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Author Topic: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????  (Read 111737 times)

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Offline sparky1

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What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« on: April 07, 2011, 09:39:39 pm »
Ok, i know this might totally be a bias question to what everyone owns.. no one wants to admit they got ripped off ;) But honestly what is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money?? a new one im talking about. Im gonna be purchasing one in the near future and would like a little outside advice from people who have ones and like or dont like theirs.

Im gonna be heating about a finished area of 2500 sq ft. the unfinsihed is also the same sq footage.  I might hook up my water to it and possibly want to put some sort of heater out in my attached garage to help warm it up a little. I live in the country and i dont belive we have any ordinances agaisnt any of these units.  all advice will be appreciated.
Shaun J

Offline doctorb

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2011, 10:20:46 pm »
I'm noT gonna try to sell you anything.  Here would be my decision tree:

1)  are your neighbors close enough to complain about smoke?  If no then a non-gasifying Unit will save you money.  If yes then the price of wood heat may have gone up, because gasifyers are more expensive But generally smoke less.

2). Are there any stAte or local codes that limit use of OWB's?  If so, they may permit gasifyers but outlaw non-gassers.

3). How much wood, and of what type, is available?  Non-gassers burn just about anything, but the smoke emitted may increase will softer, wetter wood.

4). Do you have time and space to put up a large amount of wood for the winter well in advance?  If you do, then a gasifying stove is great.  If not, then get a non-gasifyers.

5) how much does price matter?  Ecologically, gassification stoves are far superior.  They are about double the price on non-gassers.

So your question, when you ask about which one is best for the money, really boils down to whether you're going to pay up for a gasifyer or not.  Once you've made that decision, you can start narrowing it down by brand.  I think the dealer makes a whole lot of difference with these units.  You are not just buying a stove, your purchasing a dealer as well.  So do your homework in that respect as well
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 08:15:08 am »
I like my Heatmor. A very simple OWB. No frills,no solid state units,no computer,no read outs,just a simple OWB that when I need parts I can go to a good size hardware,plumbing or big box store and get the parts for it. The only part they don't carry is the blower. I would still check with your code guy to make sure about the OWB. Lots going on with those things now. You mention OWB you might just as well say clear cut to a bunch of green people.  ::) We all think ours is better than the others.  ;D  I have grates in mine.I use a auger to remove the ashes.
There's really nothing that I would think would be better if it was done a differant way.One of the few things I bought that I did not have to re do because it's a bother that way.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline tonto

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 09:41:25 am »
I knew Doc would be the first to grab this one. All his questions are very valid. Their are so many variables that you have to look at to get the whole picture. The dealer is a very important one because they will very important in your decision. The answer to the question which is the best one is almost always going to be the one that that person owns at that time. Gassier or non gasifier like Doc says is your main decision. I own a Central Boiler non gasifier and love it, but I also don't have a problem with neighbors or towns at this time. Tonto.
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Offline Holmes

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 12:08:23 pm »
You may find the Garn to be one of the best boilers but, it is expensive and it needs a roof or building over it. Holmes
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Offline JSNH

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 12:58:35 pm »
I like my Central boiler 5036. Simple and works 3rd year now. I am a bit low on wood right now so I dropped a live  poplar last night. Stump to fire 20 minutes. Try that with a gasser.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2011, 10:24:52 pm »
my company    Free Heat Machine   went out of business

apparently  opened up down the street with a new name


that said  I love it   stainless   7 years now flawless..... throw the wood in it burns

old style outside booster fan

burns almost any wood though does not do well with dead green pine only

paid 8400 for whole system

7 winters at 4000+ bucks in its cold here new hampshire = 28K

so somewhere around 20k saved        and where would all that 30 cord a year pine gone anyway
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster

Offline karlk

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2011, 05:31:02 am »
Portage & Main

Offline Holmes

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 09:33:58 am »
Portage & Main
              Karlk  This looks like a very good product. What are your experiences with it? Is it that simple and easy to operate?  Holmes
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Offline sprintfan11

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 07:58:08 am »
I'll put a third thumbs up for the Central Boiler 5036! It will have paid for itself as of this fall, 3 years since it started heating our house and hot water. If you live in rural area, where neighbors are spread out, an OWB is a great investment.
Use up, wear out, make do or do without.

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Offline Woodbuzzer

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 08:17:47 pm »
CB 5036 still goin strong with no problems after4 years- :) :)-Buzz
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Offline karlk

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2011, 05:43:48 pm »
Holmes I had an eko gasification boiler with water storage befor buying the portage&maine optimizer, the optimizer is about as easy as it gets! Clean the tubes every few weeks and thats it. It worked great all winter and now Im using it for domestic hot water only.Almost no smoke and very little ash. Im going to burn 365 days a year.

Offline vt k-9

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2011, 06:03:14 pm »
      My family has 3 heatmors 2central boiler 5036 and I have a portage and main. The heatmors are all ten years old . They all still work fine. The central boilers are a step above them as far as effcientcy. The portage and main is a good step or two above the cb. Service has been good also.

Offline rondojod

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2011, 12:01:00 pm »
vt k-9

Just read your post and wondering your location as well as the expense of the Portage and Main. Watched videos of the 250 optimizer and looks interesting.
Can't locate a dealer in Maine. Where can I go for reviews?

Offline Local4Fitter

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2011, 11:50:01 pm »
Slate Valley Boilers 802 265 4422 in Vermont says they deliver to Maine but thats a rather large area. There website gave a price of $11,500 not sure if that is delivered. Steve Burlingame a P&M dealer in Charlton,MA told me $10,500 and another $500 for shipping from Canada. They are a bit pricey, but I saw his Optimizer 250 running a couple weeks ago. Neat unit, built real well. He sells Empyre's also. Night and Day between the two, P&M wins hands down. You can easily access the whole HX. Actually look straight through and have a visual when cleaning. I don't own one yet but if all goes well I will be running one in the fall.
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Offline boilerman101

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 12:18:35 am »
I've been busy posting tonight. Please see my comments on another similiar thread on this page Topic: Portage and Main Optimizer 250 Good,Bad, or just O.K. Don't sell the E2400 short. Some research shows there are many differences that favor the E2400

Offline brewster113

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« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2013, 10:36:27 pm »
Hello, new to this board and I am looking for a outdoor wood furnace. I have an Empyre Clean Burn which after 5 years has lost all of it's water and needs to be replaced. I am looking at a few stoves and wondered if any one had any thoughts on them. They are a heat master, wood master, heatmor, or polar furnace, central boiler, but not Empyre. Any insight on these stoves would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Bruce w. Thurston

Offline thecfarm

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2013, 10:50:28 pm »
brewster113,sorry to hear of your troubles. But I do want to welcome you to the forum. Good luck with whatever you get.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline r.man

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2013, 08:37:48 am »
Bruce, fireboxes can be repaired and it is a lot cheaper than replacing the whole stove. If the empyre is just 5 yrs old I would have a repair person give an estimate on fixing it. In some areas where OWBs have been popular for twenty years there are very often people who are experienced in repairing OWB fireboxes. I know of a large Empyre that had a new top put on the firebox 2 years ago.
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Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2013, 10:29:58 am »
I have a Woodmaster that like Cfarm's is a basic no frills furnace. At 12 years old it developed a crack where the chimney goes through the water jacket I stripped it down and rebuilt the are around the crack, while it was stripped I noticed another section that was developing a crack so that was fixed as well. That was two winters ago and its still going strong. The woodmaster at the time was middle of the road and it paid for itself in 2 years of not heating with propane, the 12 years after that have all been "free" heat.

If I had to buy another I would look into another woodmaster as this one has been good to me.

Offline CTL logger

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2013, 12:39:14 pm »
I say central boiler I own 2 5036 boilers one heats my house, the other heats my shop. One is 10 years old never had any trouble. The dealer has one he's used for 18 years still going strong.

Offline doctorb

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #21 on: February 14, 2013, 01:12:32 pm »
Check your state and local regs to see if you are required to install a gasification model or not.  This will be the biggest determinant of price.  Once that is decided, then you can get a real answer to your question.
My father once said, "This is my son who wanted to grow up and become a doctor.  So far, he's only become a doctor."

Offline Sonofman

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #22 on: February 14, 2013, 04:07:02 pm »
I have a Central Boiler 4030 that I installed last fall. My only regret is that I did not do this years ago. It does not get real cold down here, so my furnace is not really tested. I have a very good dealer, as Doc and others have said, that is real important. Also go with a name brand heater from a company that has been around a while, has a good reputation and a good warranty.
Located due west of Due West.

Offline BigWill

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2016, 12:39:44 pm »
Although the post is rather old I keep finding it in the browser so I'll share our experience. Our Polar g-class runs our main house and has so for the past 3 seasons. We also use an Empyre 200 for our apartment buildings and a Hawken traditional HE 2000 to run the garage and barn. I'll share with you our experience for each stove:

Empyre 200:

The idea and design of the stove was very exciting when we bought it however we never considered the maintenance aspect as well as what the manufacturer considers to be "consumable parts" *** ASK ABOUT CONSUMABLE PARTS AND THEIR PRICES *** These parts just so happened to be the very fragile fire brick that lines the entirety of the boiler. Like clockwork we have replaced the lining every year @ over $800.00 a pop not to mention the loss in efficiency as it starts to degrade.

Secondly from a maintenance perspective we spend at least 2+ hours a week destroying drill bits to clean out the 1 inch flue system that consists of 12+ horizontal and vertical exhaust tubes. This is BY FAR my biggest issue with this stove. I burn moisture tested wood in all of our units and this one plugs up CONSTANTLY regardless of my readings.

Hawken Traditional:

This stove is an absolute tank. Hands down this old timer beats them all in simplicity and ease of use. The efficiency isn't there (25% or less) but I can burn anything that falls in the forest. I've had to patch it over the years (going on 12 now) but all in all its been a good little boiler. Simple is better with these thing IMO and they nailed it with the old models at Hawken.

Polar G2:

This stove is why I felt the need to post. We've had this gasifier for 4 years now and I have to say if when i purchase a boiler to replace our soon to be outdated boilers (empyre and hawken) it'll be another Polar. I cannot sing enough praises for this thing. It is everything the Empyre is not in terms of ease of use and simplicity. Efficiency is amazing as I burn literally better than 1/2 the wood to heat the same space as our Hawken. In the 4 years of constant use I have replaced NOTHING. To clean the stove requires a shovel and a few turns of the sweep system. Simple, clean, efficient and VERY easy to use. 15 year warranty and my dealer here in NY checks up with us twice a year with a service contract. 100% worth checking out if you're digging through the mountain of options.

Anyway that's my 2 cents. Again I realize this thread is old but I felt the need to get our experience out there. In case it wasn't clear I VOTE POLAR.

BigWill

Offline woodmills1

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2016, 08:37:46 pm »
mine still works fine, replaced the blower motor and the door gasket, but still no oil 13 14 years and toasty living.
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster

Offline userdk

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2016, 08:34:52 pm »
We really like our Heatmaster MF 10,000. It's been heating our drafty old house, our Milkhouse, all the hot water for dairy farm, and showers for 10 people now for 9 years. No problems whatsoever. Now we're hoping to upgrade to the new Heatmaster G400.

Offline glassman_48

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #26 on: August 09, 2016, 07:40:57 pm »
sparky1,
I am a dealer for brute force firewood processors and outdoor wood boilers. (I just recently became a sponsor in here)  I have an interesting story, I went to the great lakes logging show last year in Escanaba Michigan. I had a couple dozen people ask me if I was going to carry brute force outdoor wood boilers along with their processors.  Those people talked so highly of the owb's I decided to carry that line also.  I hadn't even considered it until I heard from those people.  They are located in Wisconsin too, you can go to my website and get more info.  Clayton (the owner) will give you all the info you need, he is located in Dorchester Wisconsin.  It would be worth a phone call.  good luck

Offline Kbauer63

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #27 on: October 14, 2017, 10:23:24 am »
I purchased a portage and main EGR 250 and have been running it for 2 seasons now and could not be happier. the attention to detail in the workmanship and materials far exceeds all of the other units that we looked at prior to making our decision. I have every confidence in recommending their products to anyone seriously looking at out door wood furnaces

Offline rjwoelk

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #28 on: October 14, 2017, 10:36:29 am »
I have been looking at the chip burners. Now that means more work but i have a firewood business  and lots of small scrap. The think i like about them is a big hopper load it up and good for a week or longer deprnding on size of hopper. The other advantage is it uses natural gas or propane or heating fuel to start the burn. So if you dont need it burning and wasting wood it just shuts down. Needs heat the preburner cuts in and the chips augar to the head and away you go.Down side bit more money.
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant

Offline J 5

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #29 on: October 22, 2017, 06:58:17 am »
       I have had 2 Empyre 450 furnaces in 19 years , the first all steel /no draft and the second stainless /with draft. Both have had minor leaks  around the door on my first one and around the bottom tubes on the 2nd one. They do the job,I like the bottom ash pan for cleanout. I have always used dry wood in their operation and would never go back to wood in the house- garage. Would I buy another one, probably, haven't looked at the new ones lately, hope I don't have to. Furnaces are like cars , everybody makes the best one , in my opinion.
                     J 5

Offline TKehl

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2017, 10:12:58 am »
We've had really good luck with Bryan (not Bryant) furnaces.  They are an outdoor forced air unit.  (I think everyone else mentions boilers.)  It will burn hedge and doesn't fuss much about moist wood, though we try to keep it dry.

My parents bought the first one in 94 and got 15 years out of it before needing to rebuild the firebrick.  8 years into that now.  The only other repairs have been a blower motor, a solenoid, and redoing the door seal.

We got ours WELL used 2 years ago and have only needed door seals.  Have a third now for the workshop.

It is the primary heater for both our houses and the electric furnace is really only used in the shoulder seasons to take the chill off in the morning.

I really only have two complaints.
1.  The forced air means you can only stuff the box so full.  We fill it as many as 6 times a day if real cold but at least three times a day.
2.  The cast iron grates tend to crack and warp and they ask a ridiculous amount for replacements.  (The rep apologized before giving me a quote.   :D)  A fireplace grate from any big box store makes a decent replacement as does the section of truck frame with extra holes that we use.
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.

Offline armechanic

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2017, 03:48:10 pm »
I have a Hardy, All stainless installed in 98,replaced the draft motor once. still going strong.  I didn't see this brand mentioned so must be a semi local unit, but see several around, very rural setting.  I live in the middle of 400 acres so no close neighbors.
1989 Lt 40, D6C CAT, Home made wood processer in progress.

Offline E Yoder

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #32 on: October 23, 2017, 03:33:45 pm »
I have worked with Heatmaster for quite a few years, am very pleased with what they've done with their new GS model line. A simple no frills efficient downdraft unit.
HeatMaster dealer support in VA.
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Offline rjwoelk

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Re: What is the best outdoor wood furnace for the money????
« Reply #33 on: November 13, 2017, 02:56:01 pm »
my company    Free Heat Machine   went out of business

apparently  opened up down the street with a new name


that said  I love it   stainless   7 years now flawless..... throw the wood in it burns

old style outside booster fan

burns almost any wood though does not do well with dead green pine only

paid 8400 for whole system

7 winters at 4000+ bucks in its cold here new hampshire = 28K

so somewhere around 20k saved        and where would all that 30 cord a year pine gone anyway

What all you heating to burn 30 cords a year. :o
Lt15 palax wood processor,3020 JD 7120 CIH 36x72 hay shed for workshop coop tractor with a duetz for power plant