Looking into a new wood furnace.

Mitchum Posted By Mitchum, Feb 9, 2019 at 8:31 PM

  1. Mitchum

    Mitchum
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 9, 2019
    2
    1
    Loc:
    Yorkshire, OH
    I'm new here, so bear with me on posting. I'm looking into getting a new wood furnace. I bought the house that I live in during the Summer, so burning wood for heat is a relatively new thing to me. I've scoured the internet for knowledge for the past 6 months or so and have learned a lot. i also realize that there is a lot more to learn.
    I currently heat with wood on a Clayton 1600m that has seen better days. She still burns well enough to get the job done, but I would like something more efficient and built better. The previous owner told me that he went through about 9 cord a year, and he wasn't lying. The setup is a 2 story farm house about 1700-1800 sq ft. with the furnace in the basement. The chimney is approximately 20-25 ft. without using a tape, and is block with a terracotta/clay tile liner. I burn primarily ash, hickory, walnut, maple and oak.
    Now getting to the heart of the matter. After a lot of research I've narrowed it down to a select few furnaces. It's between the Kuuma Vaporfire 100 and the PSG Max Caddy. My house is quite a bit of a fixer upper currently, but will be buttoned up with new windows before the purchase. I plan on making this my long time home, so that is the reason for the higher end options.
    I want the best wood furnace which I consider the Kumma to be, but I also like the secondary electric heater on the Max Caddy in case my memory slips and I forget to load it up before bed.
    I welcome any advise that all of the experts on here have for me.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    JRHAWK9 likes this.
  2. JRHAWK9

    JRHAWK9
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 8, 2014
    1,076
    687
    Loc:
    Wisconsin Dells, WI
    Looks like you are barking up the correct tree, IMO. Back when I was deciding, it was between the Caddy and Kuuma. My only concern would be if the VF100 would have enough fire power, as I'm pretty sure the Max Caddy is capable of more peak output.

    Do you have any fossil fuel records you can look back at to see what your heat load is like?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Mitchum

    Mitchum
    New Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Feb 9, 2019
    2
    1
    Loc:
    Yorkshire, OH
    The house used to have an oil burner like over 10 years ago, but since then the previous occupants heated with wood exclusively. That is one of my concerns, being that if the fire goes out it gets cold.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. DoubleB

    DoubleB
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Mar 4, 2014
    654
    259
    Loc:
    NE Wisconsin
    You're on the right track to want a 2nd heat source that is adequate for the house. Most insurance companies require an automated heat source other than wood for when you're gone on vacation. Or when you have arm surgery and your house is 100% on the LP furnace for a few weeks like I did. Or, since you'renew to burning wood, there's a chance the appeal of wood will wear off as life moves on, and you wouldn't want to find yourself trying to heat 100% with electric in Ohio. So I'd suggest you seek an economically viable and efficient source of heat like nat gas or LP (yea, like most regular people that we know.)

    So in addition to your options, you might consider an LP/nat gas furnace in your basement that side-vents out of the house without requiring a chimney flue. Between (Max Caddy + LP furnace), (Max Caddy w/ electric heat), and (Kuuma + LP furnace), you might find that the lower upfront cost of Max Caddy with electric is not worth the long-term benefit of better backup.

    Especially because having real backup might let you use a smaller/less expensive wood furnace.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. laynes69

    laynes69
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Oct 2, 2006
    2,415
    349
    Loc:
    Ashland OH
    While an all in one option sounds appealing, I would opt for a high efficiency furnace and a separate woodfurnace. Either both installed in series or parallel. That way you get the best of both worlds. We have a 90% LP furnace, and a Caddy. Around here, we pay about 12 cents per KWH, and the LP in the tank we purchased was .99 a gallon. Purchasing an LP tank allowed us to shop at our convenience without any hidden fees. Depending on how tight you make your home, you may find the Caddy to be enough, but for sure the Max Caddy would handle just about anything with that footage. Don't forget, a modern woodfurnace requires well seasoned hardwood and a 6" stainless liner or appropriately sized chimney.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
    Minister of Fire 2.
    NULL
    

    Aug 21, 2013
    3,796
    1,332
    Loc:
    NE Ohio
    A Max Caddy with backup electric is gonna be as much as, probably more than a Kuuma...at that point I'm doing just what these guys have already mentioned...add a stand alone fossil fuel furnace.
    Backup heat here is fuel oil...
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. Wood1Dennis

    Wood1Dennis
    Member 2.
    NULL
    

    Jan 17, 2016
    80
    74
    Loc:
    Eastern Wisconsin
    This is how we do it. We have a Caddy wood furnace with an LP furnace backup, connected in series. The LP fan is used with the wood furnace. The high efficiency LP furnace is ducted out the side of the house so the flu can be used for the woodburner.

    I grew up in a house with a wood furnace with electric backup that my folks built in the 80s., It was a great system as long as you never go away and have to run the expensive electric heat. In my place I don't ever want the LP to run, but when we go on vacation, or even take off for a weekend, it really is not all that expensive to let the LP furnace take over.

    Also worth considering is what happens if you decide you don't want to, or can't heat with wood any longer. If you had an 'all in one' it probably is a lot tougher to put in the LP in later.

    One last thing, out house is 1700 square feet and the Caddy is just the right size. The house is only a couple of years old and pretty efficient so it is likely more efficient than an old farmhouse. You are probably on the right track looking at the Max.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...

Share This Page