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Author Topic: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler  (Read 16183 times)

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Offline nctacoma

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OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« on: February 11, 2012, 09:20:04 pm »
Hello,

Can somebody educate me on the benefits and differences between an outdoor wood boiler and indoor wood boiler? I am starting to think about one or the other and I really don't know too much about either of them.  I have heated with woodstoves for many years, but never boilers.  This would be tied into a system with hydronic baseboard heat and a indirect hot water heater
Why does it seem like outdoor wood boilers are so much more popular than indoor wood boilers? 

Offline doctorb

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2012, 09:31:48 pm »
Both work fine.  OWB's usually have a larger volume of water in their jacket, which stores a lot of energy.  Many indoor wood boilers use an auxiliary tank to do the same thing.  Some talk about fire risk - indoor vs. outdoor - as a fire in either would be devastating, but your home would not be damaged with an OWB. 

Both of these units burn a fair amount of wood.  Hauling it indoors is extra effort, especially if there's a good distance to your woodpile.

Indoor wood boilers negate any heat loss from an OWB to your basement.

Local regs. may permit one or the other.

I am sure there are many other comparisons and similarities.  I like having the wood outside.  No mess, no bugs, and prep it right next to the OWB so there's less hauling.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2012, 09:37:20 pm »
I had a indoor boiler at my other house. It was a nice unit. Kept me nice and warm. It was a pressurized unit. The only thing about it,I could not shut it down enough to control the fire if I filled it up with some small dead wood. I have a Heatmor now,not pressurized and I can burn cedar that has been leaning against another tree that is dry and the Heatmor will smother the fire out between cycles for keeping the water up to temp. Mine works on a forced draft by fans. If the fans did not come on the fire would just about go out.The mess of the wood is all outside too.I like the OWB much better than my inside one.I have alot of dead standing pine that I am burning now. I'm trying to get through the winter without depending on good hard wood. I have burned some hardwood,just because the trees were in the way of half dead.Some will say you have to go out in the cold to fill them,I had to go out in the cold to bring wood in to fill my other boiler. It's a whole differant way to burn wood too. I can fill my up and it only burns what it needs to keep the water at a certain temp.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline beenthere

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2012, 10:05:10 pm »
nctacoma
I've had an indoor wood boiler closed system under some pressure for 30+ years. I don't think I'd want anything different as it is a perfect fit for me.
I've been told I can't get a replacement because of some requirement that all indoor wood boilers must be steam certified. ?? ??  To me, it isn't any different from an indoor hotwater heater in the need to be steam certified.

I can tend to it as I work in and around the house, and can get 8-10 hours out of it if necessary. However, I put in one or two pieces of firewood as needed which in 0 deg F is about 2-3 hours, more or less. Burn about a cord of 2-3 yr old split dry wood in 3-4 weeks. Longer if oak, a bit shorter with the ash I'm burning.

Company has been out of business for 30+ years.

I have propane gas boiler for backup, and a 30 gal pre-heat tank to temper the water going into the domestic hot water heater. The wood boiler has a 9 gallon water jacket.
Heats my 2800 sq ft (that is two floors) through the toughest winters we've had in WI since I installed it in 1976.
 

 
south central Wisconsin
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Offline John Mc

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2012, 10:29:53 pm »
Pretty sure there are some pressurized indoor wood boiler systems out there. I know they are popular in Europe.
Small time fire-wooder in a neighborhood cooperative.

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Offline doctorb

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2012, 10:34:23 pm »
Beenthere-

You have the cleanest basement I have ever seen!
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 albirk

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 06:52:17 am »
I was thinking the same thing doc

Online bandmiller2

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 07:51:11 am »
Doc.,pretty much covered it.Sometimes its a matter of not having a propper chiminey or one you'd trust with wood.Mess outside is a biggie.Usally indoor will use less wood. Frank C.
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Offline True North

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 08:13:01 am »
I have had both, and I like the OWB hands down.

Offline sparky1

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 08:17:37 am »
I can see insurance being a difference. I told my insurance guy I was purchasing an OWB. He told me i didn t have to do anything different, as long as the flame is outside. I know its like that for alot of people in my area, maybe other parts of the country are different??
Shaun J

Offline Mooseherder

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 08:42:59 am »
Does the insurance man reduce the premium on the house because it is safer with the Furnace outside or is it a one-way street?
Lane Circle Mill

Offline thecfarm

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2012, 08:48:45 am »
Mine did not go down. I suppose if I tear down the chimmey and take out the wood stoves and my FHA oil furnace than it MIGHT.  ::)
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline sparky1

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 09:23:31 am »
insurance go down, hahaha.... their as crocked as the oil companies!!   nope just a one way street, but i have heard of companies not covering houses if they had an wood furnace in the house. My company kinda threw a fit about me having a wood burning fire place.  I told the guy if he didnt like it ill call someone else.  so they "let it slide"
Shaun J

Offline bull

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 09:33:16 am »
I have an IWB My little brother has an OWB. OWB will cost more than IWB.... IWB no need to get dressed and go out into the cold to get warm !! IWB uses 60 % less wood than an OWB..  IWB requires less maintainence and has fewer breakdowns !!

Offline thecfarm

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 09:35:16 am »
There's a guy down the road with a mobile home,bought it brand new,around '95. Wants to put in a wood stove into it. Insurance company would cancel him if he did it. He even tried to let him have a licensed wood installer do it for him to get around the insurance thing. Still no. But the kicker is,if he would of bought it all set up to burn wood he would of been all set. Can't add on and put a stove in either.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 09:39:45 am »
My insurance company got to the point that I would have needed an extra policy to continue covering the house with my basement woodstove. So I went with an OWB and my insurance man said that my premium would go down a tad. Wasn't much decrease but it sure beat the price of the extra rider policy they wanted me to get.

I like not having to put wood in my basement, gives me a lot more room in the basement for storage and other stuff. Keeps the mess outside, no worry about cleaning the chimney when its below zero outside, no worry about a chimney fire, and it is easy to have the neighbor kid load the OWB if I have to go out of town without worrying about somebody coming in my house while I'm gone.

Offline thecfarm

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 09:42:43 am »
I have the older style Heatmor,The only difference with my IWB I had are 2 blowers. That's why I bought a Heatmor. A very simple design. The back looks just like IWB,same controllers and circulators. I should of bought this unit when we built the house. I need a way to get rid of my dead wood. I still had to go out in the cold to get the wood and bring it inside to burn with my IWB. This OWB is one of the few things that I have brought and been very happy with it.
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline sparky1

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2012, 09:55:02 am »
as a kid we had a wood furnace, I know not the same as in IWB. loved how warm the house felt. another advantage of in inside furnace is if the power goes out you still have heat. I still think the advantages for myself having the owb outweighed the inside furnace. It might not be the same for everyone, but the right choice for me.  No mess in the basement. I have a log house and i was worried about bugs (that was my biggest reason), the fire issue is also a big one, carbon monoxide as well.  there are some disadvantages as well..
Shaun J

Offline Holmes

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2012, 10:27:04 am »
I installed a lot of Tarm indoor wood boilers and they are good. I like the idea of the inside boiler and keeping most of the btu's inside the house, but having had to go to houses in the middle of the night to fix overheated boilers that the owner left the door ajar and gone to bed has cured me from wanting the boiler inside the house. Those people were very lucky they did not burn their houses down.
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Offline gspren

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Re: OWB vs. Indoor wood boiler
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2012, 03:14:31 pm »
I have had both and by far the biggest reason I now have an outdoor stove is my wife, she doesn't like the smell in the house and there is no posibility of burning inside without an occasional puff of smoke when loading or cleaning the stove. I also like the mess outside, when handling wood there are always pieces of bark, dirt etc.
Stihl 041, 044 & 261, JD 2355 4X4 w/fel, JD 620, Yamaha Kodiak 400 & trailer, Kubota 400 RTV,  P&M OWB, 75 acres to play.