Like a lot of us,I want wood burner to save money. Efficience,expense,and the fact that I mustn't void my fire insurance has led me the conclusion that building a rocket mass heater outside and bringing the heat inside is my only realistic path forward.
My research indicates that fires caused by a grill are covered by insurance.
So I will be building a grill.
Anything I do with the excess heat is just a bonus.
So, with these provisions in mind, I am considering how to get the heat inside the house and distributed. After all, my house is typical in that it is two stories and does not have an open floor plan.
I have been focusing on heating water and moving it to my basement,next to the return air for the natural gas furnace,thus preheating the air and reducing or eliminating the need to burn gas. Since an insulated enclosure would be needed around the outdoor wood burner, I thought I might capture the heated air around it as well.
The rear of the house has a south facing window,with a return air vent right below it.
The enclosure could be a new porch,a seasonal green house,giving me solar gain as well as wood heat, and the window would make wife displeasing and difficult penetrations of the brick walls unneeded.
But a lot of plumbing,ducting ,fans and controls would still be be necessary.
Not that this task would impossible or prohibitively expensive to do, just difficult and discouraging.
So I might still do this, but I'm leaning toward using something different.
A window AC unit,turned inside pointed out in that southern facing window.
A box built around the "outside" end of the ac,that would now be perched inside , over the return air duct,would direct the heat into the forced air system.
The cooling end of the AC would be outside of the window,surrounded by heated mass and insulation.
While hardly an off grid solution,if it would work, it would be simple.
Even if you did not keep the mass hot, the heatpump action of the AC could be efficient until things got really cold.
Things do get cold here,cold enough that heatpumps on their own are not used.
So, build a wood heated mass outside your window,stick an AC backwards through your window, and heat your house for less,while not voiding your homeowners insurance.
I am posting this here because it's the only place I can think of that might have the expertise and interest needed to give me some useful feedback.
The parts of this idea are sound enough,but can they work together?
Would their be sufficient savings to warrant the investment of time and treasure.
Would I be better off batch heating water and draining it into a basement tank?