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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: northern Dauphin Co.
Re: outdoor woodburner
Dad has an Central Boiler Classic. He has access to a lot of wood, time, and place to process and store it, and lives in the country where smoke isn't an issue with neighbors. They'll burn green or dry wood, but dry is more efficient by far. His Classic is connected to his oil furnace, so the the oil burner serves as back-up if anything goes wrong with the wood burner. Goes thru much more wood than me (I have a conventional Harman indoor wood stove), but he is heating his water all year with it, and the house as necessary thru the existing baseboard heating elements. He burns paper, cardboard, and even crap hay bales in it, in addition to wood. A hay bale may go a day in the summer to just keep the water hot enuf.
i talked to a plumber friend, and has installed a few for folks. He told me the efficiency for an outdoor wood burner is much lower in terms of the amount of wood burned vs the amount of energy actually transferred to the house as heat or heated water for domestic use as compared to an indoor wood burner, since the outdoor one just simmers most of it's life. Biggest advantage of an outdoor burner is to get the dirt and smoke out of the house, while still burning wood and such. IMHO.
Oh, and as experienced by me and my neighbors (I'm from the town that made the nightly news a few years ago on wood burners!), paying the extra $$ for a a nice, tall stack and the little "do-dad's" that go up on the end of the stack to "clean" up the smoke that comes out, is well worth the cost if you're near other folks with it.