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Thread: Woodburning boilers?

  1. #1
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    Default Woodburning boilers?

    We are about 15 months from moving back to Alaska. Retiring from the military and would love to have any information anyone has on this type of woodburning heat. http://www.centralboiler.com/ http://www.woodmaster.com/woodfurnaces.php or http://www.northerntool.com/shop/too...2036_200362036

    Do they work well?

    Are they cheaper to run that oil?

    My previous experiences with living in the Arctic included North Slope Bourough subsidized heat and power. So this will be the first time we have had to pay for it.

    I had a neighbor when I was stationed in Maine that had one, and he filled it up every Sunday and that was it. His house and shop were super warm.

  2. #2
    Member hunterdave's Avatar
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    i have an outdoor wood boiler in wisconsin that heats my house , 2 car attached garage and 3 car detached shop as well as all my hot water. it is simply put the best money i have ever spent as long as you have wood to cut and like endless free heat and hot water. i fill once every morning in the winter.


  3. #3
    Member spoiled one's Avatar
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    Shoot forum member gr8fl a pm or email. He has a set up like this. Seems like the guy is always cutting wood. The upside is he doesn't need to go to the gym.
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  4. #4
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Alaska does not have the same hardwoods as the lower 48, so run the economics on heating with wood in AK before taking the plunge.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    Yes, they are in use in Alaska. If you're planning to do your own logging, they are tough to beat. Less labor involved, as the log pieces are much larger than for wood stoves. The only complaints I heard was on creosote build-up, which you'll have regardless where you burn wood. Might not be any cheaper than oil if you're planning to have your logs delivered, and depending how much area you're trying to heat. You'll have to do some math on that one.

    My dad put one in a few years back. He lives in WI, so heats mostly with oak. Stokes it twice a day, heats his shed and house with it. People around AK have told me that 4 times a day or more is necessary to keep it warm when it gets really cold out. Might do better if you're around enough birch.

  6. #6
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    We had one when I was a kid growing up in MN. We filled it three times a day even using hardwoods like Oak,Maple,Ash, and Birch.
    When it was warmer out we could have got by with filling twice a day.
    It was nice though. You keep the mess of wood outside the house. You could burn longer and larger pieces of wood.
    Regardless wood is never free. Unless you find someone to deliver free wood to your doorstep and if that happens let the rest of us know.
    Wood is nice but a lot of work. That means wood first and hunting/fishing etc. later.
    If you don't mind giving up some of your freetime and have a source of wood to cut it can be rewarding.
    So yes they are cheaper than oil if you do not put a value on your familys free time cutting wood and don't mind the hassle of filling multiple times a day.
    We burned 10-12 cords in an average winter heating a 2 story 26x48 log house with the one we had. This was in similiar temps to an average southcentral AK winter.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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  7. #7

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    If you want a boiler to run your heat with, consider a wood gasification boiler. It turns firewood into gas and burns it cleaner with less emmissions and ash. It also has available an auxiliary oil fitting that allows for the alternative use of fuel oil in it.
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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I looked into one a couple of years ago...just couldn't make the economics work out as much as I wanted it to. I have several friends with them and they do just eat through the wood. Best use I've seen are in poorly insulated 80's houses- the bigger hammer is cheaper than remodeling with better windows and insulation.

    In a tight built 4 or 5 star house you're probably better of with a catalytic type wood stove or gassification boiler in the garage if you want wood heat.

    My buddies burn on average 15-20 cords a year....that's a lot of wood.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Thanks again.

    15-20 cords is a lot of stinking wood to cut.

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    Member AkKevin's Avatar
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    Waidmannsheil

    The boilers that you have given as examples are wood eating dinosaurs.

    I think you should go with a wood gasification type boiler. They are way more efficient getting into the 90% range. Do your own research but here

    are some examples.

    http://www.newhorizonstore.com/Default.aspx

    http://garn.com/

    http://www.alternateheatingsystems.com/default.aspx

    Kevin
    Are we talking about goals or are we talking about dreams? AkKevin The one and only

  11. #11
    Member power drifter's Avatar
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    Not totally sure but Fairbanks and Juneau where both working at a ban for these types of outdoor wood heaters. Might want to look into that before you buy. They say they are adding a lot more to the ice fog.

  12. #12
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    I have an outdoor boiler I have used for the past 3 winters. I load it 3 times a day in the coldest weather here in Fairbanks and twice when it is a little warmer. We do not have natural gas in the interior so the other option is oil and we know where those prices are. I estimate 10 chords of wood on a normal year which is a mixture of aspen, birch, and spruce, if you had all birch it would last considerably longer. So far I haven't had to go beyond my property and that of a couple neighbors wanting some thinning done for the wood. My boiler will also burn coal which burns a lot longer.

    Do some research as they are not all created equal - later versions are much more efficient.

    The try to ban the boilers in the Fairbanks area was shot down by the voters.

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