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Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by commomsense, Oct 20, 2005.
I was wondering does anybody have a central broiler outdoor wood stove?
If so how do you like it?
Well I don't use one for heat but I have heard others talk about theres. General opinion seems to be:
Most use a ton of wood
Most smoke quite a bit at times
It is nice to keep the wood mess out of the house
They are more tolerant to poor quality or not seasoned wood
They are handy for heating more than one building on the property
They don't hold a fire for days like they claim, most fuel twice a day
Most of the boilers are old-technology, and they're not regulated under EPA. There are a couple companies making more efficient wood boilers, Tarm is one brand I have heard mentioned as exceptionally good, but I bet they are pretty spendy.
We have a Central boiler and It does not smoke a lot, wood consumption is not that bad. And it will easy hold a fire for 16 plus hrs before re loading. sounds like they may have gotten a bad apple or dont know how to use it.
I built mine. It cost me $3000. In 50 degree weather I can fill it every 3 days. In 40 degree weather I can fill it every other day. In 20 degree weather I have can fill it once a day. In 0 degree weather I still only fill it once a day, but the house gets cool too. I dont have a fire when the temp is above 50. I think mine is an exception because I built it big enough to heat 2 houses, but Im only heating one. The furnace I wanted to buy that was big enough was $8000 so I saved my paychecks and built my own after doing a lot of researching.
maby this one will show the furnace burning
16 hours is about a half a day. It all depends on how many btu's one needs. The furnace might hold a fire for 24 hours as many manufaturers claim, but that is only choked down, not removing much heat. Here in Minnesota when it gets down below zero, you need to add wood, as the btu's are being used pretty quickly!
Wood consumption is a lot more with an outdoor boiler - they are just not built very efficient. To balance that out, they _can_ use poor wood (which requires more wood yet tho!) and generally bigger pieces. So it balances out, but one typically needs 1/3 to 2 times more wood with an outdoor boiler. Indoor units are built to reburn the flu gases, any escaping heat from the unit ends up going into the house anyhow & no piping losses, indoor units are pressurized most outdoor units are not, and so on. It all adds up, little bit here & there.
Since many folks tend to burn large pieces of poorer wood, and fill it up once or 2wce a day, the unit ends up 'idling' choked down much of the time in not so cold weather. This leads to more smoke for all those reasons. Without reburning the gases, they go out the stack. The stack is typically very short, leading to smoke closer to the ground. I only know of a couple outdoor units, highpriced, that offer a secondary burn chamber to deal with the smoke gasses. In a typical outdoor burner, the whole firebox is in contact with the water jacket, & the stove simpley cannot get hot enough to use these high-temp gasses - they get sent out the smokestack instead. All together, a large outdoor boiler _can_ lead to a more smoky situation at times than most of the better-designed indoor boilers.
Several outdoor companies are working on addressing these problems - well, if not problems, improving upon the design....
All in all, I've head good things about Central, and none of these comments are a knock against them. There are differences between the indoor & outdoor units, and these are some of them. They still work well, and offer a good heating option.
We have a Central Boiler unit, this will be our third year with it, and it runs our infloor heat and also heats our hot water by running it through a water to water heat exchanger, so our propane water heater never comes on in the winter. We just lit ours, in Western NY we get tons of snow, and some real cold weather, we load it morning and evening in the worst of weather. We may get through a semi and a half of logs, a semi of logs here is about 600$. S0 a heating season costs me 900-1000 maybe? We changed from Propane 3 years ago because it ws costing us 450 month on propane and we heat maybe 5 months of the year, so for us it's more work but cheaper. And no it hardly smokes at all, but it's a ton of work cutting all that wood.
i got a woodmaster about 2 months ago, its been running for a month so far . like the idea of unlimited hot water. electric tank has been off for a month now so im curious to see how the electric bill is going to reflect. mink
O.k. this is a stupid question. How do you pipe the heat in? Do you use an electric blower or propane??
We've had our Central Boiler for about 8 years. No problems. Just added a few more feet baseboard in living room, bath..dear hubby is a freeze butt. I was always plenty warm. We heat our water all year round with ours; haven't switched the heat on yet. Love it 'cause it cuts way down on wood splitting; if ;you can heave it in you can burn it. It doesn't care what kind of wood although here in the Ozarks I can get a dump truck of oak log ends for $100; about 4 cord. We usually fuel twice a day in really cold weather but if we forget there will always be hot coals come morning enough to get fire going. Uses small electric pump to circulate water...have a neighbor working on how to have a small solar unit to run this. Do have a generator. Love the clean baseboard heat with thermostatic control in each room. No smoked up ceilings and wood chips tracked about. Yes,they are kinda high dollar but the, gal I worked with just got new gas furnace last week...over 6 grand and she still has to pay gas bills! DEE
I have neighbors with Central boilers they were first on the block here. They luv em but they do use more wood than i did with my indoor furnace. Things have come along way in 5 years, the piping is now available with better insulation, and that will make a huge difference. There were three things I didn't like about the Central, cost, low grade stainless steel (it shouldn't rust but it does) and the ash clean out. Empyre uses better stainless steel, a better design for ash clean out and its a bit cheaper. Oh yeah it also uses standard chimney sections instead of straight pipe keeping the exhaust gases hot so they rise. Check them out http://www.outdoorwoodfurnace.ca/
TnBorn, As I understand it if the power goes out you don't get heat in the house. Friends have a generator to run the pump. I see this as the big disadvantage. Rita in TN
Thanks Rita. The are saying it is going to be a bad winter because of the dry summer that we have had. So, I have about decided to put the woodstove inside.
Would appear that the WIND would power a FAN and also you could store 12 volts for later, to power 12 volt FANS.
Nearly all outdoor wood furnaces are water jacket type, so you need to power a pump & curculate water. If your house uses air to distribute heat, then you need to power the fan across the heat exchanger as well.
There was an artical in Backwoods about a year ago about how to get the water to circulate without a pump, using the tendancy of hot water to rise and cool water to fall.
Look it up if you are really interested.
Most indoor, in basement wood boilers can be hooked up to work like that. They work at about 50% or so, as they use small pipes & depend upon the pump to move water at top efficiency.
Going to be difficult to make an outdoor unit with burried pipes curculate by gravity.
My farmhouse had a simple boiler in the basement with gravity curculation, only heat it had from '26 - '72, worked well.
Just started our stove. So far every things going fine.