Finally got that box checked...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Bandit99, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Approximately two years ago, I started on this forum about the same time I returned stateside and got my home. Since then, it has been a constant challenge to evaluate, find and finally procure all the things that make one self-sufficient. And, make no mistake, whether it is learning a new skill or procuring an expensive piece of equipment, it does not happen overnight but this forum has been immensely helpful to accomplish many things in such a short time. I still have much to do, and I will, but we move forward one step at a time.

    One of the things that has been a thorn in my side has been that lack of a sustainable heat source. I only had electric heat and a propane fireplace (my cook stove is also propane which I love!) but both get a bit pricey here in Northern Idaho yet here I sat on 5 heavily wood acres - so much wood I was giving it away. So, finally bought and installed my new heat source, a new woodstove. It wasn't cheap but already know I made the correct decision. Finally got that box checked...

    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
    Gator 45/70, Tully Mars, GOG and 8 others like this.
  2. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    HA, the wood stove was one of the first purchases we made when we moved here and started the build! It sat in it's shipping crate for almost 2 years before we were ready to install it, but I cannot tell you how much money it has saved us in heating, and we cook on it when ever we need to slow cook something tasty, AND, it gets used to augment the water heater when the wife wants a nice long hot bath!
    Congrats Bandit99 One step at a time, and before you know it, your a hundred steps closer to your goals!
    Now that I have my self contained steam power plant up and running, things are progressing even more, just in time to sell it all off and retire!!! LOL
    GOG, Dunerunner and Bandit99 like this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I assume that your installation, uses External Air for the FireBox, and not Room Air.... Right?
  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Well done Bandit! (y) Certainly a wood stove adds to one's heating self sufficiency (given an adequately sized woodlot), but I have found that not all wood is equal in combustion to BTU heating value, and creosote build up embuggerance.


    Best Firewood Heat Values and Tips

    Firewood BTU - Chart and Information

    Species Guide - America Hardwood Information Center 2.7MB

    A few firewood storage and wood chopping video clips...

    Tully Mars, GOG, duane and 3 others like this.
  5. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Congratulations on your new stove and it is so nice to see a safe, efficient, beautiful solution. While a 55 gal drum stove may heat your house, as well as most the outdoors, yours will use a lot less wood, look nice, and not burn your house down. I like your stove pad and it is just as important as the stove. Well done! While the initial cost of a good stove is high, ours has been saving us a lot of money for the last 10 years, we enjoy it and its heat, and if the power goes off, it is a little less efficient without the fan, but works just fine.
    Tully Mars, Ura-Ki, GOG and 1 other person like this.
  6. GOG

    GOG Free American Monkey Site Supporter

    It's a large cash outlay, but it will pay you back very quickly. I'm happy for you that things are coming together. Well done.
    Tully Mars and Ura-Ki like this.
  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @BTPost Actually, no, if I understand you correctly. There is a connection for an external outside air inlet but most people here do not do this (actually, no one does this here) and after research I decided not to do so also. Perhaps wrong decision but I truly don't think the houses built here are as tight as Alaskan homes, certainly no where as tight and as well insulated, as say, German homes. We'll just have to see...and if I have to change it then I have to change it as we're committed now and got skin in the game.

    @chelloveck Hey thanks for the great links! I watched the first two so far and picked up a few ideas. I have been thinking about a hoop woodshed for this season or until I can get something permanently built and since I also promised the wife a hoop green house, the hoop woodshed will dovetail into that project nicely.

    This purchase was extremely hard for me because it was difficult to justify the cost as I could purchase one hell'va lot of propane for the fireplace for what I paid for the stove and installation. But, the good side is now my tank of propane will only be used for cooking so it should last a long time plus I am a big step into being self-sufficient for heating the house. Next week, I have a quote coming for HVAC ducting, vents and fan to allow me to distribute the woodstove heat throughout the house (along with a heat pump and electric furnace). I already have overhead fans which some people say is enough to move the heat but we'll see...
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2017
    chelloveck likes this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    @Bandit99 My cabin was built in 1908, and has been modified, reBuilt, Upgraded, so many times, since, and is anything but Air Tight... When we replaced our WoodBurner 10 years ago, due to a Firebox Crack failure, we looked at all the available Stoves, and bought one out of Vemont, that has Soapstone Inserts on the exterior, and a Thru- Floor FireBox Air Intake... It had provisions for an In-FireBox Water Heating Coil, but we haven't installed the Coil, but keep it available as a SHTF Backup... Our cook stove is a Dickerson Diesel Pot-Fired Stove that does have a Hot Water Coil that makes ALL our Domestic Hot Water, in a Thermalsyphan System that only needs Heat, to circulate... We have found that by using the External Air to support the Fire, we do not lower the Air Pressure, like we did with the Old WoodBurner... We are now using about 2/3 the Firwood per winter, than we did before the switch... After about 4 years of that type operations, we upgraded the attic Insulation, and a few Triple Pane Windows, and got that Down to 1/2 the old amount... Our Cabin has TONs of. Windows, because in Alaska, during the Winters, one needs ALL the Sunlight one can get, from what little Sun we get, during that time... Our cabin does just fine, on just the CookStove, until Temps drop below 20F... Then we use the WoodBurner, to make up the difference, and it can keep up clear down to -20F...
    chelloveck, GOG, Bandit99 and 2 others like this.
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @BTPost Ah! I see. Yes, I heard that by using external air it makes a big difference but you are the first that could qualify it, 1/3 less wood is a huge difference! My house is fairly new, 2009, and the Californian who built it did a pretty good job on it; although he did some nutty things. I would have put more insulation but it seems to be enough. I do think he skimped on the U-Factor of the windows though as most are 0.32 and I have a whole lot of them, they're big ones too! So, I know I am losing lots of heat that way but I can't truly justify their replacement cost yet as they are still in good condition and doing a fair job. Luckily it doesn't get as cold here as it does in Alaska because he did cut corners on the heating system which I am going to get rid of and replace with Heat Pump and Central Electric furnace. He put in a Propane Fireplace which actually throws out a tremendous about of heat with its fan on and these Cadet wall heaters which are no where near enough to heat the back of the house where the Fireplace can't reach and expensive to run. So...woodstove, heat-pump, and central electric furnace and I will be able to use the ducting to move the woodstove heat around, turn on the heat pump if I need more heat until it's too cold (heard it stops working at about ~25F, guess I will find out) and have the electric furnace kick on if lower than 25F. Should get a quote next week on the heating system...

    Yes, I guess you know most of us here on the forum are jealous as hell of you, green with envy! LOL!!!!
    chelloveck likes this.
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    If you hang Heavy Drapes, over your BIG Windows, and then Pull them Closed, at night, you will improve the R Factor of your Windows, SIGNIFICANTLY....
    chelloveck likes this.
  11. fedorthedog

    fedorthedog Monkey+++

    I installed a wood stove in my mom's after dad passed. Undersized the air intake and had to redo it because it would not draw. Same problem without the air inlet. the house was to tight to allow draw.
    BTPost likes this.
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