44 thoughts on “Outdoor wood furnace "worth the investment?"

  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Thinking if a person spent 80 man hours a year cutting and stacking wood to prepare wood for the winter (just a guess) and an hour a day for 5 months of the year that comes out to about 265 man hours a year. Using wood I would save about $170 a month for 5 months that comes out to saving around 850 a year Not counting gas and oil chain saws, maintenance, cost of the wood stove, anything used to acquire the wood. However If I figure in the time I use to save that $850 a year I am only making $3.20 an hour profit for all the time spent. This was fine in pioneer times when people had not other option; however I can make some pretty good money if I spend that 265 hours a year selling stuff on Ebay or just about anything, even mowing lawns for money on the side I would make 10 times that. I don't know about you all but my time is worth more than $3.20 an hour. Of course some of you will have different figures than me but it has to be pretty close to what I came up with. Even a part time job working any where for 265 hours a year would pay for the heating bill regardless if it propane, heat pump geothermal or straight electric heat and have lots left over. Even if your figures came out to $6.40 an hour its not worth it compared to other things. Also if you throw your back out from carrying wood just one time. All your savings will be out the window for one trip to the hospital.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Nice honest review of your unit. There's a lot of these outdoor boilers, a TON of companies make or made (and then went out of business) very simple units like your Wood Waster… ahem Wood Master. I've owned a Central Boiler Classic CL5036 for four years now, put in by a previous owner of this farm. Hopefully we can help with some people on the fence!

    Units like ours are basically non-engineered. Mine is more-or-less reliable because it's got extremely thick steel between the firebox and water jacket. There's nothing to clog up other than the chimney at the back. It's a terribly wasteful unit for these same reasons, and rightfully called Smoke Dragons and Forest Eaters. Specifically, the firebox is always kept very cold. This prevents a hot fire from building, so in addition to incomplete combustion, the smoke readily condenses inside the firebox on the comparatively cold walls and ceiling. It's like building a campfire inside a fridge. There are times I've wished my Central Boiler unit had a bypass valve like yours, but I imagine this thick smoke in a condensation-prone environment is what's caused your bypass valve to seize up. Creosote production in these things is unreal! Adding to this problem is the large firebox/large water reserve idea. Yes it reduces the amount of trips but the fire spends a lot of time smoldering – worse on warmer days – so the creosote is even thicker. Then when the damper finally opens all that creosote makes for one hell of a stinky and smokey fire! I can tell where my boiler is in its cycle just by the smell, I don't blame you for putting that thing so far away!

    Something apparently both Wood Master and Central Boiler don't understand is insulating the plumbing. My boiler at least has the pipes and pump hidden behind a door, I see your unit is completely open to the bottom. So much heat is being lost! I was able to stuff a batt of fiberglass between the door and pump, it looks like you'd have to modify yours to have a floor before you could do similar. On a windy day you'll be losing a fair bit of heat right there.

    There are other ways to improve on these units. I don't think links work on YouTube, so check out a site called WoodHeat.org. A guy referred to as "Bob in Pennsylvania", who has the same model I do, measured base efficiency at around 25%. Yep, three quarters of the heat goes right up the chimney! Bob made massive efficiency improvements with a few tweaks, basically just adding refractory material, a baffle to keep the fire inside the firebox, and making sure it had decent draft. The manufacturers of these units are apparently ignorant of many developments over the past two centuries. I experimented with my own boiler and added in a floor and three walls made of firebrick. I'm using much less wood compared to previous heating seasons, and am looking forward to a more extensive baffle and improving draft further. As it is I've extended my burn times, despite lowing the volume of my firebox. As a result of my baffle brick wall my draft is pretty bad, so the chimney builds a lot of creosote, but I'm STILL using less wood! A top-of-stack draft inducer like Mr. Bob in Pennsylvania is out of my price range, so this summer I'll be trying to rig up a blower to fit over my boiler's air intake.

    For those that aren't stuck with one of these things and are looking to buy, consider looking into a gasifier. They're much more popular in recent times with US EPA restrictions on particulate emissions (the visible part of smoke). Someone else in these comments referred to them as double-burners, they basically "cook" the wood, then burn the gasses, by adding air a second time. They then extract the heat from the burnt gasses after combustion has completed, instead of cooling the fire and actually preventing complete combustion. This allows the fire itself to get very hot and burn completely, avoiding much of the creosote and smoke (although they also must idle when you aren't pulling heat from them). Most modern wood stoves do something similar by adding secondary air. GARN, Portage & Main, Central Boiler, and Heatmaster are some major brands that make these, and efficiency ratings over 80% are typical. A friend of mine has a Heatmaster SS G100 or G200, he bought it to tie into his house's existing in-floor hydronic system to avoid burning and paying for propane. It's a completely different machine from mine, like comparing a Bentley to a beat-up Pinto. (Like the Ford Pinto, my Central Boiler Classic 5036 is fairly easy to make spew fireballs from places it shouldn't!) The unit he bought is actually UL approved for indoor installation, so he stuck it in his garage. Anyone else could put a unit like that in an enclosed shed AND be compliant with their building code, almost eliminating heat loss to weather. He burns less wood than I do and has a larger house, AND his boiler doesn't spew acrid smoke constantly.

    The downside to a gasifier is the process is based on how reasonably seasoned wood behaves. Because it's a downward burn it can't dry out fuel like mine can. So it doesn't work with green wood, slightly rotten wood, and so on. You can't just chuck corn or pellets or random small brush or giant bricks of cardboard in it, either. He orders split wood from a local guy so this isn't a concern for him. So if you want to burn "whatever", a gasifier is not for you! That said there are way better models than the unit I have. Anything with firebrick/refractory and heat exchanger tubes – an innovation from the Industrial Revolution – will blow the doors off of older design models. I've seen a few of these marketed as multi-fuel burners as these features (ash grate shaker, bottom air feed/blower) make them good for burning coal.

    Overall I like the fact that I have a hydronic system in my house. It makes it very simple to add alternative heat sources, such as a conventional fossil fuel boiler (aside from propane models, oil burners can be adapted to vegetable oil and biodiesel) and solar. Heat distribution in the house doesn't need to be via forced air, either – radiant heating is extremely simple and CHEAP thanks to PEX. Obviously the system requires electricity to work – a disadvantage compared to a traditional stove – but if you don't have a blower for forced-air distribution, the power requirement is a few pumps. A quick trip to Canadian Tire will get you some solar panels and batteries that will run this stuff. Another benefit is heat storage: any fuel burner is inefficient in short cycles. When the thermal energy is in water, you can simply store hot water in an insulated container for use later. Insulate it enough and the system is even more efficient, since you can do a 'batch burn'. This is basically what GARN sells but there's a lot of information on how to build your own at BuildItSolar.com

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    I would recommend a wheelbarrow
    Sometimes just work smarter

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    This guy built his own furnace

    https://youtu.be/xy1MwVDSSfk

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    It's for young man would love one you know they got all the energy in the world and you used to if you remember

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    If you have land and access to free wood it pays for itself in 2 years. I live in a very cold climate Adirondacks and my oil bill was 800$ every 6 weeks and that was just to keep home at 65 when you have 7-8 months of winter a wood boiler or stove saves thousands

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    all the time wasted in cut pile load reload fill outdoor furnace always check an keep full for off grid person / not working a JOB/ it may be okay but I see waste of my time when gas is no fuss no messing around one time turn key . and cheaper in the end . the way I see IT PLUS you need to pipe it all over the house . so if you like to work on getting the wood aN LOAD AN FILL AN CHECK ON IT ALL THE TIME// iT MAY BE FOR YOU BUT TO HAVE . Heat an A no fuss way no lost time in getting product and load an checking on the machine// just get gas
    or propane cheap an Easy no working all year round and in frozen temps I use gas to cook so this way is easy for me to have Gas

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    You seldom see these in Las Vegas.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    sweat for equity

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Good information. Thank you for making this video.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    You can buy a product called rust inhibitor. Put it in your system and you won't need to drain and refill your tank and it'll prevent corrosion.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    No need to split ur wood? I have same size stove, takes 2ft round logs! Don't waste ur time splitting

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    I don't get it? Where is all the heat going?

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    I fill mine in my underwear and muck boots…. Hardy makes a good furnace all stainless steel heats 1500 square ft house at 10 rank a year I can split 10 rank in one day with my splitter I can cut 5 rank in one day easy with a sharp chain and the difference in heat with my new elec furnace which takes 7 minutes to get temp to 72 degrees the heat with boiler under 3 minutes and never have truble with fire going out.. but also I just enjoy cutting wood…. As long as my chain is sharp…

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    your temp that you run the furnace is to high. I only run mine at 160F max its better for your furnace and it burns less and you should run rust inhibiter in it to.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    I am not a fan of these outdoor furnaces…they use too much wood and they smoke like hell.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Sorry, all of this for one radiator? You are kidding! What an absolute waste of money and effort!

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    What a bunch of sour shit talkers on this video!! Just tell the man thanks for the video and call it a day if you've got nothing nice to say.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Very honest reporting; much appreciated.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    They are well worth the money….

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    You can buy a windmill heaters where you are I bet you save a ton of money and time

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    poor WoodMaster 🤣

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Neat set up…
    But at $10,000 I’d consider a used indoor airtight/franklin stove for $300.
    A med sized stove will easily heat a 1200 sq ft shop…in less than an hour…using the fan that generates power from the heat of the stove.
    Then there is no need to haul wood in the elements….
    Then run a propane or oil back up to keep it at 10c.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Wrong type get a heatmor i love mine .yes its work but i heat my home .my garage and all the hot water you will ever use .my house is 1800 sq feet 900 sq garage .the door on the heatmor is water cooled best seal on door and most
    Important burn dry wood .i burn 7 cord a year 1400$

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Who would ever think that is an investment?

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    I would have added a trash oil boiler. Those you can run for weeks.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    It helps if you have an easy source of logs to cut into firewood. Think "Tree Service". Those guys will drop off logs for next to nothing, if they like you. I have a sawmill and have worked with a tree service guy for about twenty years. I talked him into buying two Hardy boilers very soon after we got partnered up. He loves them. Of course, he has all the chainsaws and an endless source of logs, so there's that. You are going to have to do some sawing and splitting but remember — unlike smaller indoor wood stoves you don't have to split your firewood as small. If it will fit in the door, you're good. You can generally cut your rounds to longer lengths too, which helps. So if you don't already have some equipment like good chainsaws, log splitters, trucks, tractors — whatever it takes to produce some firewood — then maybe wood boilers aren't for you. If you do… well maybe. There's always the indoor forced-air furnace that burns wood. Sort of an in-between option. My gal and I just want to get away from the indoor wood stove. Too messy.

    Great vid. Thanks for posting, eh?

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    moving water won't freeze.if your pump is always circulating the water, it shouldn't freeze even without the oil furnace warming the water.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Easy to burn do you plant trees

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    IF EVERYONE HEATED THIS WAY THE EARTH WOULD BE TREELESS IN ONE WINTER!!!!!!!!!!! SAVE THE TREES USE ELECTRIC!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Love listening to your accent.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Dont know why this man put it so far away. He's heating the ground before it gets to the house.lol

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    I am retired and live in The Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is not uncommon to have snow for up to 5 months or longer. My house has heating oil and I have a small wood boiler that heats the same water as the heating oil boiler. I burn wood as my primary heat until the single digits hit, then I use the heating oil. If it is above 30, I use the oil as it does not run all the time. Collecting wood is my “gym membership” as I get to go into the woods and use my chain saw, collect wood, move wood, split wood, and stack wood. It is worth it for the physical fitness and it basically is free. To fill the heating oil tank cost about a $1000 and that will last all year if not longer. My wood boiler I got for free and I spent about $400 in heating and plumbing parts to install it. If I bought a $10,000 boiler, bought split wood, the savings wood be minimal. In my case, I save money burning wood.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    as you get older, things get harder. old age sucks.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    How much is one one these furnaces?

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Thanks for the honesty.

    Couple questions, please:
    Would you be happier with the performance if the insulation around the ground pipes and around the unit is much thicker?

    And, are you happy with the 110-acres or would you have more or less land?

    Peace of Lord Jesus upon you and yours

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    I guess it all depends on where you live and how your setup is. We have a Woodmaster 5500 with ash augers, and we love it. Yes, they do burn a little more wood, but for us it's the way to go. On the older models, the ash augers did not work as advertised, but they have since then changed the design and they work very well. Dry split wood definitely burns better in these boilers and is more efficient but there are times when we do mix a little green in with the dry. We have a good setup on ours though as when the north wind blows, the smoke all blows away from the house and we do not have any neighbors close by.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Jesus! The greatest gift to man. 1 Corinthians 15-52 at the last Trump 🌎 God is Good

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Thanks for the info.
    I also burn wood with a wood coal combo plumbed into my oil force hot air back up.
    650 dollars buys 8+/- cord log length that I cut and split.
    It saves me at least 1500 a year over oil. I purchase 100 gallon min delivery every 2 years just in case and let oil take over on warm days where the wood furnace would be too hot. 30s.
    With the possibility of carbon tax coming, the benefits will be even greater.
    My small tractor does help with the heavy lifting.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    My neighbor has one of these. He saves a lot by using it for heat, but the trade-off is that he has to do a lot of labor finding wood and feeding the beast.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    These. stink when you ok live downwind.

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  • May 29, 2019 at 7:58 pm
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    Are you growing a forest at that rate do you like burnt down the National Forest

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