Can I add use a wood burning stove in existing central heating?

Can I add a wood burning stove as a supplemental (not replacement) boiler to an oil fired (sealed) central heating system. I would get a professional to do the work; it’s not a DIY project!
Can I add a wood burning stove as a supplemental (not replacement) boiler to an oil fired (sealed) central heating system. I would get a professional to do the work; it’s not a DIY project! – Neutralizer will not work on a sealed central heating system.(Dunsley’s website). Fuel oil costs about 20€per day in winter, and we tend to use the whole house rather than just one room; the furnace cannot be “swapped out” without major works so a supplemental burner is ideal. We have out own forest, so wood is there for teh cost of cutting.

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14 Responses to “Can I add use a wood burning stove in existing central heating?”

  1. Flup said:

    You can always just fit a wood-burning stove as a secondary source of heat for your most commonly-used room. I have one in my living room; it’s nothing to do with the central heating, but it does mean that I can turn the radiator off in that room when I’ve got a good fire going.

  2. JA12 said:

    Yes there should be no problem.

    As long as each room has it’s own thermostat for the radiator(s) in that room, then an additional heat source in one room will not affect your central heating system.

  3. Alan B said:

    Answer is yes you can, provided that your wood burner has a back boiler that you can connect up to the primary circulation pipes in your existing central heating system. You also need a cold feed from a header tank, safety valve, and expansion pipe ( your local plumber /central heating contractor will be able to explain this and do the work for you.)
    You will save a fortune on heating fuel

  4. xenon said:

    Yes of course it can be done, however I suggest that you don’t do it .
    When a boiler is added to any fire, it saps the heat out of it, and the benefits are lost, A cheerful fire delivering heat directly at you is very comforting.
    When I was plumbing in the eighties, I got a call from a person who had water pouring out of her hearth on to the floor , I told her to put out the fire, as her back boiler had failed. On examination I discovered that the pipework was lead , I disconnected the fittings at the hot cylinder and drilled a small hole in the back boiler so that the water could drain . I said that she could light a fire immediately, as the boiler was now full of air, and would pose no danger.
    I received a call several weeks later , and she said……..I don’t understand what you did to my fire, but whatever it was I wish you had done it 30 years earlier, as the fire has never been so hot, and I now have a good warm room.
    I posted this as an analogy to indicate trhat you should never add a boiler to a fire.
    FOOTNOTE
    It’s a very expensive option joining up an extra boiler to an existing system.

  5. Kirk said:

    It is not really a good idea to add a normal wood burning stove to an existing furnace, but they make wood/oil combination furnaces designed specifically for this purpose. In most cases you would simply be able to switch furnaces and upgrade your chimney for about the same price as a wood stove and chimney. You should be able to “trade in” your existing furnace for the wood/oil furnace, lowering the cost.

  6. Michael H said:

    Yes you can but please REALLY consider this.

    The plumbing needs 4 or 6 zone valves and a manifold like a Dunsley Nuetraliser

    If your log burner is just one room from all the valves, current oil boiler and hotwater tank it’ll cost about £2K for the plumbing

    On top of this you’ll need a log burner with a back boiler – a decent 11Kw one will cost about £1,500

    Then you have to think what that money has given you:

    The back boiler will not be good enough to provide heating or hot water, all it will do is raise the hot water to about 50 degrees.

    The back boiler will sap about 5KW from the log burner so you’ll need an 11KW burner just to get any heat in the room and it’ll feel like its taking ages to get upto heat – you’ll feel its not “drawing” right because the backbopiler saps the heat from the fumes and they takes hours to heat up the chimney liner.

    And then you’ll have to honestly think just how many hours the fire is at full temp and would it really make a difference to the oil consumption for those hours ?

    Me: a builder and highly recommend against it.

  7. peter b said:

    i have the same query, i installed a gas boiler after being conned by a local gas salesman,i did have a villager woodburner running 5 rads before but was dismayed that when i needed the heat (in the morning and shortly before i came home from work the fire was out, or burned down,no matter how well it was stocked,so i installed a gas boiler to the existing system,which is now a sealed system, changed the immersion tank for a mains water one and disconnected and drained the backboiler on the villager, great!but now im thinking wouldnt it be great if i could now link the woodburner to the now sealed gas boiler circuit with an expansion tank and blow off valve and some sort of on- demand top up feed and give some heat to the 1st floor, which is always cold when the fire is running because it knocks the room stat and boiler off, which is a good thing because gas aint going to get any cheaper is it.the woodburner gives plenty of heat to the room if not too much sometimes, so it would be nice to get some of that heat around the rest of the house,ive considered warm air ducts to upstairs but that will also carry odours from dowstairs as well ie kitchen and woodsmoke etc.i know of the heat store tanks but dont have the space, nor for any tanks in the loft as i have converted it and realize that there is no thermostatic controls with a woodburner, but surely someone must have come up with a soloution to the unvented woodburner running in tandem with a sealed boiler system????

  8. [email protected] said:

    Yes you can, have a look at this site
    http://users.cs.cf.ac.uk/Antonia.J.Jones/CentralHeating/CH.htm
    Explains how it was done
    Don’t know costs etc but should be able to get some idea from the site

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