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Author Topic: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?  (Read 1854 times)

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Offline sprucebunny

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Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« on: March 23, 2017, 05:42:48 pm »
My woodstove has a problem and is not far from my oil boiler for radiant heat. I'm thinking of buying an indoor boiler instead of another used woodstove.

How old is your stove ? Are you happy with it? Do all the blowers use much electricity?

Thanks
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 07:10:18 pm »
I had an indoor wood boiler. worked good. I had baseboard,so I had circulators.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 07:30:04 pm »
I have an old jackline wood boiler, heats the house nice and uses 1/4 of the wood that the oversized outdoor models burn. I also have a nice old Jensen wood furnace, used it for two years until I got the boiler up and running. Both work well, the furnace added maybe 30.00 a month to bill, boiler adds so little I can't tell.
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 08:36:50 pm »
There are already circulators on the oil boiler. I'd only need to add 1… I think and some plumbing.

I burn about 5 cords/year with the woodstove and have very erratic heat. Use about 200 gallons of oil a year, also, to keep the garage slab ( downstairs from living space) heated. The woodstove is also downstairs.

Any new wood boiler is pretty expensive but only about 10 years worth of oil at the current price and that is guesstimated using the oil boiler as back-up to a woodstove.

It would be nice to have more control of the temperature and not swing from 65 to 85  ::)
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Offline Brucer

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2017, 12:19:02 am »
I put a Fisher stove in my house when I built it. Trying to maintain a consistent temperature was nearly impossible. I could set the inlets so the temperature in the chimney was steady at 400° F (to avoid creosote) but then the room would overheat. When I built a smaller fire and turned down the inlets, the fire would either die out or take off.

After putting up with that for 19 years, I discovered wood stove technology was vastly improved. I bought a Pacific Energy convection stove and now live through the winter in blissful comfort :). The stove has 3 stages of combustion so it burns very clean and has a very high efficiency. Mine has a built-in thermometer that indicates whether you are generating creosote or sending all you heat up the chimney. I can turn down the heat output by a factor of 5 :o.

The new stove is 18 years old now. I have had to replace the firebrick once. A couple of internal components became distorted from the heat and I had to replace them 3 years ago -- not expensive and no tools required.

I always burn seasoned wood. A new neighbour was over for a visit after we'd had the stove for just over 3 years. She asked how often we had to clean the chimney and I said we didn't know because we hadn't had to do it yet (I check it every year). She and her husband promptly replaced their old radiant wood stove with a Jotul convection stove and were just as happy with it as we were with ours.

One point to consider. These stoves only produce radiant heat out the front. Most of the heat they put out is in the form of hot air, which rises to the ceiling. This isn't a problem for us because we have a central forced air system and run the fan continuously. Without the duct system you would probably want to have a ceiling fan that would force the warm air down to mix with the room air. It wouldn't have to be a windmill -- just a slow moving (and quiet) propeller type fan.

Just an alternative to think about.
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2017, 06:39:23 am »

Thanks, Bruce. I would love to have a Fisher stove. Bought one last spring for my ex's house. I've even figured out a way to control the damper wheels remotely…in theory, anyway  ;)

My woodstove is as far as it's possible to get from the living room. The downstairs ceiling is 12 feet so the stairs are long. I built ducts from the woodstove room thru the ceiling  up into the kitchen/ livingroom and have a thermostatically controlled fan out of a hot air furnace at the bottom of the stairs to circulate hot air. This fan costs about $60/month the winter I ran it. When it's on, I have nice even heat and the slab even soaks some up. It's far enough away so it doesn't really bother me but the elec bill does !

Maybe I'll buy a newer woodstove but they are $1500-$2000 and a wood boiler to add to my oil system is $5000-$6000. I'm guessing the boiler has a longer burn time and is more efficient without running up and downstairs to control it.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 09:16:25 am »
The benefit of a wood boiler is you can control your water temp with aquastats, if it gets too hot, have a dump zone to get rid of excess heat before your relief valve dumps, if water temp drops, have the induced draft fan kick to raise temp. All boilers have there own burn time dependent on many variables, but most indoor wood boilers will allow you to fill at night and stay warm til morning, as long as you don't sleep in too long  smiley_sleeping smiley_sleeping
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Offline Holmes

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2017, 04:46:48 pm »
Unless you get a gasifier a wood boiler will be a creosote nightmare.  The old Tarms worked ok but with most wood boilers you can not get the heat exchanger walls hot enough to not create creosote Slow fires are the worst. There are some newer wood stoves with 2nd and 3rd stage burning areas that are 80+ % efficient  I think Woodstock makes a couple of them
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2017, 06:38:23 pm »
Thanks, Holmes. I was just reading about that. Makes sense.

However most of my "free" wood is softwood or birch and red maple and even the gasifiers want very dry hardwood.

Sure would be nice to have all hydronic heat instead of both water and air.
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Offline Brucer

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2017, 01:59:29 am »
Don't just price out the stove -- get pricing on the chimney as well.

The old Fisher had 8" flue and chimney. The Pacific Energy had a 6" flue and chimney (and it would not perform at all well with the bigger flue). I discovered that the 6" chimney system cost as much as the stove :o :(. I'm still glad I made the upgrade.

The big differences between the two styles of stoves were in the controls and the type of heat. The Fisher radiated heat out into the room, where it would be absorbed by all the room surfaces. This made the room itself very hot. The convection style stoves prevent heat from radiating (except in the very front) and instead generate hot air that rises and spreads along the ceiling. You don't really get most out of this kind of system without some kind of circulation system. The Fisher ran without much attention to the controls, but only in a very narrow range. The Pacific Energy had a much, much wider range of stable control.

One other nice thing about many of the modern convection stoves is that they let you duct combustion air directly from the outdoors into the stove, instead of suck combustion air from the room. If you take combustion air from the room, cold outdoor air is going to find a way in to replace it.
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2017, 07:36:31 am »
I have a 6" Metalbestos chimney, now. And a Vermont Castings Vigilant that I got at the dump. I like it because it has a bimetallic spring that controls intake air and ( and at least theoretically the stove temperature) but every now and then it gets too hot. Now it has warped the doors  ::)

I'm not totally against another woodstove but a boiler of some kind would be better because it and the existing hydronic system could heat the 6" slab downstairs and having that warm keeps the rest of the house bearable. Also a boiler has it's own temperature controls which most woodstoves don't.
Most people have a woodstove in thier livingroom but I have a seperate woodstove room that is downstairs in an addition to the building. Until last summer I had to go outside and back in another door but now I have a door between the garage and the woodstove room.

I suppose I could have an outdoor boiler if it had fewer drawbacks than an indoor one but I would have to run the piping along the floor about 12' to get to the oil boiler's room and since I already have a seperate room with a hearth and heat shielding that is much closer to the oil boiler, having an outdoor unit seems dumb unless there is a functional reason.

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Offline r.man

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2017, 08:33:54 am »
I had a stove with a bi-metal damper spring for a few years. Be wary about burning lots of light wood at one time, some stoves will reverse the damper coil under high quick heat and reverse to reopen the damper when it should be completely closed.
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Offline Autocar

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2017, 12:28:15 pm »
I have a Green Wood Boiler and it sets in my attached garage, I wouldn't trade my stove for any of the ones they talk about on this forum. A Green Wood burns so hot that you don't have a creosite problem. I clean my stove besides ashes once a year and that's it. Others tell me there plugging up once a month with a mild winter.

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2017, 02:01:33 pm »
Thanks, Autocar, that's just the sort of thing I want to hear.

Too bad thier website/contact us thing doesn't work. I will try to call them this week.
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Offline Autocar

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2017, 06:41:07 pm »
I am not sure what happened but they were made in the northwest and what I was told they filed bankrucy because of a recall on the cement inside liner cracking, mine has cracked as the years passed but I haven't had any problems. The whole idea of this cement stuff was if you ran out of wood then cement would stay hot untill you put wood back into it.. Then a company bought the out and it was moved to a small town just east of my place but from what I have heard thur the grape vine there not making them anymore. If you want me to stop over there and see what the deal is I will. I feel it was one of the best stoves ever made from my understanding there build on a european style which means it burns down then up the flue. Instead of going up the flue it drawns down to the bottom of the furnace then goes into the flue. Dosen't make any sence to me but it works great. When I first bought it I thought it used to much wood but seems like I have figured it out and I am well satisfied. I just asked my wife how long we have had this furnace she thought it was ten years so that means I have run a brush though the flue ten times I am  8)
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2017, 07:35:25 pm »
I see from thier website that it weighs 1500 pounds !! ? That's about twice what some of the others weigh.
But only has 6 gallons of water ??? That sounds pretty odd but if they are still in business and reasonably priced, it would be on the list.
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Offline Autocar

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2017, 08:28:02 pm »
If I get over that way I will stop and ask them about the stove. And yes there heavy and six gallons is about right. In fact we put in a back up generator because if you lose power it will boil over right now !
Bill

Offline 711ac

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2017, 06:15:25 pm »
I have an indoor "gasser" and am very happy with it. This was the 7th season with it heating our small house with large attached shop. It's made in PA and without a lot of proprietary electronics that the european boilers seem to be full of. http://www.alternateheatingsystems.com/?gclid=CNKFiqXa99ICFQx6fgodYSgNng

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2017, 08:30:37 pm »
Thanks, 711ac. Glad to hear a recomendation on that one. I had found the website but not a price yet.
I am low on data and have suspended my serious searching for a couple of days.

Autocar, I called the number on the Greenwood website and the woman who answered didn't know if they made a boiler and asked me strange questions about when my house was built and what size and what county but not what state… it was another weird part of today. I think I'd rather have a boiler that held more water. I can't afford a fancy back-up generator system.

I tried to learn more about Benjamin boilers made in Nova Scotia ( I think) but the most helpful website said they were not for sale in NH or ME. That seems pretty odd, also.
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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2017, 09:25:28 pm »
I don't know much about the Benjamin but I see that they have a us dealer that says on their website that they ship to all states. Perhaps some states will not allow non gasifying boilers? I see they also sell a gasifier boiler of a different brand. I did notice that the garage where I get my truck serviced has a Bengamin boiler seems to work fine.

http://mainewoodfurnaces.com

By having the boiler on the first floor and your living area above it may be possible to automatically bypass your flow control with a normally closed motorized valve that will open during a power failure so you would still get heat by thermosyphon or add a rad up stairs connected to the power failure / dump zone.

Offline Stoneyacrefarm

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2017, 09:42:31 am »
Spruce bunny.
We are putting an indoor boiler in our new cabin we are building.
It is a thermo-control. They are out of New York.
Check them out.
They have a large water jacket in them also.
Might be of interest to you.

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2017, 03:48:36 pm »
Thanks, Stoneyacres. Those look good. Price is good, too.

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Offline Stoneyacrefarm

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2017, 09:45:46 am »
 Spruce bunny,
Did you ever end up buying a boiler?
If so what kind.
I haven't bought mine yet either.
Still in the works.
Money tree hasn't bloomed yet.  :D

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2017, 07:28:17 am »
I haven't bought one either. It's a lot of money to save a little labor and a little wood. I could buy several seasons of fuel oil for that money and run the radiant system that's already in place.
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2017, 12:42:47 pm »
sprucebunny, If you have grates just below an outside window, Up against the wall. The cold air will sink down to the stove and hot air will go up in the house. I have one big grate in the middle of the house.  If you want to pull hot air around the house, put grates under the windows where you want heat. No fans.
As long as the lower level is somewhat open.
But with a [woodstove room] This might not work.
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Offline 47sawdust

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Re: Indoor wood boiler> anyone have one ?
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2017, 02:46:08 pm »
I see a lot of used Therm-control boilers for sale on CL.I don't know the reason they are for for sale,but it would make me wary.Perhaps ,as was mentioned earlier,they are creosote factories.I know you are thinking boiler,but I have a Hearthstone Mansfield stove that heats our house very evenly.I picked ours up for $1500.00,used of course.It's a good time of year to be looking.
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