Thursday, September 8, 2011

Heating with a WOOD Furnace!

Mogul has split a lot of firewood today!
So one of the cool things about this home is our STEEL KING wood burning furnace.  This looks and works much like a gas or oil burning furnace, except that the fuel for it is wood.  Now I live on 6 acres of mainly spruce forest, so finding firewood is not an issue.

I remember being a kid and visiting my grandparent's home in Connecticut and going down in the basement.  There was this huge boiler down there.  My understanding was that it was originally wood fired, then coal fired, and finally it had been converted to oil burning.  This was a big old creaky, moaning, fire belching monster in the basement.  This was my only experience with wood burning furnace.

I had previously had a wood stove in our rental home in Breckenridge and heated most of the time we were there with wood.  I didn't even know they made wood burning furnaces any more.  I found this website - Energy King which seems to have the same or similar furnaces to Steel King.  I'm not sure if it is the same company or not, just with a new name.  They appear to look and work the same.

Ductwork just like any forced air system
Rear of Furnace showing combustion air fan.
The furnace has the same type of ductwork as a gas fired one, and my model has a combustion air fan.  This fan is thermostatically controlled.  When the thermostat calls for heat the fan turns on, kicking up the heat on the fire. Then there is a squirrel cage blower fan to circulate the warm air.
In the future, I am going to add cold air return ducts as currently the fan pulls air from the basement to warm and distribute out.  My filter is already getting clogged after just a few days of light heating.  I think pulling air from upstairs instead of right next to the furnace will result in better air flow, and less cleaning of the air filter.

We are not yet really cold so it's hard to say how well this system will heat the house, but no doubt they will reduce our electric bills for using our baseboard heat. One small item to repair is the ducts all need to be reattached and taped and sealed as the original owner didn't even screw them together.  I'll accomplish that soon so that more air gets distributed directly into the rooms where it is needed.

We are loving our Colorado Mountain Retreat, and we can help you find yours!

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