Unplugged Energy Independence

The EPA-Certified CleanFire

Posted by Kelsey Loeffler on Thu,Nov 03,2016 @ 11:35 AM

CleanFire_EPA_FLeft.pngIgnite the Revolution.

Patent-pending design changes heating from the inside out.

Burns hotter. Cleans easier. Lasts longer.

We are excited to announce that our recently released outdoor wood boiler, the CleanFire, is EPA-certified. 

Along with its revolutionary design features, including the dry fire chamber, it is also an ASME certified boiler. ASME certification ensures the use of the highest quality materials and workmanship resulting in a boiler life expectancy of 40+ years.

The WoodMaster CleanFire has many industry leading features and benefits. Three key components of the CleanFire include:

1. Dry Fire Chamber- Patent-pending design. No ceramics. No damaging corrosion. No creosote build-up.

2. ASME Pressurized Vessel- The ASME H stamped boiler keeps oxygen out of the system, preventing corrosion to the water jacket. ASME certification ensures the use of the highest quality materials and workmanship.

3. WoodMaster Control- Designed to protect the components of the CleanFire. Very user friendly.

Watch our Features and Benefits video to learn more about this great product!

Topics: eco-friendly, Wood furnaces, affordable heat, local energy, EPA, outdoor wood heat, renewable fuel, clean burn, home heating, clean energy

Do gasification boilers work?

Posted by Kelsey Loeffler on Wed,Sep 10,2014 @ 10:17 AM

Flex Fuel furnaceIt depends on how you define work. Work in terms of saving money? Work in terms of efficiency? Work in terms of producing heat? The answer is yes, to all of those. Mike Greason once told a joke about heating with wood; he said, "You want to get warm from the fire, not from running back and forth to the wood pile." I think we've accomplished what Mike set us out to do, in more ways than one.

We heated with oil and have a few oil fired boiler, along with a large older home. Our hot water is electric and we use a lot of it with a teenage daughter. We installed a WoodMaster Flex Fuel furnace about a year ago. Our decision to try the Flex Fuel furnace comes on the heels of $5,000 and $7,000 a year heating oil bills that are just too high for our family. "Thermostat Anxiety" I like to call it.

The Flex Fuel choice was based on my cousins's nudging, he has an outdoor wood boiler. He has a similar old home that cost just too much to heat. I was torn between choosing the convenience of pellets and the free wood from thinning our woodlot to heat our home. My decision was made when I saw the Flex Fuel. I no longer had to be torn between my frugal side and enjoying the convenience of pellets. It burns wood or pellets.

I have a never-ending desire to be more responsible in my use of energy. Years ago, I had an eye opening conversation with a fellow on a plane who had a unique insight into the future of global energy that is not available to the general public.

This past winter I was on business in the Midwest and took a detour up to WoodMaster in Minnesota, to learn about the Flex Fuel furnace before I purchased it. The two days I was in Minnesota the air temperature was minus 37 degrees both days. I had never been to Minnesota, it is a very flat open area. We drove for two hours on a country highway as straight as a ruler without hitting a stop sign before finding WoodMaster's corporate office in an industrial park. There was a sea of outdoor wood boilers around their offices. I was surprised to see how many there were. Thousands of them lined up like little soldiers in the arctic air.

We met the WoodMaster staff, which is mostly family, are very inviting, and really love what they do. Warren and Lynn took me through a two day adventure with the Flex Fuel furnace. It is a very advanced piece of heating equipment. It is computerized, and is European technology they are producing here in the USA. Before learning about the furnace, we had to learn about our homes BTU loss and what we would be heating. Lynn and Warren insisted we have the facts before we jump into the furnace.

The Flex Fuel boiler is much smaller than I expected, it looked more like a new car in a showroom. Inside there is a large circuit board with a lot of connections. It's called the Flex Fuel because it can burn wood and pellets, and can be programmed or installed in many different ways to fit any installation. It can heat a home, water, hot tubs, garages, outbuilding and driveways.

Flex Fuel furnaceWe purchased a 30kW Flex Fuel and installed it at our home. We built a shed for the Flex Fuel. I also figured I'd be bringing wood from the woodlot to the house and I didn't want to track in the dirt that comes from firewood. The shed is 10 feet by 10 feet. This left a little extra room for some pellets and wood to be stored. I even built the roof a little long with an overhang to have a place to store wood out of the rain and weather. I also added lighting to allow us to get to the shed easily in the long dark days of winter. After building the shed it was time to set the boiler. I had to use our log truck to set the boiler in place, it weights 1,400 pounds. There was some work inside the house adding plate exchanges to the boiler and water heater.

After we finished the install, we could not wait to try the boiler. We went right up to the woodlot and found a standing dead ash tree, which was our first source of heat. The ash tree burned very well. We'd been burning wood in the boiler for a month or so before a business trip took me away again. What was I to do? The boiler needs to be loaded almost every day depending upon the outside temperature. Ask my family to load the boiler? I decided to throw some pellets in the bin and see how this boiler runs on pellets. Away I went, nervously trusting the Flex Fuel and an untested bin of pellets. I have a family member next door who agreed to check the house and make sure it was warm. I returned three days later from my business trip with a fully heated house and some pellets left in the bin. Success!

I learned I really enjoyed the convenience of pellets. They burn evenly and I only have to visit the shed about every 3-5 days. This is important for me. I travel quite a bit and did not hve time this year to stockpile wood. I did however find time to help my cousin Billy store up 14 cords for his outdoor stove! When I was burning wood, I found we only needed about 4-5 pieces of standard firewood a day to heat our house. I liked burning a mix of pine and hardwood. Our buffer tank is large, so burning the pine works well for us. We have lots of pine and I hate seeing it go to waste. Burning hardwood produces more heat, but again, I have endless pine thinning.

The Flex Fuel heats our water too. This is where we noticed unexpected savings. Our electric bill is down about 30% every month. We found this added benefit to be the most delightful part of using the boiler. The hot water never runs out. We can shower, run laundry and do dishes without ever having to think if we have enough hot water.

I love pellets, they are easy, burn well, and leave me to do other things. Next year, I'm sure I'll burn more wood, as my schedule is not as full as it was this past year. It is work to pick up bags of pellets and load the bin, but certainly less than gathering, splitting and stacking wood. We are contemplating installing a large grain bin and auger to get a truckload of pellets for next season. That remains to be analyzed on the dollars and cents though. I am very proud we only ordered a hundred gallons of heating oil for emergency use. When we got stuck out of state in a snow storm this winter season, our emergency oil came in handy. Our oil boiler kicked on when the pellets ran out. I don't miss the huge oil bills and calling around to find the best price for oil.

Do gasification boilers work? We certainly are saving money in the long run. I estimate we will save about $4,900 a year in oil costs and about $225 a year in electric costs. It will take us about four years to recover our investment and begin saving the money we are spending. We will keep the thermostats wherever we want them and the hot water will run as long as we want. I find that buying the pellets and splitting wood involve some physical work, but it feels good physically, and in my soul. We certainly have not found an overall permanent energy solution for our country. Until then, I'll do my part right here, in my little corner of it.

Article written by Charles Bulson. Charles Bulson is a proud NYFOA member.

Topics: affordable fuel, alternative energy sources, affordable heat, affordable heating source, residential wood heat, expensive winter heat, woodmaster, flexfuel, high efficiency furnace, woodmaster flexfuel series, pellet furnace, Pellet furnaces, WoodMaster FlexFuel, EPA qualified furnace, EPA qualified, Flex Fuel, alternative energy, alternative heating, alternative fuel, renewable energy, wood pellet heat, wood pellet heating, wood master, home heating, alternative home heating, gasification boilers, gasification boiler

Homeowners Investing in Energy-efficiency

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Mon,Apr 09,2012 @ 02:35 PM

According to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive, 61% of homeowners say they are unaware of any current tax rebates and/or incentives for energy-efficient home upgrades in their area.

If you are in this category, there are many resources available to help you out.  One of the best we have found is DSIRE.

DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.  Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

With two easy ways to search for incentives in your area, this site is very user-friendly. 

Go to http://www.dsireusa.org/ and use one of the following two options to find incentives in your area:

    1. Click on your state.  A list of incentives for your state will be brought up.

    1. Click on the ‘Search DSIRE’ box and fill in the information that pertains to you and a list of the incentives available will be brought up.


 To find a WoodMaster dealer near you check out our dealer locator.

Topics: eco-friendly, woodmaster stove, clean burning, wood stove, woodmaster, flexfuel, energy-saving boiler, high efficiency furnace, energy-efficient stove, Flex Fuel, alternative heating, wood master, northwest manufacturing, WoodMaster Dealer, affordable heating, carbon footprint, energy independence, clean burn, home heating, heating systems, alternative home heating, lower heating costs, outdoor wood furnace, clean energy, outdoor hydronic heater, outdoor wood furnaces, green technology

WoodMaster provides affordable heating alternative

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Thu,Oct 06,2011 @ 11:15 AM

Choosing a WoodMaster heater is an investment, but it’s a smart one. With the many financing options available, buying and installing an indoor/outdoor WoodMaster furnace can be a very affordable heating alternative.

When you add it all up (purchase + installation), the up-front costs can certainly be intimidating, with amounts from $6,000 up to $20,000+ at times. But think of it as you would buying a home—with the right financing and long-term ROI goals, your monthly payments can be as low as $150 per month.

Always consider the long-term ROI. With the right financing plan in place, WoodMaster can provide a very affordable heating alternative—and even save you lots of money in the future. For example, over the course of 20 years with a WoodMaster furnace, you could return over $150,000. The ROI time will vary depending on the product you invest in, but with WoodMaster you will get a return and the freedom from fossil fuels. Now that’s a very affordable heat source.

When was the last time you got any return on your investment with fossil fuels? That’s what we thought. Affordable heating doesn’t always mean settling for the cheapest product on the market.

Topics: Wood furnaces, furnace financing, save money on heating, low cost heating, woodmaster, Pellet furnaces, Flex Fuel, alternative heating, wood master, northwest manufacturing, affordable heating, home heating, heating systems

EPA: Why it matters to you, Vol. 1

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Wed,Sep 28,2011 @ 11:16 AM

Together let’s keep our resources clean, safeEPA: what’s that?

The EPA has been around for 31 years now, and we’ve all heard it mentioned a time or two, but what is it exactly? Born in 1970, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) aimed to “consolidate in one agency a variety of federal research, monitoring, standard-setting and enforcement activities to ensure environmental protection.”

From the start, EPA acted primarily as the nation’s environmental watchdog, ensuring that industries met legal requirements to control pollution. Later, EPA developed theory, tools and practices which allowed them to not only control pollution, but also prevent it from happening.

Today, EPA aims to “make sustainability the next level of environmental protection by drawing on advances in science and technology to protect human health and the environment, and promoting innovative green business practices.”

WoodMaster is EPA-savvy.

For hundreds of years, Americans have burned wood as a primary source of heat. Even though it’s the cleanest way to produce heat, burning wood does still affect the carbon footprint. Through the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association (HPBA), WoodMaster works closely with EPA on new testing standards and with state and local governments on appropriate regulations to encourage cleaner burning outdoor furnaces. WoodMaster and other responsible manufacturers are ensuring furnaces are properly installed to produce clean, safe heat.

Often thought of as a regulatory agency, the EPA enforces legislation pertaining to the American environment. Any potentially pollutant-emitting industry is subject to EPA regulation and inspection, and myriad industries work with the EPA to maintain high environmental standards. At WoodMaster, we fit into this category.

Measures like the Clean Air Act, Burn Wise Program and Outdoor Wood-fired Hydronic Heater Program are all EPA-enforced. WoodMaster products must meet the strict emission standards and offer consumers industry-leading efficiency. So, for us, staying updated on EPA standards and regularly testing products are important.

Picturing the future

Clean air. Clean water. Safe places to live and work. A beautiful natural environment. The EPA works to reduce overall pollution and unsafe practices in the U.S. so that future generations can continue to enjoy these luxuries.

‘EPA: Why it matters to you’ will be a continual series on Unplugged. Our goal is to teach you about the ‘who, what and why’ of EPA, how to make ‘cents’ of all the information out there and help you reach energy independency. 

 Up next: learn what it means to become EPA-Qualified.

Topics: eco-friendly, clean burning, Chuck Gagner, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, woodmaster, flexfuel, high efficiency furnace, EPA qualified furnace, EPA qualified, Flex Fuel, wood master, northwest manufacturing, carbon footprint, clean burn, home heating, green technology

WoodMaster furnace owners share one regret: not switching sooner.

Posted by Todd Strem on Wed,Aug 31,2011 @ 11:17 AM

Christa, Marilyn & Rob Beauchesne of Northern Outdoor Energy SystemsThe larger door. Strong insulation that keeps the heat in. Its ability to turn off the fan if the wood gets low. Sturdy steel throughout. All are reasons why Canadian company Northern Outdoor Energy Systems Ltd. was attracted to WoodMaster furnaces and began selling them in May 2005.

Owners Rob and Marilyn Beauchesne had been in the outdoor furnace business for two years before the WoodMaster furnace features caught their attention. Over the past six years of selling WoodMaster furnaces, the Beauchesne’s business has benefited from happy WoodMaster customers. Marilyn explains, “Our customers are extremely pleased with the performance of the WoodMaster furnace, and as they recommend it to their family and friends, our business grows.”

Like Richard Worley, Marilyn reports the 4400 WoodMaster furnace as their biggest seller. “With its 5,000-square-foot capacity, it can heat a home, shop, domestic water heater and hot tub all at once,” Marilyn explains. “Our customers are happy with the heat it produces and wish they had purchased one years ago!”

After selling over 400 outdoor furnaces, the Beauchesnes feel “extremely confident” in the quality and performance of the WoodMaster furnaces. Proof that customers agree is evidenced by the many trade-ins of other brands brought to the store. WoodMaster furnace owners enjoy steady warmth in their homes and always-hot water, as well as a significant decrease in heating bills.

Many of the Beauchesne’s customers share only one regret, and that is: “We wish we would have done this years ago.”

Have you ever been so happy with a product or service that your only regret was not buying it sooner? What was it?

Topics: Wood furnaces, woodmaster 4400, woodmaster owner, outdoor furnace canada, canada, OHH, outdoor furnace owner, Rob Beauchesne, Marilyn Beauchesne, Northern Outdoor Energy Systems, canadian dealer, woodmaster, wood furnace, northwest manufacturing, WoodMaster Dealer, home heating, heating systems, lower heating costs, outdoor wood furnace, outdoor hydronic heater, outdoor wood furnaces

Welcome, wood masters.

Posted by Kelsey Gagner on Tue,Jul 19,2011 @ 11:22 AM

You’re the master of your home. You build, you fix, you do.

This is your chance to unplug.

Take off your work boots and relax for a minute. Here, we’ll share tips and tricks for living independently and heating your home efficiently. We’ll keep you informed on EPA regulations, energy prices, energy efficiency and alternative fuels. We’ll also mix in product comparisons and stories from dealers and WoodMaster enthusiasts.

The purpose of this blog is to provide everything you need to know about heating your home, conserving energy, living independently and saving money at the same time.

We’ll do this work so you can get back to doing your work: the fixing, the building, the doing – because that’s what you’re the master of.

Topics: Wood furnaces, woodmaster furnace, woodmaster, high efficiency furnace, Pellet furnaces, Flex Fuel, wood master, northwest manufacturing, WoodMaster Dealer, home heating, heating systems, lower heating costs, outdoor wood furnaces

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