dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
6813
share rss forum feed


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT

Heating with a hydronic wood stove add on

I have a 2,000 sq ft home built in the year 2000. I have baseboard hydronic heat and an oil fired furnace.

I'm no stranger to heating with wood, yet know very little about the possibilities of adding wood heat to this hydronic system. The existing oil system is alive and well, and I do not wish to replace it.

I am interested in learning about indoor wood stove add ons that would work in harmony with my existing oil furnace. The current oil heat system has three heat zones for the living space and a fourth for an indirect hot water heater.

I do not want an outdoor wood furnace, but I am interested in learning more about indoor wood fired add on units that will work in harmony with what I already have installed.

I have been all over google with this, but it would be nice to hear from those who aren't attached to the retail end of add ons. Labor of wood issues aside, I wonder if they are worth pursuing, who makes a good safe unit, and like that.

Thanks


dandelion
Premium,MVM
join:2003-04-29
Germantown, TN
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast
I may be misunderstanding, but are you talking of something similar to this? »inventors.about.com/od/fstartinv ··· nt_2.htm . My grandparents heated their entire home with one of these and a central fireplace all the time, IMO they are a nice warm heat.
PS Sorry, I am not familiar with your hydronic system.


OZZY7
Born Again Atheist
Premium
join:2011-06-11
reply to Grumpy
I'm not sure tying wood heat to a hydronic system is 'worth it'. That gets extremely complicated as we need to add coils to get the heat out of the wood and into the rest of the hydronic system.

I'd suggest adding a pellet stove as a supplement and not tying it into the hydronic system. That's by far the easiest, cheapest, route.
--
You Can't Kill Rock 'n' Roll!


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
Lots of people do hydronic heat with wood. That's why outdoor wood boilers have become so popular and that's why the have-nots are whining all the way down to town hall to ban them.


OZZY7
Born Again Atheist
Premium
join:2011-06-11
He doesn't want an outdoor wood-boiler and neighbors hate them because almost all of them belch thick smoke out of short stacks.
--
You Can't Kill Rock 'n' Roll!


grobinette
Southeast of disorder
Premium,Mod
join:2001-01-27
Springfield, VA
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to Grumpy
How many of these do we need Grumpy See Profile?
»Heating with a hydronic wood stove add on

I'm going to lock the other one to keep it all in one place if you don't mind.


tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:6
I heat with wood in the winter using a wood boiler, with gas for backup.. I retrofitted our house with underfloor heat on the 1st floor, and euro wall radiators on the 2nd. Using wood has cut our gas bill by 40-70%, depending on the weather, and how much I burn.

The big expense is buying the wood boiler. Integrating it into your existing installation isnt that bad, there are some control changes that will need to be done, and a second thermostat may need to be added.

I have a house from 1901, with a central brick chimney. I relined it with 316 hard stainless pipe, do NOT get a cheap flexible liner, you will regret it. I clean the liner with a brush before the season, and use creosote destroyer thru the burning season. Its 6yrs old now, and still looks new. Was 830$ in materials, woulda been a lot more if I couldnt install it myself.

I enjoy burning, it keeps me moving, keeps my cholesterol down (heh).. I get free pallets from my local distributors, and get free trees/wood during the summer from craigslist. If I had to pay for wood, I prolly wouldnt do it..

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)


Rifleman
Premium
join:2004-02-09
p1a
reply to Grumpy
I had a buddy make a homemade system he installed in his wood furnace. The house was large--3000sq ft plus and a 4 car garage. I was skeptical but the damn thing heated the whole house, garage and hot water. Worked so well he had to install another water heater as the water would boil.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to OZZY7
said by OZZY7:

He doesn't want an outdoor wood-boiler and neighbors hate them because almost all of them belch thick smoke out of short stacks.

That's true if you run one on a postage stamp sized lot. But with today's technology they hardly belch out black smoke. You can hardly even see the smoke once they are up to temp.

There are also indoor boilers that have chimneys the same height as a wood stove.

Wood is still lots cheaper than oil or propane.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications

1 recommendation

reply to Grumpy
We heat with wood and many years ago added a heat exchanger to our wood stove (Tempwood top loader) to act a a preheater for domestic hot water. Works great and we get about half our hot water from wood in the winter.

There is no reason you can't extend on that to use it for space heating with several caveats

It may be hard to find space in a modern high efficiency wood stove to locate a heat exchanger.

Need to balance the amount of heat going to space heating verses directly heating the room the stove is in. Heating the house is going to require a much larger stove.

Complexity and efficiency. In our case I use a thermosiphon loop to create a preheater with a 30 gallon copper tank. Water from preheat tank is plumbed into the cold water inlet of the electric water heater. The cooler the water the more energy the system will be able to capture from wood.

Assuming you also heat hot water with oil may want to experiment with using wood to heat hot water first.

I built a simple controller to increase safety and efficiency if you are interested. A few years ago I added a circulator pump that turns on when temperature in the preheater gets to 70C. Pumps water between it and the water heater to increase overall thermal capacity, and reduce dumping water when the PTRV opens on the preheat tank.

»www.tschmidt.com/writings/Wood%2 ··· ller.htm

/tom



Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT
reply to grobinette
said by grobinette:

How many of these do we need Grumpy See Profile?
»Heating with a hydronic wood stove add on

I'm going to lock the other one to keep it all in one place if you don't mind.

My mistake - too many buttons on these damned contraptions.


Caution

@myvzw.com
Be careful before purchasing an hydronic heater aka outdoor wood boiler. Many communities across the U.S. are banning and or strictly regulating. A number of people have been sued by neighbors and won large settlements because of the proven air contaminants emitted from smokestacks. It's also my understanding that insurance companies are considering not insuring homes with OWBs or charging high rates in the future. I read about one case where a person purchased an OWB before his community adopted an ordinance and ended up losing his investment after an ordinance was passed. That is, they forced him to remove it. I have nothing against burning wood but OWBs are under attack. Do a Google search on OWBs and you'll be reading all day long about movements to ban them. Don't believe what dealers tell you because they just want to make a buck. Also these things can burn up to 10 -20 full cords of wood a year based on home size. Hell I had trouble keeping up with 5 cords a year when I heated with an indoor wood burner. Also when you burn wet wood or other material like pallets they smoke like hell. Do your homework and don't let your emotions over rule your good sense.


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT

3 edits
reply to Grumpy
My thanks to all. Very helpful

I have seen some pretty slick systems online that will accomplish my desired intent without need of an additional circulating pump. I can't remember what they call this, but the heat moves the water. They do however require an assortment of gee gaws to make them work. The gee gaws are garden variety heating controls, with nothing too expensive or exotic required. I'm OK with adding another circulating pump if required too. Not that big a deal in the long or short of it.

I wonder who makes a very good unit that will last 20 years (hopefully) and if anyone knows of good links to these add on wood heaters. To me this is the kind of project where you might not want to buy the Rolls Royce, but you should consider the Mercedes. The Yugo would seem a large waste of time and money, not to mention the 600 lbs of scrap iron in the cellar produced in short order, if ya know what I mean. I'll have to start quizzing the local heat tech guys.

``````````````````````

In case I didn't explain it well - We live in the chilly NE US. I have an oil fired furnace that supplies heated water to baseboard units for heating the living space. Each of the four zones has it's own zone pump. The warm water circulating through these baseboard units heats the house.

There are wood burning devices (let's call them stoves for now) that will heat water and can be added on to the existing heat system as shown above. They are often called "add-ons". I don't need an additional oil burner like the combination units. When we built in the year 2000, heating oil's price had not yet exceeded the price of 87 octane gasoline, which it has now in these parts. I cannot afford the outdoor units, which usually come in at around $10K to start, so a smaller unit in our full cellar would have to do. I'm not thrilled with the idea of having fire wood in the cellar, (termites, wood gnawing bugs, and like that there) but on the other hand, paying $4 a gallon for 2 oil isn't making my day either.

My father, brother, & I (The FBI, if you will - sorry couldn't help myself) spent a number of post oil embargo years heating our three homes with nothing but wood. We were fortunate enough to be able to buy oil, but I suppose it was a depression era thinking (my dad) and swamp yankee (my bro & me) gesture to flip off big oil.

My dad designed and built a combination buzz saw and wood splitter powered by an electric start Wisconsin twin, and mounted on a '68 Chevelle frame. He was a very resourceful guy, and all the components were free les the hydraulic pump, ram, Lovejoy coupler and drive belts. (The Chevelle was quite a nice ride - a black with white stripes fuely - that is, until my yute-ful paws got ahold of it.) My Dad had the foresight to make the splitter flip up, so the ram extended down to the ground, so lifting large wood chunks was not part of the project. We painted it Omaha Orange, for someone gave us a pail full. (See also - cheepnis, swamp yankee ref.)


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Caution
said by Caution :

Be careful before purchasing an hydronic heater aka outdoor wood boiler. Many communities across the U.S. are banning and or strictly regulating. A number of people have been sued by neighbors and won large settlements because of the proven air contaminants emitted from smokestacks. It's also my understanding that insurance companies are considering not insuring homes with OWBs or charging high rates in the future. I read about one case where a person purchased an OWB before his community adopted an ordinance and ended up losing his investment after an ordinance was passed. That is, they forced him to remove it. I have nothing against burning wood but OWBs are under attack. Do a Google search on OWBs and you'll be reading all day long about movements to ban them. Don't believe what dealers tell you because they just want to make a buck. Also these things can burn up to 10 -20 full cords of wood a year based on home size. Hell I had trouble keeping up with 5 cords a year when I heated with an indoor wood burner. Also when you burn wet wood or other material like pallets they smoke like hell. Do your homework and don't let your emotions over rule your good sense.

Yes but they have LED "Green" lighting in the house.

You are correct.

»www.nytimes.com/2005/12/11/busin ··· ove.html

Copious and useful information is available on the Internet. A good overview can be found on the Environmental Protection Agency site, at epa .gov/woodstoves. It offers a list of 623 stoves certified as meeting E.P.A. emissions standards.

The E.P.A. site is also a good place to start because wood stoves have environmental issues. Some communities ban wood-burning altogether at various points in the winter, and many places require permits to use a wood stove, partly because their smoke represents the largest source of winter air pollution in some areas. Retailers typically know the local requirements.

The E.P.A. toughened standards for new stoves in 1992, cutting typical emissions levels by two-thirds. But it estimates that of roughly 10 million stoves in use, 7 million to 8 million do not comply because they were sold before 1992. In partnership with the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association, a trade group based in Arlington, Va., the E.P.A. has sponsored "change-outs" like one earlier this year in which the industry gave free E.P.A.-compliant stoves to residents of Libby, Mont., where wood stoves are the biggest reason that its winter air pollution is among the nation's worst.

Even smoke from stoves that comply with E.P.A. requirements can be bad for some people, like those with chronic conditions, the elderly and small children. And some organizations, like Clean Air Revival Inc., in Point Arena, Calif., have opposed the use of wood stoves.


Caution

@myvzw.com
EPA certified indoor wood burners emit roughly 7 grams per hour (GPH) of particulate matter. Outdoor Wood Burners have been measured to emit on average of over 200 GPH and they smoke like hell. If you have neighbors within 1000 feet I would talk to them first before purchasing an OWB. Even if you get an agreement they may change their mind after being fumigated 24/7

Here is one example:

»burningissues.org/car-www/latest ··· d_b.html


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
said by Caution :

EPA certified indoor wood burners emit roughly 7 grams per hour (GPH) of particulate matter. Outdoor Wood Burners have been measured to emit on average of over 200 GPH and they smoke like hell.

Not to take this too far off topic but it really depends on how you manage the stove.

We designed our house to heat with wood: open central core, super insulation, stove is in a walk out basement. As such we can run a hot fire 200C for 10-12 hours when it is cold. No need to damp the stove down with a full load of wood to extend burn time.

Ideally you want to run a hot enough fire so volatiles burn in the stove rather then go up the chimney condensing into creosote or releasing particulates.

I'm all for better air quality but regardless of stove type there is a lot you can do to minimize emissions short of replacing an old stove.

/tom

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

1 edit

1 recommendation

said by tschmidt:

said by Caution :

EPA certified indoor wood burners emit roughly 7 grams per hour (GPH) of particulate matter. Outdoor Wood Burners have been measured to emit on average of over 200 GPH and they smoke like hell.

Not to take this too far off topic but it really depends on how you manage the stove.

We designed our house to heat with wood: open central core, super insulation, stove is in a walk out basement. As such we can run a hot fire 200C for 10-12 hours when it is cold. No need to damp the stove down with a full load of wood to extend burn time.

Ideally you want to run a hot enough fire so volatiles burn in the stove rather then go up the chimney condensing into creosote or releasing particulates.

I'm all for better air quality but regardless of stove type there is a lot you can do to minimize emissions short of replacing an old stove.

/tom

Not to drift even further O. T. but....

It would be nice if there was a way to ban inconsiderate idiots who burn everything from wet wood to household garbage to animal carcasses. Ironically, the very dealers who, over the years, have touted the 'benefits' of being able to burn "anything" are the very ones who are fighting for their survival as the new pollution standard are phased in. There is no doubt heating with wood can be quite clean provided it's properly managed. The wood I'm using this winter was cut, split and stacked in the winter of 2008-2009 and I do test it for moisture content if there's a doubt. I only burn seasoned wood. No paper or any other trash. Needless to say, I manage it very closely. I've used an OWB for many years and I've never had the kind of smoking I see on a near daily basis. Just last year I replaced my older unit with an EPA Phase II certified OWB and it only visibly smokes immediately after I tend it and then only for the couple of minutes it takes for the heat exchanger to come back up to temperature. Oh and it's rated for 3.3 GPH, a worst-case maximum of 5.4 GPH in testing with an average efficiency of 93%. The reality is, I don't want to breath the smoke and I sure don't want to expose anyone else to it either. As an OWB owner, it's disgusting to see a fellow owner operating their stove in a way to cause an unhealthy nuisance for their neighbors. In my case, the nearest neighbors are over a mile away but I regularly see these stoves within only a few feet of a neighboring home.

That said, the same issues that plague many OWBs are relevant for an indoor boiler. That being the fact water has the ability to remove enough heat from the firebox making it tricky to maintain a clean burn.


caution

@myvzw.com
Arctic nut,

I believe the EPA pulled their OWB efficiency ratings from their website because they found Method 28 OWHH to be flawed. With respect to managing the stove, OWBs by design go into close damper mode every time the house quits calling for heat. This is why they produce elevated amounts of particulate matter. That is, firebox cannot reach high enough temp to burn off pollutants. Raising the chimney compounds the problem because ambient temp further cools the smoke as it rises up through cold metal pipe. This is why you see smoke drop when it exits when wind is calm. Think of a hot air balloon when heat is applied it rises when heat is removed it sinks, same principle.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
reply to Zach1
said by Zach1:

It would be nice if there was a way to ban inconsiderate idiots who burn everything from wet wood to household garbage to animal carcasses.

Laws don't help. We have a woodburning ordinance that has a temp moratorium on new OWBs, and allows anyone with a wood burning appliance to burn only "firewood." "Firewood" is defined as untreated wood more than 4 inches in diameter.

But do you really expect code enforcement to watch every house? Doubtful.

People will do what they want.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by fifty nine:

said by Zach1:

It would be nice if there was a way to ban inconsiderate idiots who burn everything from wet wood to household garbage to animal carcasses.

Laws don't help. We have a woodburning ordinance that has a temp moratorium on new OWBs, and allows anyone with a wood burning appliance to burn only "firewood." "Firewood" is defined as untreated wood more than 4 inches in diameter.

But do you really expect code enforcement to watch every house? Doubtful.

People will do what they want.

And some of these very same people are the ones buying the LED blubs and criticizing everyone who hasn't jumped on the LED Green bandwagon as destroying the planet.

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

1 edit
reply to caution
said by caution :

Arctic nut,

I believe the EPA pulled their OWB efficiency ratings from their website because they found Method 28 OWHH to be flawed. With respect to managing the stove, OWBs by design go into close damper mode every time the house quits calling for heat. This is why they produce elevated amounts of particulate matter. That is, firebox cannot reach high enough temp to burn off pollutants. Raising the chimney compounds the problem because ambient temp further cools the smoke as it rises up through cold metal pipe. This is why you see smoke drop when it exits when wind is calm. Think of a hot air balloon when heat is applied it rises when heat is removed it sinks, same principle.

The particulate emissions stats on the data plate exactly match those on the EPA site. Efficiency numbers are almost always flawed. Low particulates were and still are my primary objective with the new Phase II compliant boiler. It must work as advertised since most visitors don't even know it's out there and the only thing that smells of smoke is the old coat and gloves I wear when I tend it.

Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota
reply to Jack_in_VA
said by Jack_in_VA:

said by fifty nine:

said by Zach1:

It would be nice if there was a way to ban inconsiderate idiots who burn everything from wet wood to household garbage to animal carcasses.

Laws don't help. We have a woodburning ordinance that has a temp moratorium on new OWBs, and allows anyone with a wood burning appliance to burn only "firewood." "Firewood" is defined as untreated wood more than 4 inches in diameter.

But do you really expect code enforcement to watch every house? Doubtful.

People will do what they want.

And some of these very same people are the ones buying the LED blubs and criticizing everyone who hasn't jumped on the LED Green bandwagon as destroying the planet.

Huh? I seem to recall advocating choice.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by Zach1:

Huh? I seem to recall advocating choice.

Just sayin

Waterbug

join:2008-03-30

1 edit
reply to Grumpy
I know NOTHING about the topic but came across this on a web search:
»www.dnlenergy.com/wood-furnaces- ··· fab.html

If I were in the market, I would at least research the product a little further.

EDIT: The wood pellet version can be installed INDOORS.


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House Net..
·ooma
reply to Grumpy
There are a few companies out there that make wood pellet boilers, biggest name that comes to mind is Harman.

There is another company that makes add-on kits to turn a wood/coal/pellet stove into a boiler:

»crosslinkconversions.com/systems ··· tems.php

On the topic of the outdoor wood boilers, a close friend of the family just put one in last year. This year, his township passed all kinds of regulations limiting when he can use it. There is definitely a growing movement out there.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT

1 recommendation

reply to Grumpy
Although I know many with beloved pellet stoves, I am leery of any wood type of fuel that one has to buy at retail. An exception may be log lengths depending upon the price. Pellets have nearly become a trade-able commodity, with supply and demand dictating price in these parts.

I live in one of those areas where with a little resourcefulness, hardwoods can still be had for free, if one is willing to do the labor required to cut & transport them.


fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
said by Grumpy:

Although I know many with beloved pellet stoves, I am leery of any wood type of fuel that one has to buy at retail. An exception may be log lengths depending upon the price. Pellets have nearly become a trade-able commodity, with supply and demand dictating price in these parts.

I live in one of those areas where with a little resourcefulness, hardwoods can still be had for free, if one is willing to do the labor required to cut & transport them.

I have to agree with this one. When talking to a wood stove (and pellet stove) dealer he said that pellet stoves depend on the "sawdust producing" industry. With wood if the price gets too high I can just go out in the forest and cut up some trees (which have already fallen down). But there seems to be no shortage of reasonably priced wood, especially this year with the storms.

This whole heating season cost ~$600, which is the cost of the 5 cords of wood (unsplit) plus the gas and oil for the log splitter. I could have gotten it for less if I was able to go pick up wood myself. There is a construction company selling it for $75/cord unsplit but you have to go load and pick it up yourself.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by fifty nine:

said by Grumpy:

Although I know many with beloved pellet stoves, I am leery of any wood type of fuel that one has to buy at retail. An exception may be log lengths depending upon the price. Pellets have nearly become a trade-able commodity, with supply and demand dictating price in these parts.

I live in one of those areas where with a little resourcefulness, hardwoods can still be had for free, if one is willing to do the labor required to cut & transport them.

I have to agree with this one. When talking to a wood stove (and pellet stove) dealer he said that pellet stoves depend on the "sawdust producing" industry. With wood if the price gets too high I can just go out in the forest and cut up some trees (which have already fallen down). But there seems to be no shortage of reasonably priced wood, especially this year with the storms.

This whole heating season cost ~$600, which is the cost of the 5 cords of wood (unsplit) plus the gas and oil for the log splitter. I could have gotten it for less if I was able to go pick up wood myself. There is a construction company selling it for $75/cord unsplit but you have to go load and pick it up yourself.

I think that I prefer to spend $600 in extra electricity for a heating season and not have to do the work involved with wood. My cost is nowhere near that to heat.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·FirstLight Fiber
·Hollis Hosting
·G4 Communications
reply to Grumpy
said by Grumpy:

I am leery of any wood type of fuel that one has to buy at retail.

I agree. We heat with cord wood cut on our own property.

I think pellets are great because they expose more folks to wood heat. But for us cord wood works well plus the stove does not require power so during the occasional power outages we can still stay warm.

/tom


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by tschmidt:

said by Grumpy:

I am leery of any wood type of fuel that one has to buy at retail.

I agree. We heat with cord wood cut on our own property.

I think pellets are great because they expose more folks to wood heat. But for us cord wood works well plus the stove does not require power so during the occasional power outages we can still stay warm.

/tom

I have a free standing Propane Buck Stove for heat during power outages. Power the fan with the generator and it heats very well.