Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Thread: RE: Anyone have experience with wood boilers or multi-fuel boilers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Unity, Maine
    Posts
    3,866

    Default RE: Anyone have experience with wood boilers or multi-fuel boilers

    I am looking at the possibility of installing an outdoor wood boiler or a combination wood boiler/fuel oil boiler inside and hooking them up to my existing baseboard heat . . . does anyone have any experience with either one of these type of heating units?
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Brewer, Maine
    Posts
    1,808

    Default

    The only thing I've read about outside wood boilers is that, unless you have a large demand (school, business, really big house), you don't get the efficiency that you should. They are designed to run fairly long time periods (due to energy expended getting them up to temp), so if you are firing it up, house gets warm, shut it down, you might be better off with a different system. Again, this is only stuff I've casually read, no first hand experience. Stay warm

  3. #3

    Default

    I don't have any direct experience with them either, but grew up in a house heated that way, with a homemade wood furnace connected to an old coal boiler. It's a lot of work, but can pay off if you have access to cheap wood and have a large or poorly insulated house. The modern systems run much more efficiently due to an electronic control module that monitors flue temperature and hot water demand, and adjusts the damper accordingly. I have heard that they can go as long as 48 hours between refills depending on quality of wood being burned and demand for heat. One such system is made by Aqua-Therm and I believe my father still has a distributorship with them. You may be able to contact them and they can put you in touch with someone local using the system.

    On a related note, this Saturday is the National Tour of Solar Homes Open House. You can go here to find a list of sites near you. I am hoping to stop by Bill Lord's Solar Home in Kennebunk to check it out. His website has tons of info on getting free energy from the sun!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    6,061

    Default

    I know someone who has an outdoor unit - it was used to heat both their house as well as a trailer their parents lived it. They use it year round, obviosly just for domestic hot water in the summer. I also helped my father install an indoor wood boiler last year. I had gotten it off a job and his 1800's hot air wood furnace finally gave out. Anyway, we just hooked it up quick to a few cast iron radiators and some baseboard since the oil furnace is hot air. It heated real well. In fact, he had trouble keeping it throttled down it worked so well. We considered putting a big radiator in the basement to carry off some of the excess heat, but did not get to it. Once he got used to how and when to fill it, he rarely had trouble with the temp/pressure relief blowing off. As the last post states, the newer ones with better draft controls probably help a lot with this problem.

    I think the outdoor boiler can be a great idea, but I question how long it takes to pay for itself. They don't give the units away, wood isn't cheap unless you cut it yorself, the entire system will have to be filled with apx. 50% anti-freeze (unless you use a heat exchanger so the current system is isolated from the wood system), the underground piping can get expensive when properly buried and insulated, and if you want it to work when the power goes out, you'll need to invest in a generator, or a battery/charger/inverter setup to operate the pump(s). I used the inverter setup on my father's and it works quite nicely, though.

    There are several ways to hook the system up, but circulating the wood boiler water through the oil burner allows you to utilize existing electrical controls, thermostats, and pumps.

    Do you know how big a unit you will need? What is the BTU of your current boiler, and how well does it heat your house?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Unity, Maine
    Posts
    3,866

    Default

    Brdad . . . right now I'm leaning towards an indoor wood/oil boiler combination, such as the one made my Tarm (I still need more info on this though . . . I suspect they're quite expensive). I still haven't ruled out the outdoor boilers though.

    Originally my wife and I were considering a woodstove or fireplace insert, but due to space restrictions and cost of putting in a decent-looking chimney that option is out . . . hence the reason I'm looking at these other options.

    Getting wood will not be an issue since my family owns a decent amount of land and we've selectively cut off it for years. In some ways believe it or not I actually miss cutting, splitting and stacking firewood . . . it took time, but it always gave me a certain sense of satisfaction.

    I'm unsure of the size in terms of BTU, but I figure my house is between 2,000-2,500 square feet.

    -----------

    Sudonim . . . so far some of my research seems to indicate the same thing you said . . . that the outdoor boilers are not as efficient as other heating units.

    ----------

    Cn'J . . . solar probably is the way to go . . . but from what I've seen the technology is still rather expensive even with tax credits and what have you.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    124

    Default wood boiler

    I have a wood boiler that hooked into my oil boiler works well your welcome to come check it out

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    1,652

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    In some ways believe it or not I actually miss cutting, splitting and stacking firewood . . . it took time, but it always gave me a certain sense of satisfaction.
    I used to heat with wood years ago and miss the cutting and splitting. I didn't run the chainsaw, but there is something about throwing those 4 foot logs onto the saw horse and then slinging the cut-up pieces into ever growing piles that makes me smile. Then the splitting and stacking! A sense of satisfaction to see all that would cut, split, and neatly stacked waiting to be taken in to the wood stove! Ahhhhh - a pleasant thought. Now I just walk over to the thermostat and turn the heat up or down and write out a check to Northern Utilities each month. Borrrrrrring
    ~ Beach Comber ~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by firefighterjake
    Brdad . . . right now I'm leaning towards an indoor wood/oil boiler combination, such as the one made my Tarm (I still need more info on this though . . . I suspect they're quite expensive). I still haven't ruled out the outdoor boilers though.

    Originally my wife and I were considering a woodstove or fireplace insert, but due to space restrictions and cost of putting in a decent-looking chimney that option is out . . . hence the reason I'm looking at these other options.

    Getting wood will not be an issue since my family owns a decent amount of land and we've selectively cut off it for years. In some ways believe it or not I actually miss cutting, splitting and stacking firewood . . . it took time, but it always gave me a certain sense of satisfaction.

    I'm unsure of the size in terms of BTU, but I figure my house is between 2,000-2,500 square feet.
    Jake -

    You don't want a "combination unit". In fact - I'm not sure you can even get them now. You have to have separate chimney flues for the wood and oil units (insurance rules). Best bet is to get separate units - it's what I have and it works great.

    Until the rise in fuel prices, I used my oil boiler to heat water in the spring/summer as it was cheaper than electric. Wood boiler does it all in winter. We also like it because when we go off on 2-3 day caching trips, the oil kicks in until we get back.

    But I have heard good reports about the outdoor wood boilers - although I haven't had any direct experience. The best thing I've heard is the long burn time and the fact that youcan use ANY wood. Got a lot of old pallets? LOL!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Beach Comber
    I used to heat with wood years ago and miss the cutting and splitting. I didn't run the chainsaw, but there is something about throwing those 4 foot logs onto the saw horse and then slinging the cut-up pieces into ever growing piles that makes me smile.
    Good exercise, too! LOL! I cut/split/stack 8-10 cords per year. I cut a lot on my own property, but can't get that much by myself, so I usually buy tree-length.

    This year I've got loggers cutting my land, and they've already brought out 10 cords for me @ $33 per cord (hauled to a wood yard next to the house). Can't beat that...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    3,961

    Default

    I agree about cutting wood, there's nothing like plunging a chunk of steel into a tree repeatedly then tossing it around like a couple of fleetwood mac records/frisbees... unfortunately living in an apartment I only get that joy every so often when I go camping of visit family that cuts their own wood, and a note to others that live in apartments... landlords get really mad when you fire up a chainsaw in the building and go after the trees and shrubs by the parking lot, and remember the best defense is to act like you cant speak english.
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 12
    Last Post: 03-17-2006, 01:43 PM
  2. Changing a cache to a multi
    By FFFarmer in forum General Geocaching Discussion
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-16-2005, 06:56 AM
  3. Great multi - Thorne Head Challenge
    By TwoMaineiacs in forum Hides, Hunts and History
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-24-2005, 08:12 PM
  4. Numbers or Experience
    By lefty in forum General Geocaching Discussion
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 05-10-2005, 08:36 AM
  5. Acadia National Park Virtual Multi-Cache
    By Bigrock95 in forum Welcome Forum
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-05-2005, 01:09 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •