ArboristSite.com Sponsors
 
 


suggestions on wood stove or outdoor furnace/boilers

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by seals, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. seals

    seals New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW ohio
    we are looking into buying a wood stove or outdoor furnace. our house is a small two story, very open old farm house. i don't think it would be hard to heat with an indoor wood stove, but have not decided if that is the route we are taking yet. looking for tips, brands, or other helpful hints. also, is it best to buy a stove/furnace new or used (less expensive)?
     
  2. dsell

    dsell Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,570
    Likes Received:
    539
    Location:
    Kansas
    There are a lot of pros and cons to your question. I grew up in a 1900's farm house and Dad took out the Ashley would stove for fear of burning the house down. We froze using propane heat until years later he bought a home-made outside wood burner. It was a 500 gallon diesel barrel with a large propane tank welded in the center for the firebox. One end of the propane tank was cut out and a disc and lever were fitted as the door. Needless to say, this thing was a beast to feed. I spent a lot of time cutting wood and Dad spent a lot of time tending the fire. The outdoor furnace sounds good, (chips, dust, ash, coals, embers, & smoke outside), until it's 10pm, zero degrees, 20mph wind, and it needs fed. They tend to smoke more than an inside stove because you can't keep the flue hot enough. More smoke means more creosote build up, more cleaning. Will your insurance company allow you to have a wood stove? I have seen a lot of used stoves for 1/2 price of new. Watch your local papers, craigslist, etc. Most of the stoves I have seen on there look like new and I would definitely go the second had route. If you get an inside stove, stay away from catalytic models. Use a liner in your chimney and insulate it, assuming your venting by chimney. Get one with air tubes on top of the firebox that shoot air on the fire and glass door. "Secondary Air that is preheated to ignite unburned gases in the firebox." Get a good name brand such as Quadrafire, Hampton, Regency, Lopi, Jotul, Buck, Harmon, Hearthstone. Mine is 77% efficient. There are a lot of good stoves out there.
     
  3. Soby1

    Soby1 ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    113
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Hayfield M.N.
    Welcome. What I did when we decided to get into wood heat was sit down and figure out how much wood I needed to heat for a season. I could have went the OWB route but decided I did not want to have to rely on it for heat or have to come up with that much wood per season. We went with a EPA fireplace I can heat about 80% of the time with it about 5 cords a season. I'll get shot for saying this but there will be a time in my life when I won't want to mess with the wood anymore but I can still buy a cord or two and enjoy it. Do a search lots of good info on here.
    Good luck.
     
  4. Rob1276

    Rob1276 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Northern ky
    I was in the same boat as you old two story farm house even after doing a lot of remodeling and adding insulation it still got cold same thoughts I was thinking owb or a indoor stove. We went with a indoor furnace add on this is my first season with it and I couldn't be more happy with it. It is a englander furnace add on it is made here in the states and it puts out the heat too you can get them at lowes or home depot. Look at the reviews not a bad one that I could find
     
  5. seals

    seals New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW ohio
    This is one you put in the basement, right? We can't put one in our basement for several reasons. We know other people that have put one in their basement and really like it also. Does yours leak smoke? Do you have a walkout or another creative way of getting wood in the house? Just curious :)
     
  6. havenodog

    havenodog ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    PA
    Englander

    I too have an Englander wood stove and it is in the basement. My house is about 1500 sq ft and it heats it great all winter on about 5 to 6 cords a winter. Unless you already have an existing forced air furnace you will have to run ducts. Easy to do if you have an unfinished basement. They are a great unit and with a 850 cfm blower they will get hot air almost anywhere in your house. There are other more efficient units out there with catalystists or secondary burn chambers that will burn less wood per season no doubt but for the price of about 1300 dollars the Englander is priced right and a good performer. Never had any trouble with mine. Only drawback I've found is the excess amount of ash but it just goes in a tall kitchen garbage bag every week and out to the trash. But I do have to add that my house is a rancher and dont know how difficult the ducts would be to run up to the second floor or if the fan provided would push the air that far. Dont forget a return system too if you are thinking about this unit. When I get older am definitaly going to think about a more efficient unit but for now and the near forseeable future the Englander is a flawless performer and am very happy with it. Hope this helps. By the way, if you can find one at the end of the heating season at Home Depot or Lowes they usually give a substantial discount. Not that it helps you now but it is worth a look if you have'nt decided by then.
     
  7. Rob1276

    Rob1276 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Northern ky
    No mine doesn't leak smoke it does a great job I have access to basement through a cellar door may I ask why you can't put one in the basement and I have read where people put them in there living area as well which I see being very possible because mine puts out great heat and I can still touch the sides with my hand
     
  8. havenodog

    havenodog ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    PA
    I'm interested to why you can't put it in your basement. They don't need much room and as long as you have a flu to a chimney you are good. Putting one in the main living area might be a little more challenging with the air ducts and all but do able. Fan noise may be a little irritating though. It is nice as was previously said that the sides and top of the unit are touchable. Good if you have young kids. Block the front of it though if you are putting it in the main living area. Honestly though if you dont have an area in the basememt and must go up with it you would be better off with a good wood stove or insert. Get an efficient one with a secondary burn chambeer rather than a catalyist. Less maintainence. Good hunting.
     
  9. fields_mj

    fields_mj ArboristSite Guru

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    145
    Location:
    Indiana
    +1 If you can list some of the reasons that you think an add on wood furnace won't work, maybe we can help you find some solutions. I have a used one that I bought 3 years ago and it heats my 1800 sq ft home just fine.

    The reason folks are tying to point you towards a wood burning furnace is this. OWB eat a LOT of wood. Every time you have to transfer heat from one thing to another, you loose a significant amount of it. So from the hot air, to the fins of the heat exchanger you loose heat, then again from the fins to the water. Then again from the water to the fins back in the house, and again from the fins to the air. There are a lot of losses. Then again from the hot If I lived on a farm and had a front end loader that I could use to load or otherwise move firewood, then I would probably have an OWB. Otherwise, I just don't think I would have enough time to get enough wood cut for it. I go through 4~5 cords a year in my furnace. Wood stoves are nice, but they don't do anything to distribute the heat. You can't hardly push hot air. Instead you have to figure out how to push or pull the cold air back towards the stove, and it can be a real pain. Before I would count on using a wood stove, I would buy a kerosene heater and use it a little while to figure out how I was going to get the warm air to circulate through out the house.

    My house has the small windows in the basement. The kind that have window wells around them outside. The guy who built the place substituted one of the windows for a chute for the wood. It wouldn't be too hard to convert a window like this over to do the same thing, or even to add in a wood cute. My folks burned wood until just after I graduated high school (imagine that LOL), and their house had an old coal chute that we used to get the wood into the basement. Dad had an old wooden slide that we would sit up against the side of the truck, and then proceed to slide the wood down into the basement. It took several years to wear that old piece of plywood out. When we did, he got a section off on an old elevator that was used to get hay bails up into the loft of a barn. That thing would have never worn out.

    If I couldn't do an add on furnace like I have, I would probably try to build a small shed off the house a little ways and put a wood burning furnace in there, and then try to figure out a way to connect it into the cold air return for the house. Insulate the heck out of it, draw air into the shed from the house and then push the warm air back to the cold air return. I'm not sure if it would work very well or not.

    Just my 2 bits,
    Mark
     
  10. lampmfg

    lampmfg ArboristSite.com Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Northern, MN
    Do some research on the Kuuma VaporFire if your interested in efficiency and low emissions.

    .45 Gr/Hr. Emmission
    99.4% Combustion Efficiency
    99% Smokeless Burns
    84% Overall Efficiency
     
  11. seals

    seals New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW ohio
    I suppose the biggest hold up we have about putting one in the basement is the access. My husband can open the heavy door in our mud room floor, but I can't. This would mean him having to do most the work. This option isn't completely out of question, but we have looked into it the least because you thought it would be the least convenient. Also, we have an old rock foundation that leaks like crazy when it rains a lot. (Right now we have a babbling stream in our basement.) We have our furnace and water heater on blocks. Is it okay to do the same with a wood furnace?
     
  12. seals

    seals New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW ohio

    Do you have one?
     
  13. Rob1276

    Rob1276 Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    Northern ky
    My house is old and it gets wet down stairs too in fact we just had a monsoon yesterday and it pretty wet down there now I have mine up on bricks one on each corner it sounds as if you have the situation as I do we have a caller door it is heavy what we do is I bring a bunch of wood in and stack it up so it less work later we same as you everything on blocks I installed a metal best double wall chimney this fall this is our first year burning. If it helps message me your email and I'll send you pics of my set up of everything it may make it easier for you to see what you may want to do
     
  14. jrider

    jrider Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    2,861
    Location:
    nj
    If you have the money up front for an OWB, its the way to go in my mind. Everything is outside - no lugging wood into a basement, no worry about bugs in the house from the wood, no worries of chimney fires, splitting wood is less because you can put much bigger pieces in, etc. People who claim they burn too much wood probably don't own a gassification system because they are generally 25-50% more efficient depending on the model. I put one in this past October and have gone through about 2.5 cords of wood so far and am heating 3000 square feet to 72 degrees all but the time we are asleep when we keep it at 66.
    You load twice a day at most. I throw wood in mine at 6am when I am heating up my truck and then right before it gets dark again. Could not be happier with it so far.
     
  15. fields_mj

    fields_mj ArboristSite Guru

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    145
    Location:
    Indiana
    Good point. I don't know anyone who has one of those.
     
  16. havenodog

    havenodog ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    140
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    PA
    I store wood in my house all winter long and have never had a bug infestation problem. If the wood is seasoned well you should'nt have much if any bugs. Heck I've never even seen a bug down where my wood is. There are advantages to an owb no doubt, but the thought of going outside in the bitter cold to load a stove is'nt the most appealing. I even read on this site about a fella who put his wood furnace up on blocks high enough, he did'nt have to bend over to load it. It can be any height as long as you have room to run the ducts and it is stable. Access to wood is important when deciding which way to go. You will burn more with an owb which means more wood processing. If you have the time and the motivation thats great. Happy Hunting
     
  17. rider93hawg

    rider93hawg ArboristSite Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    9
    Location:
    SO MO-Ozarks
    "I suppose the biggest hold up we have about putting one in the basement is the access. My husband can open the heavy door in our mud room floor, but I can't. This would mean him having to do most the work."

    Seals, if you put a wood furnace in your basement I think you will regret it because even filling it only twice a day sounds like a pain. Having to lift a floor door to go down there would get old fast. To answer one of your previous questions...I have bought both of our freestanding wood stoves used. They were both lightly used. I saved $2700 on the first one and $1200 on the second one vs buying new. First folks got a OWB. Second folks had kids and got paranoid.
     
  18. jrider

    jrider Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    Messages:
    2,326
    Likes Received:
    2,861
    Location:
    nj
    You have to go outside to go to and from work, thats pretty much when I spend the 2-4 minutes it takes to load the boiler. Also, with an owb you don't have to split nearly as small...if you can get it in the door, you can burn it. My door is about 13"-16" and the box is 28" deep, so if I can get it in there I don't have to think much about splitting. Also, around here people pile cut pine up at the street just begging someone to pick it up and along comes me - this probably isn't true everywhere though.
     
  19. wooddog 066

    wooddog 066 ArboristSite Operative

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2009
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Clinton,PA
    owb

    I sent you a PM!!1:msp_smile:
     
  20. isaaccarlson

    isaaccarlson Addicted to ArboristSite

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    190
    Location:
    WI
    We are currently using a LOPI Answer to heat the entire house. It did not burn well in stock form, so I welded up a grate for it. 10x better now. The secondaries roll and it lasts through the night. Much more heat with a grate. Just flip it up to clean the ashes out. The instructions say not to use a grate, but we found that to be hogwash.

    We also have a Kitchen Queen cook stove for the barn when we get it remodeled and move in. It is a NICE stove, 800 lbs of craftsmanship.
     

Share This Page