Decisions!

bloyet03 Posted By bloyet03, May 13, 2019 at 1:15 PM

  1. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    Apr 12, 2019
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    I've posted a similar thread in the stoves section with questions on the stoves. Admin, if this isn't allowed, feel free to take this down and let me know.

    My wife and I recently bought a new house, moved in in the past week, and we're on propane. I've grown up with a wood stove and had a quadra-fire explorer II in the previous house. Being on propane, I want to get back to heating with wood FAST. The house my wife and I moved into is a 1750 sqft (on the main level) ranch with high cathedral ceilings in the living room that is central. It currently has a vent-free propane fireplace that has non-functional valves from the best I can tell (not that I truly care). I'm wanting to do one of three things, either go back to a stove (or two because I would like to heat the basement and use it, additional 1200 sq ft with a second kitchen/bar), indoor wood furnace or outdoor wood boiler.

    The wood furnace idea i think is a bad one because the only way I could make the chimney work, is run it horizontal out the back of the house. Unless there is one that'll do this, its out for the most part.

    The wood stove option (preferred but not sure how it'll work for heating the basement), heating from the basement would net me what I want if I can get the chimney up (only route that really works is going to put me at 35 plus feet as its the peak of the cathedral). The second stove location I see as being where the gas fireplace is now but being vent-free, I'd have to install a "zero clearance" unit of some sort. I'd prefer to run a catalytic unit to increase burn times.

    The outdoor wood boiler option (second pick right now) is where I'm leaning but the cost is pushing me away along with the fact that when I travel the wife has to go outside to load the boiler. It is also reliant on power to work.

    So, my questions are, how bad is the OWB in terms of start up cost? Not including an extra add-ons right away like hot water, base board heaters to supplement the basement if needed, heaters for garage and possibly a heater in the barn that's to be built still or a water tank. Furnace has an output BTU rating of 110k btu, so including garage and able to heat the barn some, i'm thinking at least 150k if not 200k. What's recommended to look at and what type of burn times am I looking at?

    Then wood furnace, is there anything out there that will do a horizontal run on the chimney?
     
  2. NateB

    NateB
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    Mar 5, 2013
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    What is your current heating system? (hot water, forced air, electric)
    Do you have wood cut split and stacked for next year?
    How soon will the garage be built?
    Horizontal is a bad idea.
     
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  3. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    Forced Air, appears that it is a high efficiency unit. (PVC exhaust, sealed burners but is older)
     
  4. NateB

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    have you looked at a wood furnace. (Kuma or something like that)
     
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  5. maple1

    maple1
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    If you can go up with a stove chimney, why can't you go up for a furnace chimney?
     
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  6. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    As was mentioned, what kind of central heating system would an OWB be tieing into?
    That affects cost of installation somewhat.
    I often hear wives mention they don't mind loading a boiler outside if it keeps the mess outside, but I realize that's personal preference, everyone is different.
     
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  7. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    Yes, where I can tie into the ductwork, I'd have to run a horizontal chimney, and not very easily.
     
  8. maple1

    maple1
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    Your existing ductwork might not be adequate for a wood furnace. Have you checked that aspect out? A furnace where a chimney can go then a bit of new ductwork might be a solution.
     
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  9. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    Using the Kuma as an example, 200 square inches (drawing off memory from the website) of ductwork would not be easily run to the existing ductwork to get the unit where I could get the stack up and out of the house short of having it in an unsightly location (center front of the house).

    The layout of the house makes creating a chase a difficult task to accomplish and make it still look nice. I really only have one option and then the back of the house is so busy, its hard to run a chimney out that way but slightly doable if a horizontal chimney is doable. This is why a big stove in the basement and OWB are the two options I'm considering.
     
  10. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    Its a arcoaire rpj heat exchanger furnace with the A-Coil on top of that.
     
  11. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    When you say it may not be adequate for a wood furnace, how do you mean? If you're talking large enough, its well over the 200 sq in mentioned.
     
  12. NateB

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    Is it possible to run the chimney up through the house? This is the best option in many cases, because you can minimize horizontal runs.
     
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  13. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    Only one location that would work out due to upstairs floor plan combined with the way the concrete walls are downstairs. This location doesn't make for a good location to get ducting over. There's a structural beam in the way that would make it a huge challenge.
     
  14. maple1

    maple1
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    I was meaning, type of material and clearances.
     
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  15. bloyet03

    bloyet03
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    Its sheet metal, clearances, I'm not sure what's required but I'd have to look into it. I'd rather not have to change that all out. That'd push me harder away from it and towards the stoves or OWB.

    Does anyone know of any good references to figuring out what it takes or if its even possible to install a water coil in the furnace plenum?
     
  16. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    How long is the horizontal run to the chimney? Many basement chimney connections have a bit of horizontal...I have about a 4' run that is only about 1" rise per foot of run...then runs another 6' with about 2" rise per ft...works fine.
     
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  17. E Yoder

    E Yoder
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    As far as installing a water coil goes, it's not difficult at all. Some pictures would help get an idea where to fit it in.
     
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  18. maple1

    maple1
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    From what you have posted, I think I would fully investigate all wood stove options, and give up on an OWB.

    One of the factors you mentioned was power outage situations. Another was wife not wanting to go outside & tend an OWB. Also hinted at cost considerations - have you estimated OWB options? Good underground piping alone is $10-15/foot, for starters, I would suspect you'd be looking at $15k minimum budget. And you would need to give full consideration to the demands an OWB would bring - you need to keep the fire going 24/7 all winter, for as many winters as you have it, and you need to put wood up for it the rest of the year. Which is usually quite a bit more wood than a wood stove would need. That's OK for some, but is not fully appreciated by others when planning this stuff.

    Any more detailed suggestions would likely need lots of pics posted of your current situation/layout.
     
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  19. SpaceBus

    SpaceBus
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    What's your budget, if you don't mind? Maple1 is absolutely right, OWB, or any wood boiler, will have a very high initial expense. Older style wood boilers are also dirty and I doubt your wife wants your property to smell like a camp fire. If you can put a stove in your basement, then you can probably put a boiler in your basement. Newer gasification boilers are expensive, but with storage most folks on here only burn it once a day or so. They burn very clean and can heat massive spaces. What is your upstairs floor plan like?
     
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