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Thread: Experience with, and opinions of, outdoor wood boilers.

  1. #11
    I did some more research and I think what I was calling a wood boiler is actually a Dual-stage wood gasification boilers (http://www.health.ny.gov/environment...b/purchase.htm)

    I like the idea of adding a large water storage tank to hold heat but I am not sure if its needed or not.

  2. #12
    I just bought a Central Boiler for my "under construction" pole barn and soon to start construction log home. I learned that there are two kinds...old school and new school (with gasification). The EPA is outlawing the old-school type as of April 2015 (Yes, that's why I bought one). Word is the new gasification units are more efficient meaning they burn more completely and give off less emissions. However, they are nearly twice as expensive and are quite finiky on the wood used, creosote buildup, etc. I don't even have it hooked up yet so I can't verify but that's what I was told when doing my research.

  3. #13
    LHBA Member Timberwolf's Avatar
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    Been there, done that, got the sooty t-shirt.

    They have their merits, however you can pretty much count on.

    The old style ones (had a central boiler) were horribly inefficient. If you need an extra hobby (a smoky smelly one), this could be for you. 24 hour burns are possible, in warmish weather (think around freezing) but not when it's -20c or lower. I used between 20-30 full cords of wood a year to heat a 1500 square foot bungalow (with basement) and DHW for a typical Ontario winter (did not use it in the summer).

    Expect clouds of smoke during spring thaws when the boiler goes to standby then fires up for a heat load.
    Expect to replace an older style unit in under 10 years when it rots out (the quality of your water will factor in here).
    Expect to pay ALOT of money for the new gasifier version (last quote i got was 18K!!)
    Expect a lot of maintenance.
    Expect alot MORE maintenance for the newer gasifier models
    Expect to burn out a couple of expensive pumps
    Expect overboil during sudden temperature increases
    Good luck finding someone to load the thing daily if you decided to go on a vaction in the winter if you don't want it to freeze (or get a dual fuel system for more $$).
    If you have neighbours within 500ft downwind, expect complaints.

    I love radiant heat, but there are better ways to get there (and a DHW tank won't likely get you there either).
    Last edited by Timberwolf; 01-28-2015 at 09:55 AM.
    As a whole, the LHBA system (and it is a system) of building, is simplicity at it's core, longevity at it's heart and strength throughout.

    Build to your need, and....desire, and.....ability. And be secure in your decision.

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  4. #14
    LHBA Member eduncan911's Avatar
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    What is a DHW tank?
    Eric Duncan - LHBA Class: May 2012 - http://eduncan911.com

    "A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned." - Shepherd Book, Firefly

  5. #15
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Domestic Hot Water (potable)
    All my bad forum habits I learned from LHN

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  6. #16
    So how should/would you do it?

    Prices I was looking at for a gasified were 8k. Main reason for me wanting to use wood is it would be free and reliable.

  7. #17
    LHBA Member Timberwolf's Avatar
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    Propane (but I live in the sticks) with a good masonry heater (or similar high mass system) as my primary. I would likely only heat the basement with radiant, unless i poured a slab on my first floor or only areas with tile. I plan to be off grid next time, which is the primary reason. So far I'm digging the Geothermal, but i don't put a lot of faith into our grid.

    One of the big things with the outdoor boiler is 50% of the time, you are burning wood to heat nothing. Huge overkill for the average LHBA home.

    The other option i've looked at, am still interested in is an indoor wood boiler. Everything is within the heating envelope, and with a decent storage having the fire burn hot and clean and go out isn't a big deal.
    As a whole, the LHBA system (and it is a system) of building, is simplicity at it's core, longevity at it's heart and strength throughout.

    Build to your need, and....desire, and.....ability. And be secure in your decision.

    http://picasaweb.google.com/parent.j...gHomeBuilding#

  8. #18
    Yes, I was also thinking of using storage and havin the boiler indoors.

    I should have the space in my basement.

  9. #19
    Also, a bat gas or propane boiler is like 7 grand. I don't want to spend seven grand for a backup heater

  10. #20

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