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Author Topic: Wood furnace efficiency  (Read 674 times)

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Offline coalsmok

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Wood furnace efficiency
« on: January 21, 2019, 09:05:58 AM »
I am considering upgrading our current wood stove to a larger unit or a furnace. Form what I have seen a furnace is pretty much the next step up square footage wise anyway.
 We are heating around 3000 square foot between the basement and the upstairs. The stove is in the basement but to keep the house warm upstairs I am really running it right on the edge of overfiring it. Burning around 7-8 stacked truckloads of dry wood each winter to do so as well. 
 In what time I have had to research it seems that some of the wood furnaces are claiming pretty long burn times from each load of wood but no comments on how much heat they are putting out at those times.
 Just looking for any input from people that have some of the newer units on how well they heat and how much wood they burn compared to what they had before. I would be tying it into the existing duct work for our propane furnace. Getting heat to the back end of the house would be great. Doing so while reducing or at least not greatly increasing the amount of wood I burn would be wonderful.

Offline buckgrunt

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Re: Wood furnace efficiency
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2019, 10:29:29 AM »
My heating space is very comparable to your, but I live in central NH, where the winters are a lot colder than where you are.   I have a Outdoor Wood Boiler (OWB) that is 10 years old and running very well.  I am very happy with it.  In addition to heating my home, it also provides my domestic hot water during the heating months.  I burn between 9 and 12 cords per year, depending on my wood quality.  It is learning process and the goal is to load the firebox with enough wood to last 12 hours.  Therefore, on cold days, I load more wood.  Prior to this winter season, I burned a lot of soft wood (ie pine/hemlock), which resulted 11/12 cords per season.  This year, I am burning mostly oak and maple and I predict an 8 or 9 cord.  There have been huge improvements since my purchase 10 years ago and they are much more efficient.  I wold say the top 3 factors of success in owning an OWB is as follows:  1.  firewood needs to be well seasoned. 2  Check your water quality and test it at least twice a year. and 3.  Maintain it well to make sure air gets where it needs to go.    

Offline Rebarb

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Re: Wood furnace efficiency
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2019, 04:31:55 PM »
Are you referring to an inside wood furnace or outdoor wood boiler ?

I've had both for many years and do prefer the OWB for various reasons but not necessarily wood consumption. 

I heated 2200 sq ft with a Creighton 1600 furnace for 16yrs. I did the ductwork in a way that heat could rise naturally and inserted a floor vent in furthest upstairs room as it acted as a return.....also installed a humidifier in ductwork downstream of blower, helped quite a bit. 

OWB ?
Burned quality seasoned wood like Oak.
Scrape the walls routinely of creosote build-up.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY.....load all wood towards front as anything loaded in back exhausts up the chimney and is wasted BTU's.

I currently heat 4500 sq ft , burning 8 cord per winter, all hydronic. 

Offline coalsmok

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Re: Wood furnace efficiency
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2019, 08:15:31 PM »
I am looking at the indoor wood furnace. Dont really have the room for a OWB. When building this place we literally carved the flat out of the base of a rock cliff.
 Seems to be lots of variation in BTU output and what the mfg give the furnace for square footage rating.

Offline Wudman

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Re: Wood furnace efficiency
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 01:17:13 PM »
I am using an Englander forced air furnace dumping heat into an unfinished (un-insulated) basement.  See the link below for my install parameters.  I have it installed outside in a separate building.  We had a power outage a couple of weeks ago (about 30 degrees outside) and I was able to hold 72 degrees in the house (Cape - about 4600 square feet including the open unfinished basement) using it and a small set of gas logs in a prefab fireplace.  As I have it set-up, I will burn about 1/2 cord per week.  That is firing it every two hours during the day and it will have coals enough to re-fire in the morning.  I keep it rocking.  If I was to move it into the basement and tap into my duct system, it would heat the house with no problem and consume much less wood in doing so.  Once I finish the basement, I believe it will mostly heat the house by heating the basement.

http://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?topic=104380.0

Wudman

Offline coalsmok

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Re: Wood furnace efficiency
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 03:17:43 PM »
Woodman
Thank you. This is the kind of information I am looking for.

Offline Bwana

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Re: Wood furnace efficiency
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 03:51:25 PM »
I have the Kuuma Vapor Fire 100.  This is our second year of having it.  I really
like it a lot.  We have a 2300 sq ft ranch built in the 70's.  We have it in a walk out basement and love how it heats the entire home.  Went through 2.5 cords
last year and running about the same for this year. 8)


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