i have the opportunity to install, at bobs, a hydronic system with a high efficiency wood fired boiler. his unit has combustion efficiency nearing 90%. the reason that this is significant is most wood stoves are at best around 70% efficient, even most gas (natural or propane) boilers are around 80% efficient. this unit uses standard cord wood that is readily available here in the ozarks.
what all this jargon and percentages really mean is. the owner of this unit loads the firebox with wood and lets the boiler do the rest. the thermostats control the heat in the house like we were using a more refined energy source. but what it really means is, for a little effort each day (loading the fire box) a person can heat a really large house all winter for the price of a couple cord of wood. the additional benefit of hot water for household use is included.
one of the best benefits for a farmstead minded sole like myself is that it complements solar water heating almost perfectly. plus i like to cut wood to heat our house. do i need one of these units? most emphatically YES. can i afford one? sadly NO. but i'll figure something out.
my dream would be to get one of these units and use it to heat the house, the hot water and a hot tub. and during the summer i'd use the solar collectors to heat the hot-water and hot-tub (i don't have a hot tub yet either) but i'm working on that too. i'm excited to get my hands on this technology i aspire to work a business solution where i'd install these units into houses on a semi regular basis. this is ahead if its time but with my experience in the hydronic industry from california it'd be a perfect fit.
enough about that.
here are what my older kids look like on pbs.
toly is really cute when he is sleeping.
tristan and kassi had a crafty day with homemade play clay. tristan made a volcano and kassi was rolling it with her rolling pin