Thursday, February 6, 2014
Let's Try This Again - Not Sustainable Part II
Alright I believe there is some confusion as to what my last post was about overall. By looking back I thought I was pretty explicit about some things but maybe the miscommunication was on my end. I will take that blame and leave it there. I will also admit I should have added in a bit more history on the experiment.
The original experiment was about heating the entire house using an outdoor wood furnace and if it is even possible to do so under a grid down situation. It was never about burning a smaller wood stove inside the house and/or closing off rooms, adding infinite amounts of insulation etc. In fact it was about proving someone didn't need to go that rout as some old time comments had claimed they could do.
I believe this is where the confusion set in as it seems my regular readers understood that and the anons or passerbye comments didn't.
The general discussion started a few years ago on the regional Missouri Preppers network forums in which some preppers claimed they could in fact run an outdoor wood furnace, feeding it entirely without gasoline engines and do it more efficiently than running a smaller wood stove and only heating essential parts of the house like others claimed would be needed. There was some merit to these claims as the size of the thing meant there was much less prep involved in cutting and splitting and the duct work allowed a more even flow of heat.
I had my doubts about these claims and have on numerous posts mentioned that as my experiment continued. I was more convinced that a smaller stove/less space was the only way to go in a grid down situation and that a full blown wood furnace was over kill and unsustainable in consumption in a grid down situation.
My post last night was to say that after three years of trying every move I could think of I am now convinced it is NOT possible to feed one of those monsters through an entire Winter without more man power, a line on free wood, or a bunch of money buying the wood. Of course I could try and enclose the wood furnace and insulate the blower duct a bit better but I doubt that would make a enough difference overall. I started this experiment because I was the only one who had both an indoor wood stove and an outdoor furnace.
I am also of the belief that this particular Winter has been so cold that it is effecting the thermostat inside the furnace and causing it to shut down which would be solved by enclosing the thing. Still as I said I doubt that would sway the numbers far enough to make it doable overall.
The first two years of the experiment was proving doable but only barely in my opinion. This year has shown me there is absolutely no way it can be done.
Therefore I am ending the experiment and will look into some different arrangements for next year and hopefully our new house. Wood furnaces have the place and their use but I am not going to recommend them for long term sustainable and off grid living.
I hope this clears things up a bit for those who did not understand what I was doing.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!