After moving out to the country and seeing the high cost of heating a house on propane, we quickly decided to install a wood burning add-on furnace to our home. There were many steps involved and this is just meant to quickly list everything that we had to go through. To see a more detailed recap of the installation, check out the full wood furnace install.
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to tell you how to install a wood furnace but rather to help understand all of the general steps involved. Consult your local building inspector, product installation manuals, and local building code to make a plan for what it will take for you to install a wood furnace.
Acquiring the Furnace
1. Purchased the wood furnace. We bought a Daka 521FB because of its affordable price and claim to heating a home with our square footage.
2. Position furnace in basement. Since it will tie into our central HVAC system, we position it to conveniently access the cold air return and the plenum as well as good output for the stove pipe. Assemble as necessary.
3. We need to install a chimney from the basement, through the first floor living room, second floor master bedroom closet, rafters and then out the roof. It took quite a bit of planning to figure out this spot with the least invasive living space locations.
4. Cut hole through first floor.
5. Install the ceiling support as well as the first chimney section with the stove pipe adapter.
6. We chose to install a roof support on the first floor to basically clamp the whole chimney in place because it is difficult to trust how much weight they say the ceiling support can hold.
7. Build up chimney towards ceiling in first floor, level it and find where to cut through the second floor.
8. Cut the hole and frame in for the radiation fire stop which protects the joists from heat.
9. Build chimney up toward ceiling on second floor. Again, level it and find the center to go through the ceiling into the attic.
10. Cut hole through ceiling to attic and frame in the attic insulation shield.
11. Build up towards roof. Level and pound a nail through the center where the chimney should pass through the roof.
12. Go on roof ( I am chicken and it was winter so I rented a boom lift). Cut hole where the nail is sticking through.
13. Install roof flashing.
14. Place final pieces of chimney to finish off the run making sure it is 3 feet higher than the roof it passes through and 2 feet higher than any other point within 10 feet.
15. Place rain cap on and perform all necessary caulking to seal it from the weather.
16. Connect the furnace to the chimney using stove pipe.
17. Connect the furnace cold air intake to the house cold air ventilation system.
18. Connect the furnace heat outputs to the plenum.
19. Wire furnace
20. The main furnace needs a way to kick in the fan when the temperature rises. There are ways to use a temperature sensor in the plenum but I chose to hook a relay up to the wood furnace fan. When that fan kicks it, it automatically kicks in the main furnace fan.
Start the Heating
You’re all set. Start a fire if everything is safely connected according to manufacturer installation instructions and local building code.