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Add on Wood Burning Furnaces

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ken G, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. With the projected cost of fuel oil for the upcoming winter I've been considering buying a wood burning add on furnace. I've been looking at the Norseman models manufactured by Vogelzang.

    Has anyone used one of these, or a similar model, and what are your experiences?
  2. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    I helped my buddy install one of those pellet burning stoves. You add the pellets in the hopper on top, and set the timer. It drops the pellets into the firebox according to the settings on the timer. He buys the pellets for $140 a ton (sold in bags). He heated his whole house with two tons of pellets from fall to spring last year. The unit looks just like the one in your link. I believe the unit cost about a grand. It was easily installed.

  3. I've considered the pellet furnace. Tractor supply sells one locally that says it burns between 2 and 6 lbs per hour. Their price on pellets was $143.00/ton. I can't remember what the furnace cost.
  4. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    It's a nice unit. The outside of it doesn't even get hot. Unless you have an endless supply of wood to burn, it's worth looking into.
  5. LakeRaider

    LakeRaider EEEEEK!

    You ever go up to Buttleworth Stoves on Daleview? They have a real nice working display of all the models from woodburners, pellet stoves and electrics. Well worth the time if you haven,t seen their store. Or if you have- what a cool place eh? Todd ;)

    KSUFLASH respect our rivers please

    stupid question, but I have a fireplace without a fan, but it is just a chimeny and firepit per say...My parents have the same deal, and it doesn't put off any heat but rather just looks good. Are there any attachments or blowers per say that can be installed to actually get some heat off a fireplace without a fan?

    FYI, I am in a rental home and not quite sure if I would want this to be a permanant thing..

  7. LakeRaider - I'll have to take a ride this week and check them out. Thanks for the tip.

    Flash - The old fashioned masonry fireplaces are nice to look out but terribly inefficient for producing heat. Most of the heat goes right up the chimney. I don't know if they are still made but there used to be a replacement fire grate called a Heatilator. It was basically a set of C shaped tubes around 1 1/2" in diameter. They sold a blower unit which forced some air through the tubes theoretically blowing the heat into the room.
  8. Lewzer

    Lewzer Powderfinger

    Brunco Stoves on Rt 45 north of Salem has some nice inserts for the plain masonary fireplaces and nice freestanding stoves. I got the Hearthglow about 5 years ago. It heats the whole house to 75-80 degrees and uses coal and wood. The wood is free and the coal WAS about $35-38 a ton. Takes about 2 ton for the whole season. I think coal is about $55-60 a ton this year. Haven't check yet.
    The regular furnace doesn't come on unless it's sub zero. It will pay for itself in about 2-3 years. It's nice getting $30 gas bills in the dead of winter while you're sitting in your skivies cause it's so warm inside.

    They still make those Heatilator tubes.
  9. Ruminator

    Ruminator TeamOGF

    Wow, that is worth looking into, and I have a three year old 97% efficient gas furnace!
  10. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

    Every day for about 150 days, (Mid-October into mid-March) I'm gonna go through over 10.8 tons of pellets. That's $1,544.00 in pellets for those 5 months. Right now I average a monthly gas/electric bill in winter time of around $200. Sometimes it spikes if it gets really cold but it also drops if it doesn't stay below 40° all the time either. Plus, I'd still be paying electric to run the blower. AND I would have to remember to fill the pellet hopper every so often and I can't even remember to take the trash out.

    I know that natural gas is gonna shoot up this winter but the convenience is more than worth it for me- not to mention the initial investment on the stove itself.


    Now I'm heating with gas!
  11. Hetfieldinn

    Hetfieldinn Staff Member

    If you burn 6 lbs per hour, you won't have to worry about your gas bill, because you are going to be well done.
  12. UFM82

    UFM82 The one others want to be

    Standard Two-Story. What kind of square footage will these things heat?

    I don't know if I would use 6 lbs or 60 lbs or 6 oz. I do know that I could burn a LOT of firewood if I was going that route.

  13. If we get the 71% increase in gas you may not be too happy with it any more ;)
  14. Have you considered an outdoor wood furnace like a Hardy? They heat water which runs to your existing furnace to be circulated throughout the house. You can also use it to heat your hot water so you do not have to use gas or electric for hot water. They burn relatively efficient and all of the dirt and ash are outside and not in the house. They are a little pricey but they are stainless steel and really built to last. Might be worth lookng into.
  15. I took a ride yesterday and checked out Buttelworth's Stoves on the west side of Cincinnati. They had some nice stuff but they were really proud of it. I mean REALLY proud. For example, their wood pellets were almost $100/Ton more than Tractor Supply.

    I've found stoves that burn pellets, some that burn corn, and some that burn both. I haven't found any of these that can be tied into my heating ducts next to my furnace. One advantage of the free standing units is they require no chimney. They can be direct vented straight out through a wall. Disadvantages are they are relatively expensive and you are at the mercy of the pellet suppliers for pricing and you aren't going to burn anything else.

    I've been leaning toward a woodburning add-on because I have access to a large supply of scrap framing lumber to use for kindling and to mix in with the hardwood. I can also buy hardwood blocks from a sawmill cheaper than I can cut 'free' firewood. I can put close to 6 cubic yards of blocks on my dump truck for about $50.00 per load. They have no bark so they are clean burning with very little ash remaining. I'm figuring I can get by with 3 or 4 loads for the whole heating season. A friend of mine down the road heats a two story house, with a full basement, with an 18 year old low tech add-on unit. He burned about 7 pickup truck loads of blocks last year. My house is half the size of his so I'll probably have to leave a window open. :D

    Edit - I have looked up some of the outdoor boiler and hot air units but they are way too expensive. If I had the money I'd buy a new high efficiency gas furnace and an add on which would be a lot cheaper than an outdoor unit. Some companies also make combination units burning wood along with gas or oil but they are more expensive than two separate units.
  16. I have a 2 year old 2400 sq.ft. ranch with catherdal ceilings. From November of 2003 to April of 2004 I spent 2,500.00 feeding my Trane 90% effecient propane furnace. Just a little pricey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    After doing some research I bought and installed a Heatmor outdoor water boiler. The only down side would be getting wood if you do not have any.
    I recently cleared an acre to put in a pond so I have wood for the next five years. The beautiful part is that you can burn green wood. Last year alone I'm willing to bet it paid half of its self off. PM me for questions.
  17. Fish2day

    Fish2day member


    Ben, I have an old fashioned fireplace too and I installed a vent free gas log set. I keep the damper closed and run it on low and it runs us out of the living room. We have 9' ceilings, 2 stairways, a very open layout in our house and this setup really helps keep our furnace from running all the time. Best all around dealer I have found is Hartville Hardware.

    I'm strongly considering putting in a corn burning furnace. Anyone have any feedback on that idea?

    KSUFLASH respect our rivers please

    i will stop out to Harville when I get back from West Palm Beach Florida. I would like to still burn wood, but I am open to other possibilites as well. Thanks for the ideas gents.

  19. bill_gfish

    bill_gfish Well, Gee Whiz!

    We have a normal fireplace that at one time before we moved here someone had a wood burning insert installed. It looks nice but not really big enough to load with alot of wood to heat the whole house. It has an automatic fan and pushes real good heat but I have to use floor fans to blow the heat to the other ends of the house. I suppose I could just use the furnace fan and circulate that way but I dont. More for that room enjoyment I suppose.