Thoughts on installing a wood furnace in my garage

mllittle Posted By mllittle, Jan 8, 2018 at 8:35 AM

  1. mllittle

    mllittle
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    I recently moved to Southern Maryland and want to install a furnace to assist with my electric heat. The recent temperatures in the area have forces my system to run on emergency heat. The house has a wood stove in the garage, but doesn't seem to produce a lot of heat. I had a load of firewood delivered by a friend of the previous homeowner who suggested that I look into installing a wood furnace. The electric heat system in located in the crawl space under the house, so that isn't helping the situation. Would I be wasting money in the form of firewood and efficiency of the furnace by installing it in the garage. I could remove the stove and use the existing chimney for the furnace. I would only need to tie the duct from the wood furnace into the existing ductwork. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I need to check some local shops to check on installation costs.
     
  2. blades

    blades
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    check local codes before you do anything, plus your ins. co. That said generally any type of combustion device not hanging from ceiling is frowned upon in a garage. Safety thing, fuel vapors are heavy and congregate at floor level- right mix , big boom, ins. isn't going to payout.
     
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  3. mllittle

    mllittle
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    Good point! Thanks for the information. I will be building a shed, so all combustibles will be moved to the shed.
     
  4. U.P.Boiler

    U.P.Boiler
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    Look into air furnace. It's an outdoor heat system that uses forced air instead of a hot water circulation system

    Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
     
  5. mllittle

    mllittle
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    I apologize for not being more specific in my original post (damn first timers). My current system in an electric forced air system that is located in the crawl space under the house.
     
  6. NateB

    NateB
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    Mar 5, 2013
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    Don't let the current cold snap rush you into a decision, by the time you install something the cold will be over.
    Do you have access to fire wood?
    Do you have access to natural gas?
     
  7. mllittle

    mllittle
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    I have access to fire wood. I will just have to let the stove burn hot, so it generates enough heat in order to allow me to open the door from the garage to the house to radiate the heat into the house.
     
  8. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    Are you parking the car(s) in the shed as well?
     
  9. mllittle

    mllittle
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    No, the cars are parked in the driveway.
     
  10. maple1

    maple1
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    Whatever you do, double check with your insurance person. Just keeping the cars outside all the time, etc., won't usually cut it - if it is a garage & capable of being used as one they will consider it as being one even if you have all the bad stuff outside all the time.
     
  11. mllittle

    mllittle
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    It's interesting that my insurance company never brought this up as an issue when I set up my insurance, but I understand the potential issue. I will look into installing an outdoor unit if I decide to install a secondary source of heat.
     
  12. JRHAWK9

    JRHAWK9
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    If you are referring to a normal forced air furnace (ie Tundra, Caddy, Kuuma, etc), putting it in any space outside of the envelope it's heating is not a good idea in terms of efficiency. Then there's the insurance thing.

    Here's a thread from someone else asking to do something similar.

    https://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/furnace-in-attached-garage.163376/
     
  13. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    They didn't ask you what type of heat you have? Interesting because mine did and my local agent also asked me questions about the systems and how they were used.
     
  14. mllittle

    mllittle
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    My insurance company asked me and I told them that the house used electric forced air for the primary heat source and I mentioned that they is a wood stove in the garage. I'll have to minimize the use of the stove when combustibles are around. I am a volunteer firefighter. The last thing that I need is for the fire dept to respond to a fire at my own home.
     
  15. Bad LP

    Bad LP
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    Yes I know the FD side. Responding to my own house for an electrical strike was interesting but not as much as responding to the Lt's house for a structure fire when he was in NY.

    For as long as you have the report in writing from the ins co then you are GTGIMHO
     
  16. maple1

    maple1
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    We took over a family cottage this summer. Was pretty straightforward until the wood stove came up. Quite rigorous on the questions, and an inspection was required.
     
  17. sportbikerider78

    sportbikerider78
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    He is correct...the only thing we do not know is if the garage is attached. Home insurance can be difficult if they are attached and there is a wood stove..but unattached might not matter. It is worth researching.
     
  18. NateB

    NateB
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    Ok great you have access to firewood, and you like collecting it. If you don't have dry fire wood around 20%, I would not use the wood stove to heat the house, until you have a good supply of dry firewood. I think the best thing for you to do is insulate everything you can. Is the crawl space insulated, are the ducts in the crawl space insulated. Seal up windows and doors.
    What size is the furnace, and what size is the house?

    Maybe a good future plan would be to put a wood boiler in the new insulated shed, and heat your house that way. You have lots of options, but don't rush into it. Insulating will not be a waste of time, but a wood furnace in the wrong place or a chimney fire would waste a lot.
     
  19. mllittle

    mllittle
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    Jan 8, 2018
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    The house is approximately 1700 sq ft. I am not sure on the specifics on the electric forced air furnace. I will check the furnace and research to find the information. The crawl space under the house is not insulated and I am not sure if the ducting is insulated. I guess I could start at insulating the duct work.

    I wasn't going to install the outdoor wood furnace in the shed since the shed would be towards the back of the property. I still need to research units to determine which is the best for my situation. Since I just moved to the area, I want to check my electric bills along with determining how long the typical cold spell is for this area. Maybe adding a secondary furnace isn't worth the cost.
     
  20. blades

    blades
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    Hot water remote system ( OWB) is very pricy. additionally a lot of areas have placed bans on new installs. An outdoor hot air unit likely a bit pricy also , wording of any local ordinances on OWB might be circumvented because these are not boilers ( if is a fine line, if one wants to play that game ) If garage is attached and is converted to living space permanently INS shouldn't be a problem. would not be any different than a addition to the house. Ins might even drop a bit ( that will be the day eh?)
     

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