Natural gas vs firewood/coal

Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
24,847
Location
...
You are in a great position. Stub the natural gas line in and run the wood for now. Having a good supply of wood as you mentioned is key. Have you figured how many cords you will need for the heating season?


One consideration, most areas are cracking down on wood fires due to pollution laws. If you don’t have that issue then great. Otherwise it might be a concern down the road and thus having the natural gas available would be ideal.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
228
Location
Lake Delton, WI
If you're looking for an indoor wood furnace, look into the Kuuma Vapor Fire 100. https://www.lamppakuuma.com/vapor-fire-100/
Been using one since 2014. Best indoor wood furnace on the market.

I would never do an outdoor forced air furnace. If you want to do outdoor, look into hydronic. Water is a MUCH more efficient way to store and transfer heat than air is. Look into the HeatMaster G Series. Seeing it's a downdraft gasifier, it's very efficient.


 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Messages
228
Location
Lake Delton, WI
One consideration, most areas are cracking down on wood fires due to pollution laws.

If you buy a good, modern and efficient wood burner, there will be no smoke. There is no smoke on my Kuuma Vapor Fire 100. When it's below freezing, all you see is the moisture....like a big drier vent. In temps above freezing you won't see anything, once the fire gets up to temp and the gasification process starts burning all the fuel (smoke) vs wastefully sending it up the chimney.

2015-02-22 16.05.55.jpg

What my chimney looked like after a whole winters of heating the house. Just white flyash.

IMG_0562.JPG
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2009
Messages
1,576
Location
Texas
I expect NG to increase in price as we consume it. There is some very interesting data on just how much we have in reserve. 11-12 years of provable reserves exist and likely 100 years of unproven reserves. Strangely, some NG plays were vastly overestimated. Marcellus shale reserve was reduced in size by the USGS by 80%!!
The long term inflation adjusted price is down for all commodities. Proven fact. We either find a better way to produce it or find a cheaper substitute. What you’re missing about reserve estimates is they are based on current pricing and technology. Change either of these and wallah! reserve estimates change, but hydrocarbons in the ground don’t change.
 

BeerCan

$50 Site Donor
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
2,343
Location
TN
If you're looking for an indoor wood furnace, look into the Kuuma Vapor Fire 100. https://www.lamppakuuma.com/vapor-fire-100/
Been using one since 2014. Best indoor wood furnace on the market.

I would never do an outdoor forced air furnace. If you want to do outdoor, look into hydronic. Water is a MUCH more efficient way to store and transfer heat than air is. Look into the HeatMaster G Series. Seeing it's a downdraft gasifier, it's very efficient.


I don't want to do indoor for multiple reasons. One being my insurance company no likey. I have good insurance and want to keep it that way :)

With regards to the outdoor furnace, I want to keep it forced air. I don't need hot water and I'm not really into the added stuff you need with a OWB.
I live in a temperate area and think I can get away with the FA. This is not heat for my home, so it's not what I would call critical heat. If it's not super efficient that's ok.

I'm having a concrete 10x10 pad poured on Monday on the side of the new workshop. They are doing a pad for my mini split and gen set, plus a small sidewalk so I figured I would add that in being as they were here. A truck is ~10 yards so it makes sense to just do it all with 1 load.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2022
Messages
834
Location
Amherst, MA, usa
"...considering the wood..."
there is more tech in there than most realize. Consult friends, neighbors in the know.
C my earlier post on some of that tech. Own wood v buya cord (even the eye to measure, knowledge to know, local prices, species, water content) is nota knuckle dragin, neanderthal procedure (many think the same for our 'mechanic' trade). Modern wood furnace like Kuuma are not
low tech in my mind, a good thing. Enjoy practical physics application, learn'n enjoy, stay warm (twice as the above commenter stated). (We have some tricks after 150 yrs fam use so it IS just twice).
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2008
Messages
1,311
Location
Northern, NY
Re: mini-split. My HVAC guy calculated the space needing 6 tons to do the job right. So mini-split is out I don't think they work at that volume. i could be wrong. I think for the ac guy recommending a 6 ton is because the ceiling is 16'.
Interesting - your HVAC guy calculated roughly the same heat load that my 100 year old house (roughly same volume as your shop) requires on the Canadian border. That seems really high to me considering you are using spray foam insulation, but he is the one standing in the shop, not me. Large overhead doors are big sources of heat loss, so that might explain it.

One more point - it doesn't have to be all or nothing. Put the NG unit heater in and in a few years if you decide you want AC, a mini-split will do that and you will also be able to use it for heat in the fall & spring when it is most efficient, let the NG heater shoulder the load in cold weather.
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
808
Location
North Dakota
Those NG overheads are the way to go, but in that space I would consider hanging two smaller ones at opposite ends instead of one large one.
 
Joined
Oct 4, 2009
Messages
521
Location
Litchfield, Ohio
Best way to heat a shop in my opinion is radiant floor heat. I have a couple customers with large shops with high ceilings and they have no issues heating them with the radiant floor heat only.
 
Top