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Wood-Fired Boilers Provide Economical Heat
“We had tremendouus interest in our wood boilers when propane prices went sky-high a couple of years ago,” says Jeff Miller, owner of Steel Towne in Elk Mound, Wis. “Demand isn’t as high as it used to be, but there’s still a place for our boiler kits when people are looking for a cheap way to heat with water.”
  Steel Towne’s wood boilers are available fully assembled and ready for installation or as complete kits that customers can weld together and install themselves. “All you need is basic welding and plumbing skills,” Miller says. “We roll the metal and cut all materials to length. The kit includes an aquastat, a blower and detailed plans.”
  The company’s 160-gal. capacity wood boiler has a 32 by 36-in. firebox made of 3/16-in. steel rolled round and a 42-in. dia. by 48-in. long water jacket of 1/8-in. steel rolled round. The unpressurized system works best with a water-to-air exchanger or a water-to-water heat exchanger. Miller says the boiler will heat a 2,500 to 3,000 sq. ft. house on 2 wood fills per day. The system includes a blower with an air door solenoid which helps save wood by stopping the air flow to the fire.
  Logs up to 36 in. long will fit inside the boiler, which has an 18 by 18-in. fire door opening. Miller recommends that the boilers be insulated using spray foam or other materials, and ideally, be housed under a roof for more comfortable operating conditions.
  Owner Jeff Miller says a furnace all assembled and ready to burn is priced at $3,000. The kit alone, where the homeowner would assemble and insulate it, runs $2,000. After a person buys a stove, they need to situate it outside their home or shop, run water lines into the structure, and install a water-to-water or water-to-air converter, depending on their heating system. Miller says insulation, water lines, a water pump and miscellaneous parts are available from a hardware or big box store and a converter is usually $350 to $400 on eBay. A person can install those items themselves if they’re handy, or hire a contractor. Electrical costs to run the boiler are usually $4 to $5 a month.
“Some stoves on the market are $8,000 to $10,000 fully installed,” Miller says. “Ours usually cost about half that, and can even be less if a person can do most of the work themselves. And with our system, you don’t have to have to call China for a part.”   
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steel Towne, N7102 State Rd. 40, Elk Mound, Wis. 54739 (ph 715 879-5559; www.steeltowne.com).

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2015 - Volume #39, Issue #1