Outdoor Furnace?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Ninn, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    My husband and I purchased a trailer home that had been left empty and open to the elements for over 2 years. We have rehabbed alot of it, but are having issues with the furnace. We are considering converting to an outdoor furnace. Has anyone else done this? How well did it work? What is the best model to use (the house is only 12x70). The idea was to convert, heat with it, and also use it to dispose of most trash, then use the ash in the compost heap. Any suggestions?
     
  2. suitcase_sally

    suitcase_sally Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Three of my neighbors have them, but they have LARGE homes, like 3500 - 4000 sq. ft. I don't think they are designed for the small space that most trailers are. I would think that you would have too much heat. If you can control the amount of heat they put out that might work. They aren't cheap, though. Around $10,000.00
     

  3. RedHairedBonnie

    RedHairedBonnie Well-Known Member

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    We looked into them and decided against them, for the following reasons:

    We live in ME. and I didn't want to go in the snow to put wood in the thing.

    We would have to run it underground to the house (loss of heat) and that wasn't something we wanted to do.

    Some area's forbid them due to the smoke they put out.

    You can't burn trash in them.

    I didn't want to clean the thing.

    What we do choose was radiant floor heat. It just got up and I love it. Never had it before so was not sure what to expect. There is not a chill spot in the house. We can maintain a lower temp. since it is the same very where. We use a hot water heater, rather than a furnace (cheaper). Something you may want to think about.

    Doesn't answer your question, sorry, just food for thought.
     
  4. farmerscotty

    farmerscotty Well-Known Member

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    Yes I sell them, but hey I am a farmer too. Been using one myself for 18 years. cheap, simple, and works.

    Lil house heater............
     
  5. HeavenHelpMe

    HeavenHelpMe Well-Known Member

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    I love mine! Can't say enough good about it. Love the wonderful heat and free hot water.

    But, I think you would only want to heat larger or more buildings with it. A small trailer is going to be like an oven.
     
  6. tamsam

    tamsam Well-Known Member

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    Why not put a small room on just for a wood heater. Have a friend that did that as insurance here will not insure a mobile home with a wood heater, but will if in an added on room. And you don't have to go outside to put wood in it. You can use a fan to blow the heat out into the rest of the trailer. Here we use small fans hanging from the ceiling to move the heat. Good luck with it. Tamsam
     
  7. TheBlueOne

    TheBlueOne Well-Known Member

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    Outdoor wood burners are horribly inefficient, figure about 20% of so. They are also expensive to purchase (around $6000 and up). You will still need the blower and housing from your existing furnace for a place to mount the heat exchanger and distribute the heated air. They also smoke to high heaven when in standby mode.
    The farmers around here are putting in corn burners. They are cheaper, more efficient, generate less ash, and are automatic as long as the hopper is full.
     
  8. crobar

    crobar Well-Known Member

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    Was it on this site that someone had a article about a homemade outdoor furnace. Theory was thermal mass of a lot of sand surrounding a firebox. The fire burned a hour or so & then went out. Piping looped thru the sand & pumped into house to some sort of exchanger. Builder claimed he had even used a garden hose in the sand to collect heat. Firebox didn't have to be air tight. I'm an internet beginner, anybody remember the article. It might have been in a Backwoods Home article.
     
  9. scorpian5

    scorpian5 Well-Known Member

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    Why are so many of you people so against outdoor wood stoves? First they make plenty of models that with heat a mobile home, I got mine for $4000. You just wont have to fill it so often. I have said this before but my outdoor boiler hardly ever smokes and doesnt belch smoke like you people all say. Mine is smoking right now in standby mode and i can barely see any smoke . And what alot of you think is smoke is steam. And where do you get your info on them being horribly inefficient. Alot of insurance companies wont insure a trailer even with a wood stove in a small room. I clean my ashes out once a week and it takes minutes and all of the mess is outside. Try burning your trash in your indoor wood stove. The Lil house heater is cheap enough but i like my fire a little farther away from the house and it doesnt heat my water.
     
  10. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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  11. farmerscotty

    farmerscotty Well-Known Member

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    As long as you have the chimney 24 inches from anything combustable your to national fire code. It also needs to be 3 ft above the eve.

    You cannot hook a Lil house heater into your existing ductwork for the heat, but you can your ductwork for the return air.

    Reason is....the blower is not big enough to "push" the heat thru your ductwork i.e. static pressure. Also your ductwork is not insulated for wood heat. It is up against the wood floor unisulated. Fire hazard.

    Lil house heaters do NOT burn alot of wood. They are not wasteful of the heat they produce......so don't worry about cutting more wood than you would if you had an indoor stove.

    Any questions......go to the website.......heck you can even see mine in real time on the webcam.

    Scott
     
  12. sgrmtndrone

    sgrmtndrone Well-Known Member

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    Ninn , I Love the Lil House furnaces . We are heating 4 mobile homes on our place with them now . I also heat my shop/office with one .
     
  13. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Check www.outsidewoodheater.com (which I now see is the LilHouse site). These are specifically designed to be used in a mobile home. Unit sits outside. It is connected to your ductwork for cold air intake. Hot air is vented into the structure through a grate in a wall or window. Designed and built under the KISS principle.

    Have been some prior discussions on this unit on the forum, but likely now have been deleted due to age. Then someone said they put, I believe, one of those pipe and roofing carports next to the structure and put the heater and their firewood supply under it.

    Doesn't provide hot water - only heat. I would think if you can run your existing furnace in the fan mode only it would distribute the heat around the structure. Or use fans such as mentioned above.

    Burn chamber is a standard metal drum, which will need to be replaced about every five or so years. For most folks likely requires taking it back to the factory.
     
  14. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

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    I've been lusting after one of those Li'l house furnaces for a long time now.
     
  15. FarmerJeff

    FarmerJeff Well-Known Member

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    Why not use a normal indoor woodstove? Should be more than ample for the trailer.
     
  16. Ninn

    Ninn Custom Crochet Queen

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    because it is a 1972 trailer-there is just no room. once my dog comes indoors there is no room for anyone, and there will be 3 newborns around here in the next year. also, my homeowners insurance will not allow indoor wood heat.

    could i run this to heat hot water as well? we have a 35 gallon energy star electric hot water heater that is 3 months old. would it run off this? just curious.
     
  17. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Last I looked at their website the Lil' House is not equipped for water heating. However, you might talk to them about the possibility, such as their wrapping some copper tubing around the outside of the burn chamber and then using it as a water pre-heater. Here you would have to do the plumbing to run cold water to the furnace and then heated water to your hot water heater. I would be concerned about the water coming in so hot it would burn someone.
     
  18. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

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    Ken, thanks for the link. Might not be the prettiest thing I've ever seen to heat a house with, but it seems like a great idea.
     
  19. tallpaul

    tallpaul Well-Known Member

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    I love it when those who are too cheap or easily steered crow against what they don't have first hand experience with... too hot? how do you figure that? My house is heated with a taylor outdoor hot water woodstove and I use a thermostat to set the temp... Can't burn trash in it? Are you daft? why not? I know a guy who burns tires in his- legal no but he has done it- he says it heats fast that way! :eek: Smokey? if ya burn trash and wet wood yes. The better the wood the better it burns. They are not that inneficient and I can burn inferior wood in it. I feed once or twice a day.Mine has paid for itself easily in five years not counting the fact I heat to a higher level than what I would have with the gas.
     
  20. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Have a Central Boiler....love it. Thermostatically controlled hot water heat...and all the screaming hot water I need. You can burn as big of wood as you can heave in the door. Holds a fire for 24 hours easily. And all the smoke,ashes,wood filth is outside. DEE