OWB versus new indoor furnace

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
371
Hicksville, Ohio
If I were shopping for OWB the Heatmaster G series would definitely make the top 3. Also like the Crown Royals, and Central Boilers Classic Edge. I personally don't see how you could go wrong with those 3.
Be sure to ask the dealer if he's got any 2-3 year old models. Some do.
 

E Yoder

Feeling the Heat
Jan 27, 2017
499
Floyd, VA
Again, I thank everyone for the replies. I’m still scratching my head and deciding what I want to do. Obviously more research is in order.

My gut feeling is still leaning towards an OWB. It’s what I’ve had my mind set on for a few years now, but reading about how far indoor furnaces have come along has made me re-think it. I guess the biggest perk of the OWB for me is having the fire away from the house. We have a newborn in our home now and our current stove is directly below her room in the basement, which has always bothered my wife. I know that it’s a safe setup, but convincing the wife of that is sometimes difficult.

@eyoder do you have any recommendations on brands or models for OWB? I’ve consulted with a local Wood Master dealer and unfortunately they can only sell me the EPA approved Cleanfire model. There’s some loop holes that can be used to get my hands on a 4400 but not sure I’m willing to do that. I’ve also shopped Mahoning stoves, two of the guys down the road run them and have for years, but their warranty is far from appealing.
I am a dealer for Heatmaster so that's what I'm familiar with. The G4000 can handle a pretty large house no problem. It seems the harder you push it the better it runs.
I would be very slow to install the 4400 you mentioned. Install to a residence is forever an illegal install. But to each his own.
The Woodmaster cleanfire and the CB Edge are the same model, CB bought out Woodmaster I think.
A good supportive dealer is a big deal to me, you never know when you might need support.
 
  • Like
Reactions: brenndatomu

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
Do you have a local Polar, Portage & Main dealer? Wouldn't hurt to keep your options open. Ask questions, look at specs, power vent motors (ecm vs regular) also build quality, weight metal used.
I do, and I've actually been in touch with him a few times. He's about 45 minutes away and offered to stop out and do a free "home assessment." I took him up on that offer and he said he'd call me in a week to iron out a day/time. After calling him back a few times and not hearing anything, I walked away. I'm sure he's a nice enough guy and is plenty busy, but I am not a big fan of chasing around the guy who I want to give $10k to.

The next closest dearer is about 4 hours away.
 

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
I am a dealer for Heatmaster so that's what I'm familiar with. The G4000 can handle a pretty large house no problem. It seems the harder you push it the better it runs.
I would be very slow to install the 4400 you mentioned. Install to a residence is forever an illegal install. But to each his own.
The Woodmaster cleanfire and the CB Edge are the same model, CB bought out Woodmaster I think.
A good supportive dealer is a big deal to me, you never know when you might need support.
Appreciate the advice. And yes - Woodmaster has been bought out by CB and their gassers are rebadged CB's. My local dealer confirmed that.

And so far - I've had good interactions with both the Woodmaster and Heatmaster dealers. I think I like the Heatmaster more though. Do you have any positive or negative things to say about the insulated piping Heatmaster sells?
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,453
Downeast Maine
Appreciate the advice. And yes - Woodmaster has been bought out by CB and their gassers are rebadged CB's. My local dealer confirmed that.

And so far - I've had good interactions with both the Woodmaster and Heatmaster dealers. I think I like the Heatmaster more though. Do you have any positive or negative things to say about the insulated piping Heatmaster sells?
I would assume the dealer makes more on the insulated piping than the boiler. That's not to take away from the importance of insulated piping nor the quality of the Heatmaster product, but you could probably do better DIY or finding a different vendor. I have a feeling the dealer offers financing and you can wrap the pipe up in the price of the stove, more of a convenience than anything else.
 

E Yoder

Feeling the Heat
Jan 27, 2017
499
Floyd, VA
The margin on insulated piping is not that much. It doesn't hurt to shop around tho. CB's Thermopex and HeatMaster's Rhinoflex are very similar.
Do your research before you do homemade pipe, I've seen enormous amounts of heat go in the ground for years with poorly insulated pipe.
 

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
The margin on insulated piping is not that much. It doesn't hurt to shop around tho. CB's Thermopex and HeatMaster's Rhinoflex are very similar.
Do your research before you do homemade pipe, I've seen enormous amounts of heat go in the ground for years with poorly insulated pipe.
FWIW this guy wanted $11.50/ft for the Rhinoflex. I do have a buddy who does spray foam, considered doing DIY similar to the stickies thread on this forum.
 

salecker

Minister of Fire
Aug 22, 2010
1,325
Northern Canada
I have Cast iron rads in my house.It's like having a little wood stove in every room.
In my basement i use a unit heater,i want the air moving around because there isn't much use of the basement.My thought it cuts down on stale air down there.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andym

E Yoder

Feeling the Heat
Jan 27, 2017
499
Floyd, VA
FWIW this guy wanted $11.50/ft for the Rhinoflex. I do have a buddy who does spray foam, considered doing DIY similar to the stickies thread on this forum.
Makes sense.
I see guys do the black foam insulation from hardware stores, it crumbles in the heat becoming a nice snow melt system.
 
  • Like
Reactions: andym

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
Makes sense.
I see guys do the black foam insulation from hardware stores, it crumbles in the heat becoming a nice snow melt system.
No clue how anyone would expect that stuff to last more than a few months underground.
 

Eureka

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2018
345
NW Wisconsin
FWIW this guy wanted $11.50/ft for the Rhinoflex. I do have a buddy who does spray foam, considered doing DIY similar to the stickies thread on this forum.
That’s about the going price.
Trust me on this, and do yourself a favor: get the real pipe.
 

Eureka

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2018
345
NW Wisconsin
Makes sense.
I see guys do the black foam insulation from hardware stores, it crumbles in the heat becoming a nice snow melt system.
That stuff, and the higher quality closed cell Armacell will both harden and crumble if they see any real heat or light exposure. So yeah I wouldn’t think direct burial would be a whole lot better ;lol
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
371
Hicksville, Ohio
Looks like this is headed toward the OWB side of the original question. One advantage I don't recall being mentioned is that if you locate your boiler in or near your wood shed you will handle your wood less often than any in door setup. That's a pretty significant advantage really.
 

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
That’s about the going price.
Trust me on this, and do yourself a favor: get the real pipe.
By "real pipe" do you mean something along the lines of Rhinoflex, or the DIY spray foam job?
 

Eureka

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2018
345
NW Wisconsin
Yeah Rhinoflex, Rehau Insulpex, Logstor, thermopex, etc. the Rhinoflex looks excellent with the thicker outer shell. Way more straightforward and durable than a DIY job that could end up saturated with water.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Case1030

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
Looks like this is headed toward the OWB side of the original question. One advantage I don't recall being mentioned is that if you locate your boiler in or near your wood shed you will handle your wood less often than any in door setup. That's a pretty significant advantage really.
I haven't yet established a "wood shed." My current situation is three different areas of stacked wood on skids. Eventually I'll build a more permanent structure, and I'm sure the OWB location will be a huge factor in that.

With that in mind - I did ask one of the dealers about OWB location, as our property tends to get a decent sustained westerly wind during the winter months. I asked if I should protect the OWB by placing it behind a wind break, such as my detached garage. The Heatmaster dealer said it would not make a difference, and the unit could be placed in direct wind as it fully "shuts down" during idle. This didn't make much sense to me at first, but after watching some Youtube videos about the G4000 I can see why this may work.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,051
NE Ohio
One advantage I don't recall being mentioned is that if you locate your boiler in or near your wood shed you will handle your wood less often than any in door setup. That's a pretty significant advantage really.
So you handle the wood less, but then have to make (or buy) twice as much wood...so in the end I see no advantage there...makes it that much harder to get ahead on your wood supply actually, and twice (or more) the space tied up in storing it too...
 

E Yoder

Feeling the Heat
Jan 27, 2017
499
Floyd, VA
I haven't yet established a "wood shed." My current situation is three different areas of stacked wood on skids. Eventually I'll build a more permanent structure, and I'm sure the OWB location will be a huge factor in that.

With that in mind - I did ask one of the dealers about OWB location, as our property tends to get a decent sustained westerly wind during the winter months. I asked if I should protect the OWB by placing it behind a wind break, such as my detached garage. The Heatmaster dealer said it would not make a difference, and the unit could be placed in direct wind as it fully "shuts down" during idle. This didn't make much sense to me at first, but after watching some Youtube videos about the G4000 I can see why this may work.
I've never seen wind affect an outdoor boiler that had a good tight draft closure.
I have customers say they guess their dog will stay warm under the boiler, I chuckle, the snow blows in and never melts. He'll be a cold pooch. There's not that much heat loss.
As far as wood consumption, we'd have to compare specific models to know for sure. Indoor warm air furnaces and outdoor boilers vary widely in efficiency depending on design and technology.
 
  • Like
Reactions: sloeffle and Eureka

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
371
Hicksville, Ohio
As far as wood consumption, we'd have to compare specific models to know for sure. Indoor warm air furnaces and outdoor boilers vary widely in efficiency depending on design and technology.
Aren't the new gasification boilers nearly as efficient as my wood furnace which is rated around 75-80%?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,051
NE Ohio
Aren't the new gasification boilers nearly as efficient as my wood furnace which is rated around 75-80%?
Yeah, when actually firing...a lot of losses other losses though...especially the way most people are set up and the unit just throttles up when there is a major call for heat...so losses from idling, line losses to the house(that can be HUGE if you use cheap pipe and/or have a high water table) loss of the radiant heat of having the unit inside the envelope of your home, etc, etc...
The newer units are much better than the old school units though, for sure! That's why I said twice as much wood, not 3-4 times as much (like as would be with many old school OWB's)
 
  • Like
Reactions: andym and Case1030

Case1030

Feeling the Heat
Dec 12, 2017
336
Manitoba
Yeah, when actually firing...a lot of losses other losses though...especially the way most people are set up and the unit just throttles up when there is a major call for heat...so losses from idling, line losses to the house(that can be HUGE if you use cheap pipe and/or have a high water table) loss of the radiant heat of having the unit inside the envelope of your home, etc, etc...
The newer units are much better than the old school units though, for sure! That's why I said twice as much wood, not 3-4 times as much (like as would be with many old school OWB's)
+1 to exterior heat loss
I wouldn't want my heatmaster g100 installed outdoors. It heats the outbuilding with the heater tuned off. Hopefully the newer models use better insulation and also insulated the fuel and burn chamber doors.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,051
NE Ohio
+1 to exterior heat loss
I wouldn't want my heatmaster g100 installed outdoors. It heats the outbuilding with the heater tuned off. Hopefully the newer models use better insulation and also insulated the fuel and burn chamber doors.
I keep trying to talk my dad and brother into getting rid of their old CB pig, and putting the new one inside one of their shops (they heat both of their houses and shops from one OWB on the farm)
 

Eureka

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2018
345
NW Wisconsin
+1 to exterior heat loss
I wouldn't want my heatmaster g100 installed outdoors. It heats the outbuilding with the heater tuned off. Hopefully the newer models use better insulation and also insulated the fuel and burn chamber doors.
I have my C150 it’s own little building and it stays pretty warm in there. I really think most of that heat comes off the exposed 30” of insulated chimney section. I know this little thing would never be heating all of the space that it is if it was sitting outside in the harsh winter environment of northern WI.
36942F7A-1BC6-4B4D-8273-7F582710315C.jpeg BC2C0452-CAF6-439E-B4E0-1F76AD4BA18F.jpeg
 

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
I have my C150 it’s own little building and it stays pretty warm in there. I really think most of that heat comes off the exposed 30” of insulated chimney section. I know this little thing would never be heating all of the space that it is if it was sitting outside in the harsh winter environment of northern WI.
Putting the OWB in my detached garage is certainly a decent idea. I have the space for it out there, but not sure I want the clutter of wood, ash, etc.
 

spitfire557

Member
Jan 29, 2019
62
PA
I happened to stumble across a good deal on a >1 year old G100 that appears to be in very good condition. Is there any known issues with this stove, and would it be worth the $3,500 savings to go with it compared to a G4000?

I need to double check, but I’m told the warranty is transferable.