Looking at new wood furnaces!!!

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Northern farmer

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
6
Northern Alberta
Hi everyone...new to the forum..just signed up after lots of reading. So I'm looking after my dad's house now, and it's time to upgrade the furnace. As of right now we are running the same oil burner that was in the house since 74. In thev80s my dad put in a wood furnace beside the oil burner and combined the 2. The oil furnace fan ran both furnaces. Since then the wood furnace has burnt out and oil is getting really expensive alone. I originally had been looking at Napoleans hybrid furnaces but it appears they are out of the game now. Seems like the caddy is a pretty good furnace. The house is 1200 sqft...could stand to be better insulated..only 2x4 walls...plain windows. My question is would this be a good way to go...or is it better to have to separate furnaces?

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yooperdave

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2010
1,220
Michigan's U.P.
Welcome aboard.

Just a quick word of warning.......stand by for comments regarding the two appliances vented into the same stack! Rough seas ahead!

Too bad you're so far away, I've got a wood furnace for sale,,,,,great shape. (I'm upgrading)
 

Northern farmer

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
6
Northern Alberta
Welcome aboard.

Just a quick word of warning.......stand by for comments regarding the two appliances vented into the same stack! Rough seas ahead!

Too bad you're so far away, I've got a wood furnace for sale,,,,,great shape. (I'm upgrading)
Thanks. I will say right now.. there are a lot of things that were not done right .. some I know of... some I dont... I even just noticed the damper for the wood burner isnt there anymore...
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,795
Northern Canada
Two in one was ok till they changed codes.
My boiler building has both wood and oil into one 8" chimmany. Was still legal when i built it 13 years ago,zero issues.
 
I have the drolet heat commander and it was world of difference for me compared to my old 90s wood stove it replaced. Nice even heat through the whole house and it manages the heat for you too, which was one of the reasons I got it because the gf never liked to manage the wood stove when I wasn’t home. But if money is no price I’d go with the kuuma it seems to be the best on the market.
 
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yooperdave

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2010
1,220
Michigan's U.P.
Two in one was ok till they changed codes.
My boiler building has both wood and oil into one 8" chimmany. Was still legal when i built it 13 years ago,zero issues.
I agree completely. But there are those code book thumping members just waiting to pounce! 🤣

I also have (in the past) wood and gas furnace to common chimney; wood and oil furnace to common chimney. And again, with absolutely zero issues!
 

Northern farmer

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
6
Northern Alberta
I have the drolet heat commander and it was world of difference for me compared to my old 90s wood stove it replaced. Nice even heat through the whole house and it manages the heat for you too, which was one of the reasons I got it because the gf never liked to manage the wood stove when I wasn’t home. But if money is no price I’d go with the kuuma it seems to be the best on the market.
The old wood furnace could not regulate the temp very good I recall. If dad put one or 2 blocks to many it was so hot in the house you could barely stand it.. even shut down it was to much fire, and the fan had to run constantly until it died down to coals.
 

LogCabinFever

New Member
May 24, 2021
38
CT, USA
It seems you are in a similar boat as I am.

I’ve done quite a bit of thinking and researching over the last year and this is my conclusion:

My current setup is an old propane furnace and old wood furnace connected in parallel. I’d like to update both while simplifying the setup and making more room. Little different than you but not much.

Several options for you.

Option 1: two separate furnaces. A wood furnace and backup oil/propane/heat pump furnace hooked up in series (I think parallel is not approved in Canada but not totally sure on that. Others will confirm this). This is probably the most efficient setup but also the most expensive and takes up the most room in the house. It’s your decision if you want to change the type of backup fuel. By code here in the States, I believe oil and wood cannot share the same flue. Wood and propane can.

Option 2: Single combination unit: Wood &oil/propane. This is probably slightly less efficient, but is by far cheaper and a better use of space. To my knowledge only one exists that is for sale new under current EPA regulations, the Wood Gun Super E210. However, it’s a boiler, not forced air. Supposedly, SBI is working on a combination unit with its Caddy Advanced CR (Combo Ready) due out later this year at the earliest. This unit combines wood with either electric, oil, or perhaps propane backup.

If you opt for Option 1, you have three choices: Kuuma Vapor Fire, Drolet Heat Commander, and Caddy Advanced. The Kuuma is the most proven because it has the longest track record, being out for the longest. However, all three are good. Then your back up furnace options are essentially endless.

If you opt for Option 2, you could switch your setup to a boiler, to accommodate the Wood Gun combo setup with a heat exchanger for your forced air system. Or wait it out and see if the Caddy comes through with its combo unit. Personally, I think Caddy has great potential and until I change my mind, that’s what I intend to do. But no one really knows if or when the Advanced CR is actually coming this year. This past year has been pretty rough on Canada.

Long answer but that’s my two cents.
 

Northern farmer

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
6
Northern Alberta
Since you say wood and oil can not share the same flue anymore... I think a wood and propane furnace might be the way to go...and since propane furnaces can be changed over to gas most times it makes more sense since gas is pretty cheap here still even now.....its the hook up cost thats high... around 10 grand. Im not sure if anyone makes a wood combo proane furnace ?
 

hedge wood

Feeling the Heat
Mar 1, 2009
300
Eastern NE
Another option if you go to LP or Natural is to install a 90 plus furnace and vent that with plastic pipe and use the other chimney for your wood furnace. I had to do just that for a guy that was selling a house a couple years ago that had a wood and propane furnace venting into the same chimney and wouldn't pass a home inspection to sell the house. We ended up updating the AC unit also so the new home owner will be set for years.
 
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LogCabinFever

New Member
May 24, 2021
38
CT, USA
Since you say wood and oil can not share the same flue anymore... I think a wood and propane furnace might be the way to go...and since propane furnaces can be changed over to gas most times it makes more sense since gas is pretty cheap here still even now.....its the hook up cost thats high... around 10 grand. Im not sure if anyone makes a wood combo proane furnace ?

Only the Wood Gun like I said. But it’s a boiler. Otherwise it’s a waiting game for the Caddy Advanced CR.
 

Wood1Dennis

Burning Hunk
Jan 17, 2016
154
Eastern Wisconsin
Would venting a gas furnace be as easy as running pipe out the side of the house ?
I think all modern high efficiency gas furnaces vent with plastic pipe. Mine vents out the side of the house through the basement sill. I have my Caddy downstream from a Rheem LP furnace. Like your old set-up the LP furnace fan is used to circulate the air through the Caddy. Two separate thermostats. The system works great and I am very happy with the Caddy furnace, this is my 6th season with it, 2016 vintage.