I put one in almost 5 years ago, and figure it has paid for itself this year. Cost to install was about $6,000, but if I would have known what I know now, I could have saved quite a bit of money by installing most of it myself - not that difficult. Mine is not the typical stainless steel box looking one (Hardy). It does have a stainless steel firebox, and tank though. Downside is I do burn quite a bit of wood, and it would never pay off if I had to buy wood. Mine has a low volume pump that circulates the hot water (7x24), but I have an extra thermostat in the house that kicks on my propane furnace blower when it calls for heat. Simply an extra water to air heat exchanger on the top part of my furnace that works just like the heater core on your car/truck. Maintains the house temp within 1 degree. I also have two heat exchangers that heat my hot water, so my gas hot water heater simply acts as a storage tank during the winter and I have all the hot water I can use. Another down side is I have to fuel it at least 2-3 times a day and make sure it is full prior to going to bed. I had heard many stories about people only having to fill once a day, but I find that very hard to believe unless it does not get below 40 degrees, and the sun shines during the day - then perhaps. The furnace I have is supposed to heat 5000 sq feet and has two connections (one for home, one for another shop etc), but I would not want to keep it fueled unless I was home all the time and had plenty of wood. A lot depends on how much time you have, and a good supply of dry wood - do not try green wood on them - been there, done that.
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