (128 CF...a real cord)
Once you have your 3 year supply, you only have to replenish what you burn each year to keep up...works out well if you have a year where you can't cut much for some reason (health, time, etc.)
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,127
NE Ohio
I see that you are in Ohio, maybe @brenndatomu knows someone that has a used Kuuma or Caddy for sale. He seems to always be scoring good deals on stuff.
FYI, there is a brand new uninstalled Caddy with blower on Facebook marketplace for $3k...in Delaware Ohio...just messaged the guy, he said still available.
I'd do a link but they seem to be blocked here when from FB marketplace...
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
4,127
NE Ohio
What about Englander 28-4000 add on wood furnace?

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They are OK, if you don't mind a manually controlled firebox, basically just the NC30 stove with a jacket around it and a bigger blower on the back.
 

JDJanitor

New Member
Aug 27, 2019
2
06377
I put one in last year, it does a pretty good job. The manual control does not bother me, but the thermostat short cycles the blower sometimes. It doesnt seem to matter how i adjust it.
Other than that its a solid stove.

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