Wood burning house heater

Dabbling in alternative heating technology, [Rob Steves] built a wood stove to dispose of his scrap wood while negating his home’s fire insurance at the same time. As the leftover bits from his wood projects started to stack up he wondered how he would dispose of them. Burning the bits for heat means he’s using every last bit of the lumber. The internal tank from an electric water heater was repurposed as a combustion chamber, with exhaust gases escaping through some high-temperature flexible tubing. The glass panes were removed from one of the fireplace doors to give the off-gases a place to go. The result is a rocket stove that burns very hot and does a great job of warming his house.

It’s not the safest way to heat a home, and there may be coding issues with your municipality. But this might go well in a remote location, like that cabin where you have to generate your own electricity.

[Thanks HybridBlue]

58 thoughts on “Wood burning house heater

  1. The ultrafine carbon nanoparticles in wood smoke are like diesel exhaust – they trigger a cascade of systemic inflammation. Anything under 1 micron is dangerous. People in the old days used to live much shorter lives, and inhaling wood or coal smoke is one of the reasons why.

    Healthcare costs in the US are the highest in the world, for example, US hospitals charge $4000 a day. So anybody in the US who thinks burning wood saves money is crazy.

    Its literally burning your life.

  2. I’m not a physicist but I think that this design seems to have one obvious flaw. Unless I am missing it, there is only one duct, and its in the wrong place.

    Hot air rises. So the exhaust vent needs to be on the top, and the flue it uses needs to rise up to wherever it exits your home. It should be metal or some other fireproof material and clear of obstructions.

    The make up air (ever hear of that?) needs to come in at the bottom. Ideally, it should come in from low on the house, outside (as low as possible) and the entire system should be sealed so it can’t be backdrafted by a kitchen or bathroom vent fan.

  3. WOW all these “Hacksters” or at least you call yourselves. More like haters. I grew up with way less safe desines in our home. and it’s my opinion that most of you should review your thermodynamics of combustion.

  4. holy shimole! do it right! Here is a plan for a simple wood burning stove made from bricks. On the right hand side of the page there is a dropdown for language translation. http://gimenesmaja.blogspot.com/2013/08/realizetas-kaminkrasns-projekts-un.html

    more details are available in the PDFs here: https://app.box.com/s/mibquhtcm9jhge9s4enztaximvd2js3v . Although they are in Russian, there are enough pictures that even I can understand.

    These wood burning ‘ovens’ have been around for centuries and the designs have stood the test of time. There are some even simpler designs, but I can’t seem to find them online at the moment.

    Basic construction materials are brick, fire brick for the burn chamber, 2 cast iron doors and a 50/50 sand/clay mix as the bonding agent. Add water until it has the consistency of cream cheese. Here is the pic of the one I built: https://app.box.com/s/68q4j86w1jv4mhxmonoxri260kgoh971 This was the primary heat source for the house for 5 years until we built a modern house. The house was toasty even at -27C. On a typical cold day, two armloads of firewood were needed, and once loaded up in the evening would hold the house warm until morning.

    more details are available in the PDFs here: https://app.box.com/s/mibquhtcm9jhge9s4enztaximvd2js3v . Although they are in Russian, there are enough pictures that even I can understand.

    These wood burning ‘ovens’ have been around for centuries and the designs have stood the test of time. There are some even simpler designs, but I can’t seem to find them online at the moment.

    Basic construction materials are brick, fire brick for the burn chamber, 2 cast iron doors and a 50/50 sand/clay mix as the bonding agent. Add water until it has the consistency of cream cheese. Here is the pic of the one I built: https://app.box.com/s/68q4j86w1jv4mhxmonoxri260kgoh971 This was the primary heat source for the house for 5 years until we built a modern house. The house was toasty even at -27C. On a typical cold day, two armloads of firewood were needed, and once loaded up in the evening would hold the house warm until morning.

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