Help! Need replacement system for my Newmac oil/wood combination furnace

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New Member
Dec 10, 2023
Randolph, Vermont
I am heart-broken because the heat exchanger on my Newmac wood/oil combination furnace cracked and cannot, as far as I understand, be replaced or fixed. I am completely freaked out to learn that I cannot replace my Newmac with another wood/oil furnance due to state and federal regulations, and I now need to design a whole new system.

My house is a 1,500 square foot cape circa 1952 and has air ducts and a chimney sized to accomodate my Newmac. With the Newmac I mostly burned wood to heat my house (about 3.5 cords a year) and I used very little oil as my backup (about 15 gallons a month). I live in central Vermont. I was *extremely happy* with this set-up.

Going forward, I want my primary souce of heat to be wood. As for my backup heat, I am open to all ideas. I have a nice oil tank in the basement, so oil would be fine but would also consider a heat pump *so long as* the heat pump does not require a bunch of ugly pipes on the outside of the house. I am under the impression that I can install both a wood furnace (like a Drolet or Caddy) and connect (or "marry") an oil furnance to it, but I am very confused on this point.

I would be very, very grateful for any advice you have on what I should do.

I ordered a Caddy Advanced with ECM motor last week (in 2023). I paid $4,400 and will, as I understand it, get a tax credit of $1,144 (26% of the purchase price). It's supposedly being delivered in 10 days and installed by my oil company (I am hoping for the best). I have to figure out a backup heat source ASAP. I am leaning towards propane which can be directly vented outside. I cannot seem to find a competent contractor to take the lead on this project, so I'm making these decisions on my own. 😁
Unfortunately, when it comes to doing anything outside of "normal" (ie wood heat) contractors are clueless and just plain don't care to be bothered with anything new/different.
Good luck with the install...hopefully the tech that comes out at least gives a rip about his workmanship...