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Outdoor wood burning furnaces


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My first post, been lurking for awhile, what a great site! Lot's of info and good advice.

I'm in real estate, residential appraising and insurance. Enough about me....:)

I ordered an outdoor furnace to be delivered in October. With the price of heating oil I can have this baby paid off this year plus I have all the wood I could ever need on 80 acres. My question to you experts, what are your opinions of these products? The dealer said a "handy" fella and his friends can install these, up to the furnace, rather easily. Complete directions for a smooth install, with a plumber to tap on the hw furnace.

I am excited about the "free" heat and the product looks well built, good warrenty and safe. What are your experiences with these furnaces?

Thanks,

Shane

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I saw one a couple of months back installed in someones basement. Convienient because you dont have to go out in the cold to load it.

It really looked like a good setup. They had used an existing chimney and piped the exhaust there. The stove had a blower, on a thremostat, connected to the heat exchanger and was using the existing ducting. It also had a lever to switch heat sources at the main trunk. Since it was a split level home, he kept the dried wood in his garage. so he never had to go outside.

Free heat indeed.

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Hi Shane,

I've built a few wood burning boilers and researched the heck out manufactured units.

First, nothin's for nothin. It's a good deal of work to cut, stack and store 40 face cord of wood a year.

If your firebox isn't huge, add splitting time. Then picture yourself loading said unit twice a day when the weather is at its worst, once a day when you can go outside and survive for ten minutes without a coat.

Second, they don't work when the power is off. Buy a generator big enough to run your boiler.

Third, unless you're flush enough to cough up a grand for antifreeze, you're married to the boiler from November 30th until march 30th. Forget about visiting the inlaws for Christmas.

Fourth, spliting and cutting wood requires a 2,000 dollar investment in equipment and the ability to imagine yourself freezing when it's 95 and you're losing a quart of sweat an hour from your forehead alone as the splitter is trying your sanity because it's so loud.

Fifth, your wife will not load the boiler and she will control the home temp with openable windows.

Sixth, firewood, unless stored inside, coagulates in winter. A large pile formerly made up of individual pieces becomes a monolithic slab whose resolve to stay impermeable is what really forced Ghandi to move away from North America.

That said, it saves me about 4 grand a year in fuel costs. Get a domestic water heater unit and put it INSIDE the house to preheat or solely heat your hot water.

If you have a pool, use the boiler to heat the pool in the marginal swimming months...works for hot tubs too.

I'll answer any specific question to the best of my ability.

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The ones I have seen used a water heater for back up on them days you where not there to put the wood in. Remember time is money. If you have the time to do the firewood yourself you will save some money. If you don't have the time and you have to pay someone to do the firewood you will not save the money.

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Thank you everyone for your input. Chad, with your experience and knowledge, you should get a franchise and sell these things. You know more that the salesman I bought it from!!! Thank you very much.

With these being somewhat new, there are no zoning/permits/codes in my area yet for these furnaces. I have to find out from the locals who have one if there are any issues they ran into.

If I may ask you a question on antifreeze....I read one should use Dowfrost, which runs $700 for 55 gal. What would be the ratio? I'm sure this is addressed in the manual and feel this is a good way to protect your investment even if your heating effiency may be slightly effected.

Chad, I may take you up on the offer in the near future and pick your brain again. Thanks!

You guys and gals have a great forum and I will continue to lurk and may offer my view if such a situation rises....or I might post a pic of some crazy mold I find on an appraisal inspection.

Thanks again,

Shane

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