New furnace help

Stihlfarmhouse91 Posted By Stihlfarmhouse91, Apr 28, 2019 at 5:43 PM

  1. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    Apr 28, 2019
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    hey everyone. So I know this horse is kinda dead but I’m gonna beat a little as well. (I’ve searched and could use a little more info) couple years ago I bought a foreclosed home and it had a fully ducted logwood (cof22) from marathon heater company. It ran okay so I went with it for the last two winters. Now, on top of being a wood eating son of a gun, this winter from the last owners not cleaning out ashes two shakers broke and the ash pan door is so warped you can’t put enough gasket in it to close the gap. Needless to say it’s time for a new furnace. I’ve been eyeballing some from Drolet, hy-c and a few others. Need to stay around 120k btu as my home is a 1800sq ft 1850 farm house with not so good insulation. Currently burning ~40 face per year. As I get logs delivered and process by myself more efficient would be greatly appreciative, which wouldn’t be hard being there is no baffle dust a manual damper on the bottom and a thermostatically controlled damper on the ash pan. Enough rambling let me know what y’all think. Any help would be awesome.
     
  2. 3fordasho

    3fordasho
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    The old school wood furnaces (like you have now) are no longer available. Out of the choices available right now - I would RUN, not walk from anything branded hy-c (shelter and fire chief), Ashley, USSC, Hot Blast, anything available at Tractor Supply.

    Menards has a few good choices, The Drolet Tundra II or Drolet Heatpro. Anything else there is junk. Beyond that there is the upscale versions of the Drolet's - Caddy and Max Caddy.
    If you want the best there is available in the US market there is the Kuuma VF100.
     
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  3. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    Apr 28, 2019
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    Good to know. The heat pro has my interest I just can’t get past the btu output from such a big furnace. 66k btu seems like a understatement from the 400k input it can handle so I was a bit frazzled. I’ve always been a hearthstone stove burner so these furnaces are relatively new to my experience
     
  4. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Yes, stay away from HY-C and all the others that 3fordasho mentioned...my suggestion would be the Heatpro or Max Caddy (basically the same unit) or Kuuma.
    And don't get too hung up on the numbers they print in their sales brochures...those numbers can be twisted to say all kinds of stuff that just makes wood furnace shopping more confusing...bottom line is the furnaces mentioned will heat your house...and save you a ton of wood to boot!
     
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  5. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    Hey as long as they keep my family warm I’m up for anything good. Now I’m just trying to see what the difference between the Drolet and caddy are. I’ve heard they had some cracking issues a while ago but don’t know if they fixed it. Have a feeling one of these will be my choice. And if I can can keep consumption under 40 face a year I’ll be happier than I am now. I wish I could get parts for my logwood. But I figure it’s been down there for over 20 years so must be time to retire it.
     
  6. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    That was the Tundra/Heatmax...the Heatpro came along a bit later and never had any issues that I've heard of.
    I would think you can easily cut your current wood consumption in half
     
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  7. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    10-4 on that. Even if it goes down by 10 face cord I’ll tale it as a win. Will give me a shot at getting ahead on really getting my firewood seasoned longer. If I can get the wood off the log before it needs to be burnt that would be nice haha.
     
  8. 3fordasho

    3fordasho
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    The btu ratings on wood heaters have been all over the place and many times a sales pitch from marketing departments (ie you can't trust them)
    Some are getting better and my take on the 400k input for a heat pro is that is the total amount of btus available in a full load of wood in the heatpro's 4.9 cu ft firebox. 4.9 cu ft x 15lbs wood per cuft x 6k btu available per lb of wood = 441,000 btu available per load of wood. Now the typical burn cycle in a furnace this large is 8 hrs so divide the 441,000 btu by 8 hrs and you have an average output over that 8 hrs of 55k btu per hour. With wood heat the output will be highest during .75 hr into the burn cycle through 3 hrs in and then taper off. My numbers are off the cuff and I'm not factoring in some efficiency factors but you get the jist.

    I'm heating 3400 sqft in Minnesota with the smaller tundra and it will handle the load approximately 90% of the heating season. Hard to compare on just square footage and it sounds like my insulation and air sealing might be better then what you're working with.

    I'm not sure where your are getting the 120k furnace rating from but maybe the rating from a gas or oil furnace? If so keep in mind those were sized to only run about 50% of the time so the actual output per hour is half that 120k. With wood heat there is no off once the load is fired up. The propane FA furnace in my place is also rated at 120K input.

    Like brenndatomu mentioned I would second the recommendation of Heatpro, Max caddy or VF100.
     
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  9. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Dry wood...that is something you need to get on now...none of the new furnaces run well on wet wood...needs to be 20% MC or lower.
    Get you hands on some dead Ash, Boxelder, Silver Maple, and others...get it cut/split/stacked (CSS) now and you may be OK for the 2019/2020 winter. Stack in a sunny/breezy spot to accelerate drying even more...and top cover it to keep things drying 24/7 all summer long (don't have to evaporate rain moisture every few days)
    If you have access to slabwood, that drys pretty fast too...and the newer furnaces will burn it better than your Logwood would...probably last about 20 minutes in that monster.
    Stay away from trying to burn 1 year CSS Oak the first winter...it wont do well...even 2 years is not enough...3 or more is best.
     
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  10. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    The 120k btu is what the spec sheet says for the logwood so I was using that for a reference point. And yeah I was gonna throw down some extra on some season wood this year. The only good thing about my logs I get is 80 percent of the loads are ash. The bad the damn furnace doesn’t let me get ahead with the pile unless I quit my job and cut wood full time. I am planning on making myself a lean-to for 30-40 face worth of wood so that will definitely help getting ahead on seasoned firewood. Slab wood is pretty common around here because the Amish have a lot of saw mills around and they pretty much throw it at you if you drive by with a dump trailer.
     
  11. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    ;lol
     
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  12. maple1

    maple1
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    Was going to reply to the other thread, but this one has more replies in it so will here.

    You shouldn't need near as much wood, with a better new furnace, going forward. So that's one plus of having a hard time getting ahead now.

    Something else to consider might revolve around what you have there now for another heat source? What would that be? Wood furnace can't be the only source - is it?
     
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  13. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    All I have now is the logwood. I was considering putting a lp furnace in and doing a conventional stove upstairs(since thats my forte) but I dunno what the best option is.
     
  14. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    I would first get your primary automatic, thermostatic, traditional heat source fully functional. Then we can sort out the wood heat system.

    Even just a bunch of electric baseboard or wall heaters. Enough to keep the house warm and safe with no effort regardless of fuel cost.
     
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  15. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    I just don’t wanna have to get a second part time job to pay for my propane or electric bill haha. Hence why I’ve always been around wood heat. It’s not a fun thing for me to heat with wood. It’s more or less a cost thing. The only way I could run a secondary heat source is if I ran it in parallel with wood.
     
  16. maple1

    maple1
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    Not sure your exact climate but you could consider mini-split heat pumps. They will do a/c too if that's a factor.

    Dont think you can even get insurance around here without a primary non-wood heat source.
     
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  17. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    I have actually been looking at some mini splits haven’t ever had experience with heat pumps don’t know how they work really or how much they will abuse my wallet. Worth looking into. And trust me guys I’m not brushing off your ideas. I definitely don’t like getting up at 3 am to feed the fire and if I don’t its freezing if I don’t. I just need I stay economical cause if poor had a family portrait I’d be in it lol.
     
  18. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    I think out of any alternative source either oil or lp gas would be my way to go. Cheapest btu besides firewood or pellet stove.
     
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    You’re not going to use the electric heat unless you are ill, out of wood, incarcerated, or otherwise unable to burn. That’s why fuel cost doesn’t matter but having automatic heat is a must.

    Here is a photo of one of my little wall heaters right now. I have only turned on the breakers once to test them in the last decade. 240 volt, 20 amp breaker, a regular 12/2 wire for each one. These pull 2000 watts each and only cost like 150$.

    We are 100% wood heat for several reasons. Both stoves are currently hot and it’s 63 and sunny out!
     

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  20. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    10-4 on that. I’ll have to look at my options for other sources
     
  21. PassionForFire&Water

    PassionForFire&Water
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    Another pathway would be to use a pellet boiler or cord wood gasifier, heat a thermal storage with it, then go from the thermal storage via a booster coil or air handler into your duct work.
    You will receive around $16,000 in rebates from NYSERDA.
    Much more efficient system, no labor if you go for wood pellets
    1,800 SF home should not require 120,000 BTU/hr
     
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  22. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    So pretty much go from my heat source to a “hot water tank” then to a exchanger in my plentum. So it’s like an indoor tore down owb.
     
  23. woodey

    woodey
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    The NYSERDA program also allows up to $2500.00 towards purchase and installation of pellet stoves if you meet all the criteria.
     
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  24. Stihlfarmhouse91

    Stihlfarmhouse91
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    I did see that when I was looking at some Harman p series. Was thinking of doing a pellet/ wood system since the furnace is a little much during the twilight temperatures
     
  25. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu
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    Wood furnace for the cold months, wood stove upstairs for the warmer Winter months...works great for us.
     
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