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Country Discussion Topics
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Outdoor wood stove
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Brandon    Posted 02-08-2003 at 19:03:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
I am considering starting to burn wood. Is an outdoor wood boiler the way to go or not?? Or would I be better off putting in a new chimney and putting a wood stove in the basement? What are some good things and bad things of each??? thanks!!! Brandon

scesnick    Posted 09-04-2004 at 22:45:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have owned and used a Pacifice Western outdoor wood only furnace for the past 3 winters. First, I will tell you that the rated sq ft. these unit are supposed to heat are WAY OFF ! I believe it is just a sales pitch. If you cut that number in half you should be close to the units real capability.
The bad: PRICE !!
All the manufacturers of these unit claim outrageous burn times ( the time one load of wood will last ) some claim up to 36 hours. NOT EVEN CLOSE ! 8 hours if you are really lucky and it's not that cold.
Keeping the mess outside also means keeping yourself outside before you go to bed to fill it , It is cold out there, otherwise you would'tn be filling the stove.
Be prepared to cut way more wood than you expect and more wood than the manufacturer claims you will need.
No heat during power loss
The Good : The mess is in fact outside.
I donot have a smoke problem with the PAcific Western. It does'nt hardly smoke at all. This is one thing they did not exaggerate on.
You just gained a new winter hobby, keeping your furnace fired !!
Free heat !! except for the electricity for the blowers
SOLUTION : (If you have forced air in your home ) I got sick of filling this thing and freezing my tail off doing it so I bought an "ADD ON" Furnace. It goes inside where it is warm. usually your basement, it hooks up to your existing duct work quite easily ( I used regular old 8" stovepipe)and you can burn wood or coal. Mine is made by "Englander" and will heat 3,000 sq ft. and it actually does heat that much. It will burn as long as my no pretty much useless $6,000 outdoor furnace and it uses approx half the wood in one season as the outddor unit. the best part is that it only cost $850 at Lowes or Southern states for the unit( plus the required amount of stovepipe.) It does need electric however, for the blower unit to operate and blow the air through your duct work.

Mark 8N in NS    Posted 02-10-2003 at 15:21:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have yet to speak to the owner of an outdoor wood boiler who would buy another one. I have one neighbor who burns 28 cords of wood per year to heat his garage and house. Another neighbor built a new (well insulated) bungalow 2-1/2 years ago and up until the week before Christmas he used 50 cords. This unit is now for sale because he disconnected it and installed an oil boiler in his basement.

I burn 4 cords of wood in my woodstove and that's enough cutting/splitting/piling for me. Locally an outdoor boiler is $5000.00+. My airtight stove with blower and a 2100 degree stainless steel flue cost $1500.00.

If a boiler is a must, go with an oil boiler and a wood boiler piped together in your basement. A boiler in your house will increase your property value. A boiler outside...?

Mark Jones    Posted 11-24-2004 at 07:20:49       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have had a Hardy outside woodstove for a year and love it. My wood consumption is very low. I don't know what these people are talking about when stating the stoves use alot of wood. I only fire mine once a day, twice is it is 5 of 10 degrees. They are pretty mindless. You alomost forget that you heat with wood and not gas. I have used inside woodburners for years and even the most airtight units do not burn that long without refueling. The small fireboxex and short burn time make them a second choice I feel.

Mar    Posted 12-19-2004 at 20:28:14       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a Hardy and love it. Very efficient. It will go 18 to 20 hours on the coldest days. Almost forget I am using wood as a heat source, other the the cutting in the fall. I have heated with indoor units for year. They are dangerous and very messy!!!!!!

old fart    Posted 02-10-2003 at 00:48:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have grown up with wood heat and love it, the last 10 years has been with a outdoor non-pressurized boiler. Only thing I can say is, if you are planning on buying all your wood, consider a alternate fuel type heat. It consumes a fair share amount of wood and the local price here is steady going up.Still enjoy it but unsure if I would replace it at the current boler prices.You should check to see if your state has any type of programs for grants for allternate heating sources.Good Luck

RayP(MI)    Posted 02-09-2003 at 17:05:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
Before you install anything, talk to your insurance company representative. They will probably convince you to go with an outdoor unit! Real quick!

george    Posted 02-09-2003 at 10:25:41       [Reply]  [Send Email]
i have a large Taylor outside furnace that heats house greenhouse and the hot water for the house makes burning wood far more efficient and safer no fire in the house and no carbon monoxide worries and no messheat is far more even too my unit is 300,ooo btu /hour and thats a lot of wood,greenhouse is most of the pull there are a lot of compaies making the furnaces and some have gas/oil backup systems in case noone is there to fire upwhich usualy is once a day here unless temps are warm +40 degress then weekly unless the greenhouse is drawing chimneys are very expensive to build and require cleaning often with low quality wood with these furnaces wood quality is not very important large fire boxes and forced draft will burn almost anything

Curt-IA    Posted 02-09-2003 at 07:51:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Make a list of pros and cons for your situation. Things like: do you have an easy way to get wood into the house, how many sq ft, do you have room to run chimney up through the roof,(most chimney manufactures recommend keeping most of the chimney inside for better draw, a warmer chimney is a safer chimney), how much do you want to spend, what are the cost differences in your area, can you benifit from radiant heat from the unit itself if located indoors, do you have a safe place to locate the unit, ect. Once done, you should have your answer. My only recommendation is if you go with an indoor unit, don't skimp on the chimney, get the best on the market. The only constant answer you will get regardless of indoor vs. outdoor is you will save on your heating bill if you can cut your own wood or get it cheap.

BOSS    Posted 02-09-2003 at 05:22:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
I also have a Central Boiler, and I love it. 73 degrees in here all the time. It heats our 3500 sqft. house. I buy my wood from a tree service for $200 a semi load, I just have to cut it into lengths. no splitting needed. I have to load it 2 times a day, its great, the best investment I ever did. I would be paying about $500 a month in propane, but now about $400 a year in wood.

inquisitive    Posted 09-08-2004 at 15:08:41       [Reply]  [No Email]
I will be firing an outdoor boiler for the first time this season. you said you just cut lengths, no splitting. is splitting really required or not? I have gotten different opinions from different people. (dont want to waste time if i dont have to) also, i plan on burning pine and hardwood. should i mix the two or could i burn strictly pine in the not so cold months leading up to the big freeze? any help would be appreciated immensely.

Les...fortunate    Posted 02-09-2003 at 04:50:28       [Reply]  [No Email]
I have an outdoor Central Boiler that heats two homes. I would never go back to having a wood fire in the house. The disadvantages are far outweighed by the advantages.
There are several types. Central Boiler is just one.

Mark    Posted 12-19-2004 at 20:32:48       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I would mix the woods for longer burn times or at least when it get really cold!!!!

pat    Posted 02-09-2003 at 07:42:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
hey les,, how far away are the two houses from the unit?? I am thinking on installing one,, and have plans for a garage\shop\barn, that is going to be heated with radiant heat flooring, but the garage is going to be quite a ways from the house,, just wondering how far the "heat " will travel, thanks pat

marty - MO    Posted 02-08-2003 at 21:37:07       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've been using a King indoor wood furnance for 10 years. It has been heating a single story, 850 sq.ft. house with a crawl space underneath. It works great as long someone is there to feed it. There is a gas furnace back up, which works out nice but I hate to be dependent on propane prices and when the electric goes out - no blower.

I can get about 8-10 hrs of good heat out of the King if I pack it full. Coals have lasted 24 hrs but not much heat is produced after 12 hrs.

We are currently building an earth contact/basement home and looking at outdoor and indoor wood furnaces.
Outdoor furnaces keep the dirt and ashes outside and can burn green wood but cost starts at $4,500 and go up. Has more valves, blowers, thermostats which addup to more things to break and maintain.
The indoor wood furnace needs dry wood, can still heat when electric goes out, easy to maintain and uses less wood.
My main concern is a safe chimney since it will be in the middle of the house and go up through the attic.

Ran across a good site that addressed chimney's very well, it is :

Hope some of this helps.

Pat In Central Wisconsin    Posted 01-30-2008 at 08:23:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
To reduce worries about no electricity for outdoor wood furnaces use a 12 volt battery and appropriate inverter to run the pump(s) and blower(s) of the wood furnace and another battery and inverter for the blowers in the house. I setup my blowers and pumps with electrical plugs to electrical outlets to make the quick swap from grid power to battery/inverter power.
My experience during the 2007 winter 4 day outage my deep cycle trolling battery and a 500 Watt inverter lasted 4 days running 2 pumps and 2 blowers. A simple motorcycle battery ran the indoor blower the entire 4 days. no electricity from the grid but plenty of heat.

Jimbob    Posted 02-08-2003 at 19:24:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
A lot of houses are heated with wood up in northern Michigan. I believe about 50% out in the country. I have a indoor wood heater in the basement. The chimney is fire insulated brick with a 1/4" wall steel pipe inside. It was designed to survive a chimney fire without damage when the house was built (never had a fire, our chimney stays clean & I do not know why). We use our basement to outdoor concrete stairwell to store 3 to 4 cord in the winter. It stays cold in the stairwell and has a dutch door arangement. This keeps bugs out of the basement. The stove is safe to use in a house as well & our concrete basement is over 8 feet deep. My set up does not make the house smell like wood & I do not have to go outside every day to load wood (lasts 4 to 6 weeks).
Many have gone to the outdoor type with a heat exchanger. This they say is safer and the heat exchanger guarantees no smoke smell. Most outdoor setups do not require a structure or roof either, but up here a concrete enclosure is used & can store wood inside the enclosure as well. This is the way most want to go now. My chimney was quite expensive & the cost is about equal between the two wood heat systems.

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