newmac wood furnace troubles

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jrendfrey

Member
Jan 15, 2012
124
green mtns vt
ok first id like to say what a awesome wood burners forum. lots n lots of good info on here!! i have been burning wood for six winters now, learned alot since that first year. i recently bought a house was built in early 70s has a huge chimney from the basement straight up and out connected downstairs is a newmac woodfurnace dont know the year but its old and missing the thermostatically controlled draft fan on the front. there is a 3" opening on the bottom i use to let air in and not smother the fire. now i know i need the draft fan but i have gone through proably 5 cords of wood so far this year and its on febuary. so my question is will this unti perform better with the fan? more efficiant? or should i steer clear from newmac and pick up a englander wood furnace or another brand?? any info u guys can give me will be very helpful as i am hoping to have some wood left over. all wood has been css for 1 year its hard and soft maple thats allwe got arpund here. also house is insulated probaby not as well as it could have been but o well. agian thanks in advance
 

Singed Eyebrows

Minister of Fire
Jan 22, 2009
1,439
Midwest
jrendfrey said:
ok first id like to say what a awesome wood burners forum. lots n lots of good info on here!! i have been burning wood for six winters now, learned alot since that first year. i recently bought a house was built in early 70s has a huge chimney from the basement straight up and out connected downstairs is a newmac woodfurnace dont know the year but its old and missing the thermostatically controlled draft fan on the front. there is a 3" opening on the bottom i use to let air in and not smother the fire. now i know i need the draft fan but i have gone through proably 5 cords of wood so far this year and its on febuary. so my question is will this unti perform better with the fan? more efficiant? or should i steer clear from newmac and pick up a englander wood furnace or another brand?? any info u guys can give me will be very helpful as i am hoping to have some wood left over. all wood has been css for 1 year its hard and soft maple thats allwe got arpund here. also house is insulated probaby not as well as it could have been but o well. agian thanks in advance
Hi, Welcome to Hearth, I would put the draft fan in that furnace provided the metal isn't thin/rotted out. This looks to be a high quality unit & it will burn hotter & cleaner with the fan. Can you load some pictures of it? Randy
 

heaterman

Minister of Fire
Oct 16, 2007
3,374
Falmouth, Michigan

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,671
Ashland OH
5 cords seem high, but not knowing anything about the home or climate it's tough to tell. Depending on the call for heat, the forced draft may use more wood. There are quite a few wood furnaces on the market now that are very efficient. Depending on your chimney setup, they could require a lining. You could buy a blower if the furnace is in good shape to see what happens. If your not happy and the furnace is in decent condition, you could sell it and upgrade. What size is your home, and chimney in height and flue size?
 

jrendfrey

Member
Jan 15, 2012
124
green mtns vt
hey thanks for your guys replies well i live in northern vt above 2000 ft its quite chilly here in the winter lots of snow usually this winter has been an exception. the chimny is roughly 27 ft the exhaust on the furnace is 8 inch then reduces to 7 into the chimney is 8x8 i believe. i thought the same thing about the fan it would burn hotter n use more wood? any way can you guys recommend a furnace that will heat about 1800 sq ft i have seen a couple @ tractor supply but dont want any junk. not sure if any of you guys have expeirence with any furnaces but some recommendations would be great. efficiancy would be great but i only want to spend about 1000~1800 thanks for your response in advance u guys are awesome
 

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,671
Ashland OH
I don't think you will find a upper end model for 1800. They range from around 2800-4500. We heated with a furnace from tractor supply that lasted 25 years before we retired it. I ended up getting a EPA certified model and wouldn't go back. For your budget, Englander makes a decent furnace that I think is better than something from tractor supply. Also having the glass is nice. What kind of burn times are you seeing from your Newmac? If your furnace is in good shape, I would save for a year or two and upgrade to something more efficient.
 

jrendfrey

Member
Jan 15, 2012
124
green mtns vt
hey thanks for your reply i am getting probably a 4 hour burn time out of the furnace to be able to restart from coals maybe too much draft? the thing is nicknamed the incinerator lol it just eats right through it, maybe i should wait another year and spend the money on a epa certified one. what kind of burn times are you getting with your furnace? i have seen a couple englanders on the net and there not all that pricey just wondering if i should steer clear of englander or pick one up? just dont want to make the wrong decision.
 

dave_dj1

Member
Feb 7, 2012
23
Eastern NY
Not sure what model New Mac you have but there should be a sliding draft control on the top front, right beside where the induction blower should be. I would experiment with that , maybe close it off a little after you get the fire going good. Do you have a damper in the stove pipe? Is there a way for you to shut down the bottom draft so it's not running wide open. You should get way more than 4 hrs burn time. (My opinion)
You can download the manual for Newmac on the internet. The one I had was a 100G, it had coal grates.
good luck and be safe!
dave

http://newmacfurnaces.com/attachments/article/89/2210058WBWGENG020110.pdf
 

Nickolai

Member
Nov 16, 2007
102
Western Ontario
I heated with a Newmac furnace for the last 4 years or so. Bought it new as the old new mac had been in the house since it was built in 78. The new one had a draft motor as well as a slide control above it as mentioned earlier by someone else.

One thing I learned was that there was quite a bit of tweaking involved between the draft control and the usage of the motor. In the end I found that the motor was great for getting fires started initially, especially on cold starts. But most of the time I would turn it off altogether once I had a good fire rolling, otherwise you're losing most of your heat out of the draft instead of into the coil and eventually throughout the house.

I could get about 6 hours burn time on a fully loaded box, that is without the draft motor on. I'd say if your Newmac is still in good condition and doesn't have any holes or corrosion, stick with it. I wouldn't bother with the draft motor unless you have difficulty keeping fires going or starting them. But as someone said on this forum earlier, the new macs will burn wet marshmallows, shouldn't be an issue.

I heat with an epa stove now, but if I had the option, I'd go back to a newmac in a heartbeat.
 

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,671
Ashland OH
Last night was colder than it has been here lately. I loaded our furnace at 9:30 last night let it rage for about 20-25 minutes then closed the damper, thermostat set for 72*. I woke this morning at 7:30am and the house was 69* with a decent coal bed. The temperature was 10* with a windchill of -5*. I put 5 smaller splits in the furnace and within 1/2 hour the house was 73*. We heat with a Caddy woodfurnace. Our firebox is about half the size of our old furnace.
 

laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,671
Ashland OH
We don't get the raw heat like the old furnace, but a more even heat. I never seen the burn times from the old unit. We've used about 3 1/2 cords of wood since the beginning of October. 1/2 cord of Slabwood and a little over a cord of some punkier wood that felt like balsa wood. The stuff we've been burning now is mostly red oak and ash. At this rate, we will easily be under 5 cords this winter.
 

BillE

New Member
Dec 29, 2015
1
Maryland
Good Information guys. Im new to the group and have a older Newmac dual (oil/hardwood), force air system. Previous ownes did very little maintience and for the last 3 years we have been attempting to get the system safe. Cresote build up is our main concern, cleaning the chimney as beast as possible. Cleaning the Newmac is a different concern. The question is how to rid the Newmac of all the Cresote buildup inside of the unit. Chimney sweep guys thought that there should be a method and proceduer on how-to?
The Newmac heats well and with the routine cleaning of the firebox, flu and chimney Im pretty satisfied. But, I do need to take in consideration teh age of the unit, which I beleive is around 20-25 years.
 
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