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Country Discussion Topics
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Outdoor forced air furnace
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MNfarmer    Posted 01-20-2004 at 09:54:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Would it work to have a forced air wood furnace outside a house and run the duct work underground and connect into the existing duct work inside the house? I was thinking it would use less wood than a boiler and still keep the insurance company happy by having the fire outside of the house. What do you think????

longcaribiner    Posted 01-21-2004 at 08:49:24       [Reply]  [Send Email]
The forced air idea has some cost merit though. First, a wood fired hot air furnace costs about 20% of a wood fired boiler. You will need more expensive insulated duct work to run under ground. However, you need not worry about it freezing up. There are some new high power circulation fans which only require 4 inch round ducting. Depending on your climate and set up, you might not need a return system in the venting. One of the advantages of the hot water system, is the ease of installing radiant heat under floors and in walls. Even modern studded walls are too narrow for the hot air duct work. half inch alpex hot water tubing is almost as easy to run as electric wire. Bpex is also easy to run. We are retrofitting an old house with hot water radiant heat. Even put it in the walls. It turns the sheet rock walls into large radiators. (don't paint while the heat is on, the paint dries too quick and looks terrible)

deadcarp    Posted 01-20-2004 at 14:12:11       [Reply]  [No Email]

depends on you personal energy level, wood availability and such things. one summer i put a good tight barrel stove into a 6-foot masonry cube in our breezeway and built a chimney for it, then dug myself a 3 by 20-foot glass-insulated trench under the house and filled it with rocks for storing heat, buried some 12-inch insulated ducts to carry the air, enclosed an old swamp-cooler blower in the garage to pump the air, added a coupla thermostats and another small blower under the house and lit the darn thing up. worked just fine and we used it for several years. BUT i coulda saved lotsa headaches and half the firewood by using a wet system instead of air. we use hot water now, have free domestic hot water, free distilled water for coffee and keeping the boiler going is alot easier on my back. :)

retired master of overkill - i once rebuilt the whole top end on a nova when all it needed was a thermostat :(

GM    Posted 01-21-2004 at 06:13:05       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Deadcarp - you are the Man! I like your system diagram. My situation: 100 y/o house with very expensive gas-fired steam in Northern Massachusetts. I would like to install outdoor wood boiler / hot water registors and leave the steam in for backup.
A few questions if you don't mind - do you need to have glycol in the water to prevent freeze-up? How do you prevent the water from turning to steam (or is it circulating so much that it is never a problem?)


all hat no cattle    Posted 01-20-2004 at 14:44:45       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hey deadcarp, did you make you own hot water system
and is it forced draft?

deadcarp-sketch    Posted 01-21-2004 at 00:33:35       [Reply]  [No Email]
here's a sketch of the whole thing - you might need to enlarge it in a paint program or somewhere. :)

deadcarp    Posted 01-20-2004 at 20:40:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
yup made my own boiler and such. i have a stock tank in the porch for storing hot water an 2 circulating pumps on that. one goes thru the boiler (in a shed 30 feet away from the house) and back, the other loops around inside the house thru the (store-bought but re-used) registers, thru the pipe-in-a-pipe to heat domsetic water, and thru a 120-foot coil in the cellar for extra heat down there, then it dumps back into the tank. you can get regular plenum radiators but they're tiny and cost $150 up - i'd rather pump it thru a car radiator than do that.

CAH    Posted 01-20-2004 at 12:45:08       [Reply]  [No Email]
My neighbor built an insulated box around an interior wood furnace. The furnace was a Hot Blast sold at Orschlens. Sells for around $750. He ran duct to the house above ground and cold air return from the house. He claims it does a great job. He wrapped the duct with the foil bubble insulation. Unit sits about 8-10 ft from house. I have the same unit in my basement, heats 2800 sq ft in southern Iowa.

GM    Posted 01-20-2004 at 13:48:00       [Reply]  [Send Email]
2800 square foot is pretty good coverage, how cold does it get in southern Iowa? Is the blower controlled by a thermostat in the house? How often do you have to load that stove? (sorry for all these questions!)

GM    Posted 01-20-2004 at 11:02:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Sure you can...check out the Bryant outdoor wood furnace; they have one which can be installed outside a window and blows forced hot air right in the window or to your ductwork. I'm more interested in the hot water ones but they seem pretty pricey. Have to calculate the pay-back time...

Jasmine    Posted 01-18-2007 at 21:07:33       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Where do you find the out door bryant wood furnace that is just wood and electricty NO water??? We are looking to heat a 48x28 double wide!

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