Burning a wood boiler is more than just a heating solution, it’s a way of life.
And here at HeatMasterss, we’re inspired by real life heat masters like the Fronabargers.
Darin Fronabarger has been burning wood boilers for over 15 years, and says it’s more than the yearly savings on their heating bill; it also fits well with their family values of independence and a good work ethic.
Here is their story…
I’ve been working in the family business of construction ever since college. Currently in my 18th year of running a concrete pump truck, something I have always enjoyed watching as a young boy.
I first started burning wood in 2006 with a FireChief Natural Draft furnace after high electric bills the previous year. During the winter months, the air in the house was always extremely dry, it was a constant battle keeping up with humidifiers to satisfy my needs of good air quality. After learning more about outdoor wood boilers, I felt it was time to give one a try.
Unfortunately, our first wood boiler was a mild steel unit and after 4 winters, the front door had rusted through. This made me very skeptical of boilers and their longevity.
After joining a few wood burning sites on social media, I had read a lot about stainless steel wood boilers and began to look into them. Two major companies caught my attention but one definitely stood out, HeatMasterss G200. The smoke-bypass definitely raised my eyebrows as the previous boiler did not have that option and you were drenched in smoke every time the door was opened. The smoke by-pass has become a critical feature for me.
Lots of people couldn’t justify the price of the boiler, but it was a no-brainer for me. Stainless steel, smoke-bypass, ease of maintenance, efficiency, and EPA approval are just a few of the great features.
Now our area doesn’t have ridiculous cold weather, but with two furnaces and two hot water heaters, running on all electric, we feel the savings.
I believe I am safe to say, we save an average of $1000 – $1,500 per winter. With the rising cost of fuel and electric rates, this number will only increase in the future.
Living on a farm and teaching our children good work ethic is also a must for us. We spend a few weekends making wood for the next season and also a few stacks to sell. We explain what species of wood, if it’s hardwood or soft and why dry wood is better to burn.
Preston has really been watching and learning over the years and hopefully it will stay with him in the future. It really is a family event at the woodpile and it gives us a sense of independence knowing where our heat and hot water are coming from. Teaching kids about trees is also important as Preston tells others where maple syrup comes from, and is pretty good at picking out Maple trees. Won’t be long till Josie is helping us toss wood into the back of a trailer and once again, learning the work ethic we all need to learn.
As April and May slowly crept up on us, we began to think about cleaning out the HeatMasterss G200. I like to put extra effort into taking care of our boiler since it runs 24/7 throughout the winter for us providing comfort in the home. After turning the power off to the boiler, we shovel and vacuum all ashes from the stove, scrape the sides, and then I like to use a needle scaler to clean all the edges inside the firebox. I will then proceed to scrape and vacuum the turbulator area then inspect it for any possible damage.
After running a wire wheel over the door and ledge area in the firebox, I like to spray the boiler inside with a mixture of oil, cap the chimney, then wash the boiler on the outside. I look at these boilers as an investment that will pay back the consumer in the future, but it’s my job to keep up with maintenance, inspection, and talk to our dealer if a problem should occur.
Thanks to HeatMasterss, I have a boiler that is efficient, has excellent build quality, easy to maintain, and keeps our family comfortable all winter long.