I am looking into the possibility of purchasing a combination oil/wood-fired
hot air furnace and have been getting conflicting opinions locally. I'm in
CT and a few plumbers I spoke with say that the only time they deal with
combination furnaces, the homeowner is asking them to take them out. The
various combination furnace manufacturer's brochures say that they are the
best thing since french bread. Can someone who has one of these or installed
one of these provide me with some feedback (good or bad?)
Friend of mine has had one for about 15 years now. He uses it in the
coldest part of winter, but at other times relies on oil as it is much
simpler to control as the oil burner can be shut down, the wood is not as
easily slowed when you just don't need the heat.
Cheap to operate if you can get free or cheap wood
Backup if you have frequent power failures (yes, you can circulate water
fairly well with no electricity)
Not easily shut down in mild weather
Burning wood is labor intensive
Takes more space and piping as compared to a straight oil burner
As with any wood burning appliance, it is not much of a cost advantage if
you are buying cordwood from the locals. If you have a source of free wood
and are willing to cut, haul, split, it is a money saver. I suspect cord
wood will be about $200 this year and oil will be about $255 a hundred
Based on what my friend has done, would I get one? Not now as I don't want
to do the labor. I've not burned by regular wood stove in four years.
Twenty years ago, yes.
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