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Country Discussion Topics
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Outdoor furnace
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johann    Posted 01-18-2005 at 17:06:42       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Is it possible to build your own outdoor furnace to heat
your house instead of buying one?

screaminghollow    Posted 01-19-2005 at 07:36:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
I saw an article in a Nat Geo. or Mother Earth News yrs ago, like early 70's that mentioned a heating system used in Scandanavia in which a masonry fire box and chimney were buried in a below grade structure. that looked like a low log cabin type cold cellar from the outside. the area around the fire box was packed with sand through which several courses of water pipe passed and then by convection the heat was carried underground to the house a few yards away. Apparently similar arrangements had been used for a century in whatever country it was. The part that impressed me was that one firing was supposed to be good for two days of heat. The wet sand around the fire box was to hold the heat for a long time. (Kind of like the systems where a tank full of large rocks is used to hold heat from solar hot air systems. The idea for the rocks never really caught on, after all, who needs a 15 ton pile of rocks in their basement.)

On the subject of heating though. An electrician fella I met has a house with a huge south facing roof. On a Sunny winter day, his attic will get up to 90 degrees. And in the summer gets well over 120 degrees. In order to cut down on heating and cooling costs, he rigged a squirrel cage fan to a thermostat and in winter, any air over 72 degrees is forced down a vent to the basement where it enters the duct work for the house. In summer, the fan merely directs the air outside to keep the attic cooler. On those slightly cool autumn and spring days upper 50's and low 60's, it provides almost all of the heat for the house. He claims it has made a huge difference both in summer and winter.

deadcarp    Posted 01-18-2005 at 17:45:37       [Reply]  [No Email]
yup, i did. heated the motel & now this place, for 6 years. ran good, now it's drained cuz i'm laid up & can't burn wood. notice the first few feet of stovepipe is immersed & with 2 flues, you can clean the chimney while it runs. .

Les    Posted 01-18-2005 at 17:36:16       [Reply]  [No Email]
Why not? If you have the technology and the materials, go for it.

Bernie in MA    Posted 01-18-2005 at 17:40:56       [Reply]  [No Email]
Les, was there any change in your insurance bill when you changed heating systems? Just curious.

deadcarp    Posted 01-18-2005 at 17:52:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
for those interested in insuring everything, most companies won't cover a homemade unit. gotta have the tags. luckily, most agents are so dumb they don't know what they're looking at. they'd see the tags on mine. :)

Les    Posted 01-18-2005 at 17:45:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
As a matter of fact, there was. When I told the insurance company (Farm Family) that I was heating with an outside furnace, they reduced my rate a little. I suppose I should tell them that I'm no longer using it and am back to burning propane in the house. That's only fair.
BTW, I HIGHLY recommend Farm Family. I know they're not everywhere, just in the northeast. They have been great people to deal with. Geico sent one of those price comparison forms a few years ago. I filled it out and sent it in and never heard another thing from them. Farm Family is cheaper.

Bernie in MA    Posted 01-18-2005 at 17:51:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've been with Farm Family since '56. Good to hear from you again.

Les    Posted 01-18-2005 at 18:07:30       [Reply]  [No Email]
Brother Ralph has never had insurance on his house. He's never had a mortgage onnit. That'd scare me half to death.
FF just opened a local office about 15 years ago. Never heard of them before that. I've been more than satisfied.

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