#1  
Old 11-05-2009, 09:10 PM
Archena's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,212
Question Wood Burning Furnaces

I've been reading up on these. Has anyone ever used one? Alabama has a mild (by Yankee standards) climate but I am extremely cold adverse. Mr. Power Bill reflects my distaste for cold - I'm probably the only Alabamian whose power bill goes up in winter! Anyway, I was wondering about these.

So, opinions?
__________________
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

"Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
[/CENTER]
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-05-2009, 10:43 PM
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,446
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

I can't really comment on a wood burning furnace, I'm guessing it is a wood stove that has been modified with a heat circulating (blower) system. The only thing I have seen similar is the fireplace my brother did about 25 yrs ago. About that time heat circulating fireplace inserts were becoming popular. Being an electrical engineer, he decided to build his own system when he did a family room/dining room addition with a fireplace. My memory is sketchy on this, but basically it involved a narrow chamber (for lack of a better term) that surrounded the sides and top (outside of the actual fire box) that captured the radiant heat. To this he added electricals similar to any furnace as well as a duct work system that I believe was tied into his existing gas furnace duct work (I may be wrong, it may have been entirely separate). In any case, it was pretty effective at heating the entire house. He lived in southern VA at the time, so not quite as mild as AL. The best part (and I have no idea how he did it) - the system was totally code compliant, passed heating/AC, passed electrical, and met national firecode. He was really proud of that. Hey, the entire addition cost him alot of money, he NEEDED it to pass.
I just wish I had gotten to see it more than once before he divorced and sold the house.
I was recently married, working 70 hrs a week (and still broke), with no time to visit (I was living in OH at the time).

So, long story, not so short.....In a mild climate with a good cheap source of seasoned hardwoods, I think you could effectively heat a portion/all of a home.

RT
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-05-2009, 11:01 PM
Archena's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,212
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

Thanks. Your brother's heating system sounds really interesting.

The furnace systems use water as the transfer medium. Water surrounds the firebox and is pumped between the house and furnace using a heat exchange to go from water to forced air (not sure how radiant heating is handled but it can do that as well). Depending on size furnaces can heat one or two buildings.

In Alabama getting rid of wood is usually the problem. The systems I'm looking at combust pretty danged efficiently which eliminates creosote.
__________________
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

"Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
[/CENTER]
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-17-2010, 10:09 AM
lwalper's Avatar
Laborer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 73
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

Ya, they work GREAT. Can heat your domestic water with it too if you really want to see Mr. Watt go for a hike. Sure, you've still got to pump a little water from the heater to the house, but a small pump running virtually no head = "Goodby" to Mr. Watt. The only downside might be when the power goes out and the pump stops. Of course, your central system will go dead at that time too so ... time for your woolies.

I was visiting for a few days in a large home up in New Hampshire where they used this system with hot water radiators in each room - cold outside, toasty inside.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-18-2010, 05:43 PM
chuckster's Avatar
Laborer
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Graham, North Carolina
Posts: 91
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

We have several houses around here heated with wood furnaces and they seem to work quite well. Using them for hot water is good in the winter, but who wants to keep the wood burning all year? I would switch back to a gas water heater when you didn't need the heat.

A small generator will keep the pump running in the event of a power failure.

Make sure you insulate the pipes running to the house well. That's where you can lose a lot heat.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-18-2010, 06:36 PM
Archena's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Alabama
Posts: 1,212
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

Thanks, guys.

I actually prefer on demand water heaters so that's not an issue for me. But if it can heat water it should be able to handle a heat exchanger - I'll look into that if I decide to go this route.
__________________
"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." - Jim Elliot

"Success isn't permanent and failure isn't fatal." -Mike Ditka
[/CENTER]
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-19-2010, 07:19 AM
fornax hominus's Avatar
Laborer
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: ottawa valley canada
Posts: 97
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

There are 2 types of furnaces in production now , A wood/ oil combination hot air type that replaces a gas or oil furnace , or the ''outhouse '' variety , free standing .. they use a liquid glycol solution , not water with a heat exchanger or in floor heating at the other end ... but .. but these things are big polluters , because the firebox is surrounded by a fluid bearing casing it never, never attains the high temps needed for complete combustion , and people load ' em up with all kings of huge logs , then shut them down and stink up the whole area , make sure you put it down wind ... For more info on the physical and the political aspects of heating with wood I recommend The Woodpile ? Discussing the Future of Wood Heating
cheers , stay warm.
tim
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-19-2010, 09:21 AM
Fish Wheels's Avatar
Laborer
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Great Lakes
Posts: 70
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

You can get more information here:
Outdoor boilers; today's most controversial wood heating technology

Rod
__________________
I would have a shot at the answer, if I had the appropriate question.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-19-2010, 11:38 AM
fornax hominus's Avatar
Laborer
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: ottawa valley canada
Posts: 97
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

Both of the above links were initiated and moderated by John Gulland a.k.a .. the ''Wayne Gretzky of wood stoves'' , wood burning enthusiast, WFO owner, and a long time neighbour and buddy .
tim
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-19-2010, 03:51 PM
dmun's Avatar
Moderator
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 4,216
Default Re: Wood Burning Furnaces

I know it's a lot more of an endeavor than a wood burning furnace, but Masonry Heaters have a lot going for them. Like wood fired ovens, they burn hot and clean, then the fire burns out and the heated masonry heats the house for half a day or more. I haven't built one, but I think anyone who could build a pompeii could do one without much difficulty.

MHA has a lot of information.

Here's a well illustrated page about Masonry heater construction.
__________________
My geodesic oven project:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
,
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
buying firewood? nice article to read. michelevit Firing Your Oven 9 05-10-2011 09:15 PM
Pizza Oven on top of a wood burning chimney Texpolo007 Design Styles, Chimneys and Finish 6 02-05-2010 03:24 PM
Advice for a first timer with a wood burning oven 8mat Newbie Forum 4 05-18-2008 03:43 PM
Wood burning oven + heater BaconGrease Brick Oven Photos 0 10-18-2007 10:13 AM
"Just like wood burning?? mgraban Chit Chat 5 09-30-2007 06:25 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
2006/10 Forno Bravo, LLC