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Author Topic: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question  (Read 20189 times)

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Offline Paschale

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Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« on: February 19, 2007, 10:45:19 PM »
Hi guys,

My brother's planning on making the jump into a wood furnace, but he's not interested in one of the outdoor furnaces.  He wants the flexibility of being able to use fuel oil if he needs to, especially when he and the family might go out of town.  He's in the info gathering stage right now, so I'm wondering if any of you have any experience with these units, of if you have knowledge of which brands to look for, or steer clear of.  Thanks ahead of time!

Dano
Y'all can pronounce it "puh-SKOLLY"

Offline beenthere

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007, 10:52:19 PM »
Water heat or hot air?
south central Wisconsin
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Offline isawlogs

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 11:33:03 PM »
I have and had at the other house , wood/electric combo .. Aint what you asked about , but its close enough for me to give my opinion ...  ;D
 My neighbour back In Chelsea had oil/wood , newmack was the brand name of furnace , forced air , I like the combo units , if you dont like the idea of having to go make a fir .. you just step the thermostat up some from the othe r unit ... It also comes in real nice when wanting to leave for a few days and it gets cold out . 
 
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Offline Gary_C

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 11:50:20 PM »
I have seen a Central Boiler outdoor wood/fuel oil unit in operation. It looked impressive as it had a control panel for fuel oil start, wood only, fuel oil only, and wood-fuel oil back-up. The only disadvantage I saw was the need to burn #1 fuel oil because the burner had to be outdoors. The fuel oil burner does add cost to the already expensive units.
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Offline Paschale

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2007, 12:45:22 AM »
Water heat or hot air?

Hot air...like most of what comes outta me!   ;D
Y'all can pronounce it "puh-SKOLLY"

Offline beenthere

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2007, 02:55:54 AM »
 ;D  comes from blowin that trombone...... :)

Good friend of mine put in a combination wood/gas furnace, and he used both fuels at different times as needed. He admitted to a problem that the size of the combustion chamber needed for the wood made the furnace pretty big, and that made firing it with the gas burner quite inefficient.  Not sure how the oil guns work in a large combustion chamber, but it would be something to look into.  He liked the fact that he could load it with wood and then just fire the gas jets to ignite the wood.  His furnace was on the large size to get a big charge of wood, however the mass that needed to be heated before the blower would kick in to circulate the heat, meant that there was a lot of heat stored up. Very soon, the set temp was reached in the house, but the blower wouldn't kick off until that plenum chamber was cooled down to a certain temp. That meant he was getting a lot of hot air blown into the house after the set temp was reached, meaning the house temp would rise by 5-10 above comfort level. All in all, he wasn't satisfied with the combination set-up he had.

He came to the conclusion that there should be two furnaces, one that was sized right for wood, and one that was sized right for a back-up fuel. But then, a system of baffles need to be built into the heat ducts and returns to switch back and forth, unless the air is blown through both furnaces (which is a possibility).


south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline mike_van

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2007, 06:29:31 AM »
I was looking for a wood/oil boiler about 12 years ago, all that was out there was either huge or tiny. I wound up with a Harmon wood/coal add on & have never regretted it.  They must make a hot air unit too. The boilers run all these years, Oct to Apr., never done a thing to it but feed it.
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Offline breederman

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2007, 06:35:04 AM »
I Have a Kalamazoo wood/oil/coal  hot air furnace,don't know if they still make them or not.  It is simple and works. The only repair cost in twenty years has been for som fire bricks that somebody broke throeing wood in to hard.
   If I was doing it again I might look for a unit with a forced draft,some times depending on the weather I put a little fan in front of the draft door to "kick up" a slow fire.
   I'll have to check on the brand that a neighbor has,His has a heat exchanger in it,probably saves more heat out of his wood,  but did have to repair the heat exchanger a couple of times and we replaced it last year after around 20 years of use. I think the new exchanger cost him around 600$ and I know it was a pain in the butt do do it.
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Offline Furby

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2007, 07:32:41 AM »
Some of the box stores carry a wood add on for a forced air system.
Running about $1000 + or so.
Never used one though.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2007, 07:42:07 AM »
We had a wood/oil combination furnace from 1976 - 1992. The oil burner was in the back and the wood was in the front. I think insurance killed them off here. Irving used to sell them, they were made by Enterprise is Sackville. Irving decided not to service them any longer. Now if you want combination you have to have a side by side setup. I have a wood furnace on the left and an oil furnace on the right. The old combination worked fine, so doesn't the side by side.
Move'n on.

Offline Raphael

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2007, 10:21:09 AM »
  We had a back to front forced hot air unit.  The oil burner fired in a separate chamber from the wood box and the wood box had an electric fan for draft control...  I don't recall who manufactured it, but it was certainly nice being able to tell the oil truck to go away in mid January when the prices were at their peak.

  I bought 240 gallons of fuel over the first three years of living in that house, most of it the first year.
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Offline Rick Alger

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2007, 10:35:25 AM »
We have a Charmaster out of (believe it or not) Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The oil gun is right beside the wood door. We have never used oil, but we are very happy with the wood. My son's family  has a similar furnace. They have used  oil and wood and are happy with both.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2007, 10:39:50 AM »
The oil comes in handy when away from home a few days. And also in early fall and late spring when wood is too hot. I burn maybe 25 gallons of oil a year.
Move'n on.

Offline Bill Johnson

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2007, 10:43:13 AM »
I had a Hunter wood/oil combination in the last house we lived in before moving here.  The one thing that was real useful was the fact that the clean-outs were at the front of the furnace, and readily accessible, 4 nuts to remove and I could clean out all the fly-ash and crud from above the fire box.

I am seriously considering getting one for this house, we currently heat with propane but the prices for propane this year are out to lunch .923/litre this winter.  The last fill up, last week was almost $1300.00.

When I can get a full cord of dry birch cut, split and delivered for $145.00 switching furnaces is starting to look good.

Bill

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2007, 10:54:02 AM »
Yeah, that $1300 will supply me with 8 months worth of firewood. Only takes me 3 part days to stack it away nicely in the cellar. ;D
Move'n on.

Offline Murf

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2007, 12:35:06 PM »
I've got a Newmac wood / oil furnace in my shop, just love it, very efficient.

I'd have one in my house too 'cept it's not legal or sumat, none of them were CSA or UL approved or sumat and da insurance company won't put fire insurance on da house with an 'uncertified' wood burner in der!!

 >:(  >:(  >:(  >:(
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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2007, 04:28:57 PM »
I've wanted to put in a multi-fuel stove but can't get past the fact that the original furnace is still good - so I got a wood/coal stove. Coal runs hot and long ( for really cold weather ) while the wood is cooler and shorter burning ( has some kind of catalytic converter for wood that comes out for coal ) . I put it kinda in the middle of things so don't have to use blowers and such to move the heat around - gravity ( hot air rises/cool air falls ) works fine since the kitchen/living room get comfortable and the bedroom(s) are cool.

Maybe when it comes time to replace the main ( natural gas ) furnace . . .

Offline Burlkraft

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2007, 04:34:56 PM »
I had a Longwood in my house at the farm. It was a pretty good unit. I liked the part where ya never have ta screw around and start a fire if it goes out. Just hit the thermostat and she'd light up any kind of wood ya had in there..... ;D ;D
Why not just 1 pain free day?

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2007, 04:54:37 PM »
I always thought ya just tossed the wood on them coals and she always took off. ;D The only time I got to 'fart around' starting a wood fire if I'm gone for days or the start of the fire season. Then I always have coals left to toss wood onto in the mornings and she, well....just goes. ;D


We had a gravity wood furnace way back in the beginning, when we had no insulation. That was dang cold years, I ain't never going back to them times. ;D If it gets \\HOT//, all I gotta do is open windows, which is probably good to have some fresh air into the place. When oil and gas is burning, ya feel like your tossing money out in the yard with a window open. ;D
Move'n on.

Offline dewwood

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Re: Wood/Fuel Oil furnace combo question
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2007, 01:28:46 PM »
Before I put my outdoor furnace in I had a Clayton wood furnace which sat right next to my gas furnace and had duct work connecting them so you could run either one.  They both used the blower in the gas furnace for distribution throughout the house.  I think stores like Rural King and TSC sell this type of furnace.  If his oil furnace does not need repacing just add the wood furnace.  Actually when I installed the wood unit I also installed a new gas furnace also just because I needed one and the cost of the two was about the same as a combination unit but I had the better effiency of the gas unit and the savings of the wood unit.
Selling hardwood lumber, doing some sawing and drying, growing the next generation of trees and enjoying the kids and grandkids.


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