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World's First Wood Furnace
"We don't advertise and try not to spend a lot of money on frills," says Carl Johnson, inventor and manufacturer of the world's first furnace designed specifically to burn wood efficiently. "At least I think it's the world's first. If there's another one, I've never heard of it," he told FARM SHOW.
Word of mouth advertising from satisfied owners of his Juca wood furnaces has triggered a steady stream of orders from such scattered areas as Texas, California and most Northern states. Johnson sells them for about $350 each, depending on the model, and builds them out of extra-heavy gauge steel with double welds. "I've had many offers from people wanting to sell them for two or three times their value. But my conscience won't let me do that," he explains. "We only make about $50 profit on each sale and that barely covers day-to-day living expenses. If I make the cost too high, people who really need them won't be able to afford them."
Johnson thinks the nicest features of his new-style furnace are that you only have to fire it 3 or possibly 4 times a day and not at all at night and being able to see the fire just like a fireplace.
"Last winter, it only took four cords of wood to heat our 2,900 sq. ft. farm home," he points out. "We have very little insulation, regular windows and no thermopanes. We also have three times more windows than a normal house."
Juca furnaces, available in three models, are designed for maximum efficiency (up to 80 or 90%), heating the entire house (by connecting to the existing duct system), and safety (you can touch the outside without getting burned). They are custom built to a point and are made of heavy 11 and 12 ga. steel with an outer shell of 14 ga. Their 80-90% efficiency rating compares with Ben Franklin wood stoves at 25 to 35%, 7 to 15% for built-in fireplaces and 40% for central wood-coal furnaces.
"The high efficiency of the Juca has important side benefits," explains Johnson. "For example, a much smaller fire can be used, allowing longer burning time typically 8 to 12 hours. This slow fire gives very constant heat output over this period and there's still plenty of heat to start new logs. With a slower fire, combustion is very complete, leaving very little ashes. We clean our model C-3 about once every three or four weeks of constant use. Another advantage is that heat is forced to the floor, making corners of each room as warm as the center, and the floor as warm as the ceiling."
Johnson cites these additional features:
Automatic operation: "The built in circulating blower operates like a furnace blower, with the same safety controls. You build a fire and, in a few minutes, there is enough heat and the blower turns on. When the fire dies down, it shuts off."
Automatic shutdown: On models C-3 and F-3, the draft for the fire automatically closes down if, for any reason, they overheat. This means that if you build too big a fire, or if the blower should malfunction, the unit remains safe. You can override it to operate as a normal fireplace."
For more details, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Carl Johnson, Juca, Inc., Rt. 1, Box 299, North Judson, Ind. 46366. (ph. 219 896-3235).

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1977 - Volume #1, Issue #1