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Heating your home with wood?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Black Feather, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Black Feather

    Black Feather Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    If I'm really lucky I might be building a house in the next year or so and am researching different heating options.

    I want to build a home based on a passive solar design with wood heating being the primary source of heat followed by electric. My question involves the different wood heating methods.

    I don't want to go with the pellet stove type as they actually require electricity to run and are subject to supply and demand of the pellet supply. It's not unusual for the power to go out around here and I want a heat source that is independent of electricity.

    Ideally since I work all day I would like something that will not require a lot of maintenance or can work for extended periods of time. Sooo....what sort of wood burning systems are available that meet my needs? Anyone have any thoughts or experience with different systems?

    Urban Coyote
  2. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    There are many outdoor woodburners available that only need loaded every three days. We curently have a smaller woodburner in the basement that heats the house (we also have propane furnace backup) but we are considering an addition and hence will probably add the outdoor woodburner.

    My FIL has one and he loves it....
  3. chilling in muscadine

    chilling in muscadine { I love being disfunctual }

    Jun 8, 2008
    muscadine, al.
    I don't know what to tell you about newer models of heaters but a couple of weeks ago we installed and older wood heater. Now I have found out the heater will keep you warm but I have also found out you have to have someone close by to keep feeding that heater and if you plan on being warm in the morning you had better get up during the night and through some logs on. lol I'm sure though in this day and time there are more practical systems out there. Wish I could afford one.[​IMG]
  4. Black Feather

    Black Feather Songster

    Apr 20, 2007
    bluey does your woodburner require electricity?

    One of my other concerns is the amount of smoke the different systems produce. I think some of the older model wood burners produce quite a bit of smoke exhaust that could bother the neighbours....so I want to stay away form that, also for the environmental concerns of air polution. I hear that some of the newer models are quite efficient and do not produce a lot of smoke pollution. Mind you, what a comany says and the reality of a products performance can be quite different, that's why I'm looking for feedback from actual users.

  5. bluey

    bluey thootp veteran

    Apr 10, 2008
    Washington, PA
    My woodburner does not require electricity...

    I live rurally, so the smoke is not an issue. I know there are folks in more populated areas that probably would complain. I don't have to deal with that although I don't consider the amount of smoke produced by mine to be excessive at all, nor do I find it to be unpleasant smelling.

    I love the smell. As far as actual emission measurements, I don't feel qualified to comment.
  6. purr

    purr Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    I have a woodstove , Quadr-Fire. It's 10 yrs old and it has a converter in it so it doesn't send ash up the pipe. I love it but some of my rooms are chilly.
    I have a gas furnace but refuse to put it on. My gas bill is $25 with the woodstove on, $250 a month without it.
    Wood warms you 3 times as much as any other fuel. It warms you up to split it , your sweating when you stack it and it warms you when you burn it.
    It doesn't produce much smoke but all of my neighbors burn too so it's not a problem.
    And I save on cooking fuel because I frequently cook stews, beans and soups on the top.l
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake 10 Years

    We heat mostly with a wood stove.

    We just upgraded from a regular wood stove to a new catalytic wood stove.

    WOW! IT is FANTASTIC! Such a difference and SO MUCH BETTER! I wish we had spent the money years ago. It produces so much more heat for so much less work it is astounding. It also produces much less ash, so I don't have to clean it out at much.

    You actually *CAN* feed it properly and then come back 12 hours later and still have a hot stove. No waking up in the morning to a cold house.

    My house is oddly shaped and kinda big (3,000 ish square feet). So we have two small electric heaters for the bedrooms as well as a space heater that runs on fuel oil and electricity (a monitor). The monitor I only use if it is close to zero out, and I set it to 50ish, it is at the opposite side of the house as the wood stove.
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    We've heated with an Earth Stove Brand stove for 30+ years. If we were just installing one I'd probably look into one of those wood furnaces that's outside so the mess would stay outside.
  9. We have a furnance (electric) and a wood stove. We set the thermosat way down overnight & during the weekdays, when we're not home...and then we have fires every night & every weekend....it REALLY heats our home--we usually get it around 77 in there, LOL We have a blower on it but we just use a regular fan in front of it because it uses less energy than the actual blower. In addition, our heating costs went from $300+ per 70 days around $90 per 70 days.
  10. blueskylen

    blueskylen Songster

    Mar 3, 2008
    we have an outside wood/coal burner that has a fuel oil backup ( but we don't have the fuel oil part hooked up). we have radiant heat tubes running thru the concrete in our basement and under our main floor. this one furnace heats both our house and large garage/shop. with the use of a bit of coal , it only needs to be fixed 3 times a day, and we are always warm with the heated floors.
    my husband did the entire setup, and it was relatively easy to hook up.

    i would highly recommend this type of setup for your new house, as it was relatively inexpensive, keeps the fire out of the house for insurance purposes, and the temperature keeps steady with the heated floors.

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