Indoor wood furnace

zickFebruary 17, 2008

Does anyone have any experences with indoor wood burning furances?

Just wondering how effient and what to look out for. Who's a good manufacturer of these? I'm having a difficult time find info on them.

Kind of like these:

We are going to be building a new home soon and would like to use a wood burner to help keep the heating costs down.

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If you live near the Northeast, you might want to start with coal. It's very economical.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 5:31AM
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No I'm in the Midwest, WI.
Wood around here is fairly easy to get for free. Right now I go out w/ my neighbor and help him cut firewood for his fireplace.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 9:29AM
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Having cut wood for my fireplace ... "a nice fall chore for a couple of weekends", and having heated with a wood burning boiler, I can tell you "they aren't the same"!

Think, "logging truck loaded to the top, to be cut, split, stacked and carried into the house and cleaned up after".

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 9:36AM
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I've been burning pallet wood for 31 years now. It's free, easily cut, but a pain to stack cuz it's so small. I like it because I can produce quick heat for domestic hot water. We'd routinely let the fire go out and start it again later in the day for most of the Winter; only takes 30 seconds.

Anthracite coal is available in Michigan and should be in WI too.

You can look on the forum and check.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 11:27AM
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I understand what you mean about carrying wood in the house, but do you feel either one works better? I'm liking the idea of having the wood furnace in the garage for easier loading and clean up better than dealing with it in the house.

Pallets are definitely a nice when their free, but aren't most made from pine would could create a lot of extra creosote?

As far as the coal goes, it doesn't matter if there's some local to me because that defeats the purpose of saving money if I have to buy it. I get the wood basically free.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 12:36PM
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As far as pallet wood, I always burned my stove with a stack temperature of 600 degrees or so, at the hottest. I never tried to burn "air tight". I checked the chimney occasionally, but it was never cleaned in 30 years and there is no noticeable creosote, and yes, I burned alot of pine.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2008 at 6:08PM
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I have an indoor wood furnace and would recomend one to anyone.I saved thousand's my first year!I live in upstate NY and heating cost's are a big issue.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:59PM
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Several years ago I installed a central wood furnace in the basement of my raised ranch home in upstate NY - the alternative was electric baseboard heating and we were spending way too much even with the thermostat set to "frigid"!

Overall, the furnace worked pretty well, and we certainly saved a lot of money and stayed warmer. It takes a season or so to get in the "rhythm" of feeding it and keeping it going. Some things to think about (that I didn't realize when I first started):

1) You need a way of easily cleaning the chimney to deal with creosote buildup. I installed a "creosote cutter" (device on a chain installed in the flue) which worked OK, but this depends on your chimney access

2) Be prepared for the smell of smoke! No matter what, you need to open the furnace to feed it, clean it, etc., and every time there will be smoke released. Even if you like the smell of a wood fire, it is very persistent.

3) It is quite a lot of work to deal with the wood. Even if you can get it pre-split and delivered it needs to be moved through the winter. It can become drudgery to go out in the cold snowy night to get another load....

4) The temperature is hard to keep consistent - when it goes out it can take a while to get started again, and if your schedule changes you might not be there to feed it on time. If there isn't anyone home you have to weigh your comfort level with letting it run high with noone there.

5) Be prepared for mice. They live in the woodpiles, including the woodpile inside next to the furnace!

I'm not sorry I did it, but I'll never do it again. I don't even like fireplaces anymore.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Wood burning is definitely a "way of life".

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 5:55AM
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On Tarms website - they discuss how their unit doesn't make creosote in the chimney, rather burns it in the boiler. Still need boiler cleaned; but not an issue in the chimney. btw may pallets are dried wood and not all are pine. I imagine you've run across some nice hard woods from time to time Bay?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 8:35AM
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Yes I have. I have done custom woodworking using some small pallet pieces. The oak is also good for hardwood flooring. The only problem is the moisture content isn't low enough without drying it.

The Beckett parts that we get are always on a pallet made of cherry wood.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 11:25AM
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I have a Steel King (360 model) indoor wood furnace with two blowers on the back it hooked up with the duct work the same as the gas furnace. recently I woke up and the fans were not running i turned off for hours then turned back on the small on came on but 4 min later shut back down not many ppl around here (athens, mi) service wood furnaces. does anyone have any advice?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2008 at 12:17PM
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Furnaces are usually controlled with fan-and-limit-switches. That would be the first suspect.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2008 at 6:35AM
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