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Old 01-01-2012, 02:01 PM   #1
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From wood burner heat to ???

We just moved into our log home at the beginning of Fall this year. We planned to use our soap stone wood burner as our primary source of heat and the 2nd wood burner in the basement if needed. We love using wood burner heat and find that it is a very efficient way to heat our home now that it's December. The problem is our 4 year old son who has allergies and asthma is suffering. Between the occasional smoke and ash that we deal with as a drawback to wood heat, his asthma is at an all time high. His breathing treatments are less effective and he's now on an oral steroid every day. We're scrambling to come up with a heating solution that we can afford while we're paying back our moving costs (about $6K).

If you can help us to hash out our options by sharing your wisdom and knowlege, we would greatly appreciate it! Here is where we're at:

This house has a great oil burning furnace with an ion filter. The drawback is the tank was 1/4 full and we were not prepared for how quickly we would use that up. When the previous home owner filled the tank, located above ground in the basement, last year it cost him $1000. He used 3/4 of it last winter just using oil heat for a backup when his kids were home and he didn't want them fussing with the wood burners. The majority of the winter, the wood burners were the primary source of heat. The cost of oil is too high to justify using oil heat. I see us having to fill the tank several times this winter if using it full time.

The gas company sent us a letter that gas was available in the area and that they would pay to have the lines run to the house and the meter installed. All we would have to do is run the gas lines from the meter and install a gas furnace. From what I've read online, that can cost anywhere between $3000 and $10,000. Now, my husband has replaced gas lines before and could run the lines himself...possibly install the furnace as well. I'm not sure what that would save us. I feel like long term, this would save us more money vs. oil heat.

Another option my husband has mentioned is adding a wood burning furnace to our existing oil furnace. The furnace alone costs $1500. Having it properly vented, I'm not sure how much more that would add to it's instillation.

Are there any other options that we should consider? Thanks in advance for any help.


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Old 01-01-2012, 02:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by spiceoflife View Post
This house has a great oil burning furnace with an ion filter.
...the gas lines from the meter and install a gas furnace...that can cost anywhere between $3000 and $10,000.
Use the oil furnace you have until it NEEDS to be replaced.
When that time comes... do the gas work.



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Old 01-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #3
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Ayuh,.... Put in an Outdoor wood burner,...

The kid won't suffer at all,...

No wood, dirt, bark, 'n bugs in the house either...

Dependin' on what you've got(furnace), it can be integrated into it....
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Old 01-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #4
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I'm not sure what you are trying to do.
I would try to avoid the oil furnace if thats possible.The smell and dirt of an oil furnace is a lot worse than the wood burners,but you do bring in dirt and bugs with wood and the wood dries out the air like bno other heat source.
I would suggest that you look at the Aprilaire,Research products,web page while doing your research.
They have stand alone humidifiers like the model 350/360,they have air cleaning products and they have home ventilation products.
This company is familiar with just about any real HVAC company and repair and replacement parts are readily availiable in almost all areas.
They have been considered a quality product for more than 50 years and stand behind their products.
Good luck
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #5
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gas would be the way to go, although you may be able to add a heat pump to your current oil system. A properly sized and tuned oil furnace is not as bad as people say.
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Old 01-02-2012, 04:32 AM   #6
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Whee does the air that the wood burners use for combustion come from. directly from outside, or from the air in the house?
How dry is it inside your house, as in what is the RH?
Have you considered installing a HEPA type air filter in the oil furnace, and running that fan 24/7 to keep the air clean er in the house.


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