alternate heating source

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by MIKE123, May 16, 2007.

  1. Tracker83

    Tracker83 New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    I purchased a model with forced air injection (instead of natural draft). When the blower is off you can only see a few whisps of smoke coming from the chimney. When the blower turns on it does smoke for a few minutes, then after that the fire becomes so hot that you literally can not see ANY smoke coming from the chimney. That being said, I don't think they are appropriate in a "residential" suburban-type settings. I am out in farm country, and the only neighbor I have is a few hundred feet to the west side of my property. Also, burning good seasoned hardwood seems to make a big difference. I noticed that when I burned junk wood that it would smoke a little more than normal. I have also observed that the cheaper boilers seem to be more smokey than the higher-quality units.


    I burned 12 full cords of wood from 10/1 through 5/1. About 2/3rds of that was poor quality "junk" wood (mostly box elder), and 1/3rd was high quality seasoned oak. Had I burned exclusively oak I probably wouldn't have burned anywhere near 12 cords. I filled the stove once per day except when it was really cold (below 20F for a high) then I would fill it twice. Keep in mind that I am also heating 900 sq. ft. of garage at 55F, my domestic hot water, and keeping the house at 73F.


    I did fairly well with it. I estimated that I saved about $2,200 in propane, and the wood was all free.
     
  2. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area

    You WAS dependent on an oil source.

    Every time you fueled your chainsaw, used oil for the chain and burned gas to get to and fro to get that wood, along with what the log splitter gulped........you probably spent more and contributed to ozone depletion at a greater level.

    I talk from a great deal of experience; grew up/raised in a house with a wood burner stove.

    It's dirty, it's dangerous, it invites insects and the labor from the woods to that stove door is effing ridiculous.

    Those who turn a knob on a wall are more efficient of conserving fuel by owning a house that is efficient and sips the energy....not waste it through bad windows/siding/doors.

    Running a chainsaw is as bad as lawnmower when talking about the introduction of carbon.

    Been 14 years away from wood, glad of it. Let the non-believers continue thier hard time labor LOL!!!
     
  3. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2006
    Occupation:
    disabled-retired industrial fabricator
    Location:
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    I know nothing about types of wood, but I had a cousin who heated with wood for many years, and he was definitely very picky about what he burned. I do not know whether he had an air injection burner, but he did have a high-quality unit and he had no trouble with any of his residential-area neighbors.
     
  4. MIKE123

    MIKE123 New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Log splitter

    The only log splitter I ever used had a wooden handle
    and a hunk of metal on the end.

    You know what get's the fire burning fast and hot?

    tires.:)

    Rugged,

    How does thousands of gallons of propane
    compare to
    -8 to 10 chainsaw refuels?
    -a tank of diesel for the delivery
    -and some diesel for what ever equipment brought those trees out of the woods?

    Your logic is a little quirky.
     
  5. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    The only log splitter I ever used had a wooden handle
    and a hunk of metal on the end.

    You know what get's the fire burning fast and hot?

    tires.:)

    Rugged,

    How does thousands of gallons of propane
    compare to
    -8 to 10 chainsaw refuels? Definitely unrealistic
    -a tank of diesel for the delivery How many trips in your vehicle to get wood?
    -and some diesel for what ever equipment brought those trees out of the woods? you seem to think it's a cupful by your line of questioning

    Your logic is a little quirky. And yours is a joke.


    I say keep up with your attitude because you're the minority on that swing. Instead of spending it your working it and even though I appreciate the physical activity from woods to burner, I wasn't given the luxury of a log splitter unless we did a big cut. Aside from that it was either a steel wedge and a sledge, a splitting maul and worrying about chunks of metal flying off the wedges.

    Cleaning the stove sucked along with the constant moving of wood from outside to inside, from field to truck, truck to home, home to stove. All of which you burned fuel to do it.

    We did the math on what it cost in personal time, maintenance and purchase of two stihl chainsaws, oil, chains, fuel for the tractor, all the expenses involving that "Free labor" you're thinking it is. Needing a humidifier (large one) for the dry heat issue. <Those carbon filters were expensive and hard to clean.

    The turn of the thermostat was cheaper by far and I wish I had more of my younger years spent doing other activities than the pipe dream my dad forced our family to go through. The only "positive" of that whole experience is it was a family experience. My sister and my mother was the ones who took the brush off the field to the gullies, my dad did all the cutting and I was the one who picked it up, took it to the wood saw driven off the PTO of the tractor and slowly stacked the truck to the gills, all to do it again back at the house. No thank you. GOOD LUCK


    Get in good with a tree trimming company that'll drop wood off on your property and your logic has merit.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  6. MIKE123

    MIKE123 New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Please clarify

    I'm sorry,

    I just don't see how a few weekends of manual labor along with the equipment and fuel can add up to my propane payment. Maybe you could post that math you wrote about and I can see the error of my ways. My math seems to show savings that will pay for the boiler, chimney, and installation within 2 years. I must be doing something wrong.
    My wife is going to kill me!

    Sincerely,

    Young and Dumb
     
  7. Dunbar Plumbing

    Dunbar Plumbing Master Plumber

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Occupation:
    Service Plumber, Outdoor Temperature Relief Owner
    Location:
    Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati Area
    okay, last response

    The "majority" cannot cut enough wood to last an entire heating season in just a "few" weekends.

    The "majority" do not have a house whether it be size or efficiency no matter how many windows you plastic or how many rooms you seal off to conserve energy by.

    I'm "aware" of new heating systems that use wood/coal to burn to produce heat along with hot water. Some of that being very efficient but still involves reliance to perform, daily and beyond. No programmable thermostat since the fuel is dictated by the way the wood burns *kind used* and is someone there to maintain it's optimum *full stoke* performance.

    I "know" of trailers/mobile homes/junk on wheels that can heat an entire heating season on 80% fill of a propane tank, no gas stove, no gas water heater for around $750 at today's cost. People living in the trailer year round and those are not very efficient.

    I'm someone who was raised in a home where unless complete renovation was done......thermal loss was as guaranteed as much as the sun rising.


    Every 4 to 5 hours was the norm for the continual feeding to keep the efficiencey up on that stove. A pellet stove would win hand over fist in this situation on efficiency in this matter.

    The "majority" don't live on a farm that can pull thier wood to gather from. Most times you know somebody, new construction creates huge wood gatherings where dozers pushed into a pile allowing the public to get as much as they want before it becomes a burn pile.

    Pulling wood from those piles are extremely dangerous because most times some of those branches are strained/pulled into awkward positions and can spring when cut.....with a live chainsaw in your hands. If you've been around chainsaws enough....you'll experience a buck or a kickback soon enough.

    Some wood dulls blades or your oiler quits working unnoticed (clogs) American elm is the hardest on chains along with splitting is a nightmare. Catalpa is the easiest to cut/easiest to split (one-handed) but you can't burn beyond it's seasoned time (won't burn). Catalpa burns extremely hot.

    Ash is superior for burning and leaves very little ash in the end. Certain woods will have you cleaning that stove more than you care to......now you have a gathering of steel buckets accumulated with ash till spring....and are capable of staying hot for days.

    How much you cut determines how much you work in the cold during the winter months. Sometimes you "have" to cut in the summer time if a close location yields wood. My neighbor is a heat and air man, has limited woods in the back yard, added a wood add-on stove. He saved money, but at the cost of no proper heat control (Hot off the bat and a gradual taper till you add more)

    I know of a homeowner behind my property....has a house twice the size as mine, spent $6000 on coke bottle insulation in his walls and ceiling and his 98% gas furnace costs him around $100/month.....tops, including a gas cooktop used year round, along with a dryer. Family of 3.

    No smoke, no "gathering" of fuel supply that takes gas/oil/fuel/equipment use.

    If you are using "thousands" of gallons of propane as you mentioned, you dividing of the money you spend is just in smaller amounts, but you'll get tired of the routine like the majority do.

    Wood/coal burning is filthy to those around you, especially on non-windy days. The efficiency of these furnaces made today are almost unmatched on both sides of the gammut. Especially high efficiency boiler systems with captive storage tank systems, insulated and multi-functional design. (Hot water and heating(

    Your efforts would be better spent exploring geo-thermal designs using the core ground temperature as method without "gathering storing, stoking the fire" for constant heat.

    You could always move to florida, no use for a tree other than to look at it. Kentucky sometimes has 5-6 month heating seasons. My neighbor got tired of stoking that fire after 4 months; sucks coming home to a cold house....staying cold for a couple hours till the system is back up and heated the structure.

    A programmable thermostat/high efficiency furnace and well insulated home beats that all to hell, and being able to breathe outside without seeing the smoke haze.
     
  8. geniescience

    geniescience Homeowner

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2005
    Occupation:
    ditto
    Location:
    humid summers hot, humid winters cold
    wood burning has made progress, but...

    Haven't read all posts yet, but I can confirm that modern woodburning stoves (pellet ones too) are efficient, so they turn out a lot more heat and do not rely on sucking in outside cold air to work. But, they do still pollute big time even though the chimney air may not look smoky. Still, I side with Rugged in avoiding wood or pellet stoves. The technology is just going to get better later, and the information about it too.

    FWIW, for $45 I had a short cord delivered to my downtown condo at garage level; I brought it up the elevator in shopping cart sized batches and vacuumed up the dirt it left behind afterwards. Took a few hours. Since I only use the fireplace as an extra, that wood lasted several winters. It is messy even just to store the wood somewhere, and that is just "cosmetic".

    david
    edit: just read that last post simulposted. Very good analysis. I have cut my own wood too for years and I knew it was way more work and danger than could ever be worthwhile. So I am glad someone is willing to deliver a short cord to me for less than $50. It is true that a cold structure is the most disagreeable thing to live in while it gradually warms up, and that a wood stove or fireplace needs constant attention like a baby.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2007
  9. MIKE123

    MIKE123 New Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    thats it,
    I am off burning wood and coal
    now I am going to stuff my boiler with puppies and kittens.
    not only will I heat my house, but it will smell like a bar-b-q all winter long!!
     

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