Quantcast

new furnace recommendations?

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

G

goldenrose

Guest
Have had some problems with the old GH furnace, think it's time to replace it. What brand do you have or would recommend & why?
I have natural gas, the old is gravity fed(I think that's the right term), with this choice if we loose power, the GH has heat. The drawbacks have been if the pilot doesn't stay lit = no heat & we've had difficulty in finding thermostats for this type of unit. Electronic ignitions eliminate the pilot problem but NO Electric = No heat & our home furnace has had the electronic ignitor replaced 3 times in 16 yrs. so we're not sure about that option. Suggestions?
 

Candace

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
0
Location
Elk Grove, CA
I have a Southern Burner and everyone I know that owns one loves it. You can get a thermostat with it that doesn't need electricity, so it's great for power outages. Google the website...
 
G

goldenrose

Guest
That's what I have now, so it is an option to stay with that brand. I can't say that I love it but is there something better?
 

Candace

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
0
Location
Elk Grove, CA
What do you mean by better? If your pilot light doesn't stay lit, it simply might be dirty and need maintenance. If your natural gas has impurities it will leave a build-up on the pilot light. Mine went out in a really gusty wind storm, but my air inlet pipe may have been installed a smidge too close to the unit. I check on it when we have some major wind, just in case.

I've never had a problem finding thermostats...they're available anywhere. I bought a new night set-back one at Home Depot that runs on battery, just last year.
 

littlefrog

Hop-meister
Joined
Jun 10, 2006
Messages
1,109
Reaction score
46
Location
Mid Michigan
I have a couple extra Reznor furnaces in my pole barn (cheap!)... Pilotless as far as I know. Still need electricity though. I have a battery bank and inverter as backup.
 
G

goldenrose

Guest
What do you mean by better? If your pilot light doesn't stay lit, it simply might be dirty and need maintenance. If your natural gas has impurities it will leave a build-up on the pilot light. Mine went out in a really gusty wind storm, but my air inlet pipe may have been installed a smidge too close to the unit. I check on it when we have some major wind, just in case.

I've never had a problem finding thermostats...they're available anywhere. I bought a new night set-back one at Home Depot that runs on battery, just last year.
Better? - Better quality, more reliable, less trouble. The whole 12yr. old furnace has been taken apart & checked by my husband, when he couldn't find anything wrong he called in the "pros" (2 different guys) & they can't find anything wrong. The insides look brand new, no holes, rust, carbon marks, nothing. We have the instructions that came with it, they looked them over & double checked everything my husband did. For the heck of it replaced the generator. At the end of this winter/spring there were a couple of times it should have been firing & wasn't - no pilot! I lit it, the burners fired up as it was calling for heat. I very carefully left the GH, it was not windy, 2 hours later checked on it & again no pilot! I said screw it, turned if off & let the electrical backup cover it. Who wants the alarm going off every 2 hours during the night to go relight the pilot?
As far as thermostats are concerned, to our understanding you can't use just any 'there everywhere one' for a gravity fed because they're for electronic ignitions & the humidity in the GH will effect them as well.:confused::confused:
 

Candace

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
4,855
Reaction score
0
Location
Elk Grove, CA
I've been using thermostats I bought at Home Depot with no problems for probably 6 years with my Southern Burner. I only replaced this last one because while opening it to replace the batteries, I dropped it and broke it. Duh!! The thermostat I got from Southern Burner didn't have a nighttime set-back which I wanted. I believe the one I bought though specifically said it could work with pilot lights. If you're interested I can look and see if I can give you the brand.

You've got the vented Southern Burner, right? Some people have problems with unvented ones turning off due to lack of oxygen in the air if the greenhouse is very tight. Can you just buy a replacement pilot light rather than a whole new heater?

I got an Empire Propane Direct Vent 24,000BTU that came with my greenhouse I'm installing now. I've heard good things about it, and it also doesn't need electricity(has a pilot light). This brand is more expensive than Southern Burner, but I've also heard good things about them. I'll be able to critique it after a use through this coming winter.
 

TheLorax

Awardless studette
Joined
Aug 4, 2007
Messages
808
Reaction score
0
Location
Northeast Illinois
Tough situation. They don't call the Windy City the Windy City without good reason and we can have stretches of day time highs in the single digits and it's not uncommon to get a week where the day time temps don't reach above 0F. Pilots lights can be a big problem even with an alarm.

I've thought about this and the plants you have in that greenhouse give me the shakes. I can't help thinking that for that size greenhouse you might want to consider radiant heat combined with an overhead infrared heater. I'd probably place bales of hay around the entire greenhouse too.

I have two heaters-
http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200332735_200332735
and a Reznor waste oil heater which I wouldn't recommend because they're too expensive (they won't list prices on websites because even the smaller units are around 3k and they don't want to scare you off) and they take up too much space because of the tank. They can tell you to use that tank as a desk or work station but that's a joke.

I think Modine makes a decent heater and you can find them on eBay from time to time. They are available in gas. For myself personally, I'd probably go with a Sterling instead of a Modine as a back up instead of a waste oil heater- http://www.littlegreenhouse.com/accessory/heaters4.shtml
The price of the unit makes more sense and there are other issues with waste oil heaters that make them impractical for a small greenhouse application.

One comment though, I'm only heating my greenhouse to 40F through out the coldest months of the winter. That makes a big difference.
 

Latest posts

Top