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Old 04-19-2011, 03:32 AM
Location: Ocqueoc, MI - Extreme N.E. Lower Peninsula
275 posts, read 394,437 times
Reputation: 276


Our house currently has an LP fired boiler, with heat provided by zoned baseboard throughout. The boiler is aging, and I have decided to replace it now...before we begin finishing the basement.

I've been looking at options, and a wood fired boiler seems like my best choice for several reasons. We have access to 35 acres, 10 are ours and 25 more belong to close family friends, with all mostly wooded. I have an available fuel supply that'd be FAR less expensive than LP or electric. The wood boiler and installation would cost far less than a replacement LP boiler or forced air solution, and with the ready supply of fuel I should be looking at a return on investment of roughly 3 years.

My second choice was to go with a geo thermal heat pump, but the cost would be twice that of the wood boiler and the return on investment pretty much matched the life expectancy, at 15 years.

What may serve as the clincher is that we have a wood boiler dealer less than 30 minutes from the house, and after stopping by on Saturday and talking with the owner we would definitely feel good about doing business with them.

As you can see, my mind is fairly made up. The model we're looking at does have LP backup. Like anything else, when the power goes out we would lose heat. We have a wood stove, and will be keeping it for that very reason.

Even though my mind is mostly made up, I would sincerely like to hear from folks who have, had, or have experience with a wood fired boiler. I would appreciate any advice, insight, or opinions.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 04-19-2011, 07:42 AM
362 posts, read 620,126 times
Reputation: 200
I do not have a OWB, I have a wood burning add on furnace, I have been useing for 26 years.
I have learned You need your own source of wood, don't ever count on getting wood off others property. It can be laying on the ground going to rot but you cut split and haul out several pick uploads and they start seeing dollar signs. We see racks of wood for sale along the road for $45.00 and $50.00 dollars you could give us $40.00 a truck load, seen it heard it and got the T shirt.

There is also the investment in equpment, saws axes wedges mauls and sledges to name a few things. You also have to invest the time cutting splitting and hualing also be ready to feed that boiler at least twice a day. Burning wood is hard work but I feel a good time investment for me.

These guys know their stuff when it comes to wood and wood burners.

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