Home Heating

My house is heated by a radiator based hot water heating system powered by natural gas. Given the expected increase in the cost of natural gas, I would like to add an auxiliary wood burner to power the hot water system. I have searched the internet and have found nothing. Am I looking for something that does not exist or cannot be done? Any help and/or leads will be appreciated. Thank you.
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wrote:

Here's one: http://www.yukon-eagle.com /
Try searching for "wood fired boiler" and you'll find some others.
Not going to be cheap to switch over...
HTH,
Paul
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First and foremost are you handy with electrical and mechanical products? Call a local licensed contractor and see what they can put together for you. Adding another fuel source will certainly complicate the situation. I am always up for a challenge, I know some great controls guys in the Midwest. I know your not talking about my neck of the woods, cause we are pretty much interested in cooling only.
Questions you need to answer, Does your local area have "no burn days"? Are you ready to commit to the labor and effort that it is going to take to deal with wood? What does a cord of wood cost? (4'x4'x 8' or 128 cubic feet) What kind of wood can you get for what cost? Different woods burn differently.
Have you checked the insulation in your home recently? last couple of years. google to one of the .gov sites and see what they recommend for your area. I added R-30 to my home in July, August's a/c bill was 50% less. (my home circa 1977)
WAG your talking about a several thousand dollars to get started. Money might be spent better upgrading the system you have.
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Or, look at it this way, improve your overall insulation before upgrading. That way if the savings aren't "enough" then when you do upgrade it'll be even more efficient.
First thing to check would be the current furnace. If you're not already using a high-efficiency gas furnance then you might want to upgrade.
Wood is never inexpensive enough, or plentiful enough, in most places to justify itself. Unless you've got a steady supply of free wood, and the patience to keep stoking it, it's not going to be worth the hassle.
Upgrade your overall insulation and make sure your furnace is efficient FIRST.
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There are dual fuel and wood boilers. Look for wood fired boilers. Plenty of links of this site http://www.motherearthnews.com/top_articles/2003_Febuary_March/Wood_Fired_Central_Heat http://www.woodheat.org/technology/outboiler.htm http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/forestry/fact16.pdf
Before you jump in and spend a lot of money, assess your situation carefully. Wood is also going up in price and may not save you much. Will you have to buy it or will you be able to cut it for "free", meaning only a few hundred dollars for a chainsaw and equipment. Are you prepared to do the labor? I've burned wood for many years, but the past couple and even this year, I'm buying oil. If you are near a sawmill, you may be able to buy slabs cheaply.
Most likely, it is already too late for this year. Every wood dealer in my area has sold all the dry wood a month or more ago. Green wood is cheaper to buy, but heats far less so it is more expensive to use.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




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dianne gigler wrote:

My suggestion is to forget the whole thing unless you have access to good free wood. In most situations where you don't get your wood free, it is often the most expensive fuel. As natural gas goes up the demand for wood is going to go up and it will increase in price. In the mean time you will have your hardware expense and you are not likely to recover that cost.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia duit
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Standard stuff you need first: clock-thermostat, with max setbacks possible. (Electric blankets for the pampered.) aquastat setting as low as will work. (maybe 130F vice 180F, and varied by month.) automatic stack damper. (can give you 50% savings)
These can yield 40-60% savings for small, one-time charge.
Zone-off areas where heat is not needed. Like, even with Alum foil rad jacket.
Seal around all doors and windows, tightly. And find and plug all the other leaks, paying special attention to those at upper and lower extremities of house. Chimney effect. This is really cheap, makes things v. comfortable w/quick payback.
Layer-on more attic insulation if advisable.
That's pretty much it for the quick-payback, cheap stuff.
Next would be insulation in exterior walls. Replacing old mouse-fur insulation for full-thickness R-13 makes a huge difference.
Single pane windows are candidate for high-e inserts. Another huge difference.
Additional heat source like pellet, corn, or wood stove might now come into play. Most simply for heating air. Many pellet stoves can vent through wall. Forget this year, and plan ahead. For when stoves and pellets will again be available. (Pellet stoves are also v. low-emissions and ~90 or more % efficient, from tech data.) Wood stoves meet needs of some of us just fine, those used to chainsaw, maul, and sweat.
Forget trying to put this in essentially uninsulated masonry basement, or plan on insulating stove area.
Enjoy staying warm, J
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Hey, stop calling me names. I'm just a sensitive guy that likes getting my naked (and sexy, IMO) body in between nice warm sheets. Just because my wife turns the blanket on for me about an hour before bed time does not mean I'm pampered.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/




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Yes it can be done.
You need to set up a primary/secondary system. You need a loop so that both boilers can feed into. Then the 2 boilers, the gas and the wood, will feed into the loop and the radiator load will feed off the loop. For best operation, the wood boiler will need to go through a heat exchanger to hydraulically uncouple the wood boiler from the rest of the system.
I hope you already have the wood fired boiler, because several manufacturers are promising delivery of boilers in February, if they were ordered in mid October.
I hope you have some money, because to do it right it's gonna cost about 2 grand or more, just for materials without the cost of the boiler.
Good Luck.
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