Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Energy › Outdoor Boiler vs. indoor stove?
- August 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm #80697gwpokyParticipant
Looking at putting in an outdoor wood boiler. Options: high efficiency gasifier about 15K installed, regular outdoor boiler 8-10K installed. indoor wood stove 4-5K installed. We will have the wood, allot is soft, but will be cured. 15K is way out of our price range and 10 is pushing it, even with the hot water the pay back seems a bit long. Any and all thoughts would be great. We currently heat with wood pellets and a LP backup, we have acquired a new property with woods so would like to take advantage of it.
ThanksAugust 10, 2013 at 4:33 pm #80699Does’ LeapParticipant
We have had a Central Boiler outdoor furnace for about 15 years and have been very happy with it. We heat our house, all the hot water for our dairy, home, and cheese facility (including pasteurizer), as well as my shop. The advantage of this system is that you can heat multiple zones in different locations. Another bonus is that all the wood mess and fire hazard is outside the home.
GeorgeAugust 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm #80701EliParticipant
I Also have a central boiler for 13 years I heated all my hot water,house milk house,milking parlor,and shop. I have recently installed a geothermal unit in my house and no longer milk cows so the boiler only heats the shop and garage. I have to admit It is nice only burning 5 cord of wood a season. My boiler served me well but if I wasent heating multiple buildings I would opt for the wood stove. I miss warming my bones by the fire. Eli.August 10, 2013 at 8:45 pm #80702Ed ThayerParticipant
We run our 6,400 sq.ft. shop on a Central Boiler outdoor pellet boiler. We would have a difficult time cutting, curing, and storing the amount of cordwood necessary to heat that floor space with a wood boiler. The other benefit is being able to load a weeks worth of pellets at a time whereas a wood boiler requires attention every 12 hours at least. The money was the same for a pellet boiler or the wood boiler. And they both met the EPA phase II emission requirement set forth by the EPA.
I do see the benefit of wood in a smaller footprint and if you have the time, supply and storage for the wood.
EDAugust 11, 2013 at 5:14 am #80705Donn HewesKeymaster
I think it depends on what you want to heat. If you are building something new it is well worth making it heat efficient. I would have liked a masonary stove (russian fireplace) in our new home, but it would have been totally wasted on our 1200 foot straw bale house that we heat with passive solar and a wood cook stove. Our house usually has a window open most of the winter as we use the stove to heat hot water, and we burn about 2 cords of wood a year.August 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm #80712gwpokyParticipant
Donn, When we build a new house on the farm I hope to build in those types of efficiencies. We currently live in a 120+ year old farm house that will have to last us a few more years.August 12, 2013 at 8:50 am #80716Lanny CollinsParticipant
George, my input is different than the others. I was born and raised on wood heat and in 1989 bought a house, moved it and added on a new section to double the size of the house. In the new section I had built a rock fireplace made for a wood stove “insert”.
Both me and my wife worked outside jobs and had a couple of kids. I had cattle and horses so in the winter I had to feed after dark. As you can expect we came home to a dead fire and cold house.
My local power (electric) company offered a low interest program to members to install an air to air heat pump system. Since it provided for a long payback time the wife and I decided to have a system installed. It was a complete system ductwork included. We thought this would be a good idea to keep the house warm when the wood stove went out and mainly for air conditioning in the summer.
This worked out so good we eventually reduced the wood use to ornamental use. Wood is a great heat that heats more than once. Once when you cut it, once when you load it, once when you unload it, once when you load the stove, once when you clean up after wood stoves. You get the point. We finally stopped using wood all together. Heat don’t turn corners very well. Sweating in the living room, freezing in the back bedrooms. I didn’t have a central air system installed.
My brother built a new house. Installed a central wood stove in a room off the laundry room and ducted the whole house with central air ducting. His family room was huge with high ceiling and a lot of glass. He got cold in the family room and finally built a fireplace insert to keep that room warm. He had a similar problem that he had to have a separate air conditioner unit. You are further north so maybe cooling is not an issue.
Then, both of us installed geothermal units. Ground sourced heat and cooling has got to be the most efficient of anything out there. In the summer you get hot water from the system, if you want it. I choose not to install the hot water portion since it was only available during the summer time. The newer geothermal systems are more efficient than the first units developed.
All I am trying to tell you is check out all options if you have some money to invest. You may not always be able to cut your own wood, health wise, and if you like to cut wood you can always sell it to help pay for your system.
What ever system you put in get a blower door test done which helps identify all air ingress points are and seal the leaks. Good Luck.August 12, 2013 at 9:16 am #80719dominiquer60Moderator
I used to live in an old 2 family house heated with a Tarm indoor wood boiler. It was 20 years old when I was there and it still worked very slick with little maintenance (mostly cleaning ashes). There were 4 zones and getting wood to it in the basement was easy. A trap door on the porch opened to let the bucket loader (or by hand off the cart) dump in the wood room right next to the furnace, not having to go out side to stoke was a real plus. 10 cords a year for this leaky old house wasn’t too bad, it would be over kill for a house like Donn’s, but a very good system over all. Currently we have an “outdoor” furnace in an attachment to the house/shop with a wood room off of that, again, no need to go out into the weather to tend to the fire, a real plus at times.August 27, 2013 at 7:02 pm #80887irishParticipant
we had one for years but it age has not helped but if you install a system get a buffer tank to store excess heat so you have hot water in the morning and it allows the boiler to work better as the water is never let too cool right down ps you can plumb other heat sources in to it as well
some you can light in the summer every 3 days for hot water
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