The transition from gas to wood or the other way is quite easy. First,
turn off the gas shutoff valve (usually a recessed valve in the fireplace
facing). Then disconnect the pipe fitting nut inside the firebox, at
the wall connector. Lift out the gas log set. Screw a 1/2" PIPE
CAP onto the exposed threaded pipe (using teflon tape dope). Start a
wood fire! This whole process only takes a couple of minutes!
Sometimes people are surprised how many choices we make
available to JUCA customers. Actually, sometimes they're
overwhelmed by TOO MANY choices!
In addition to the various other suggestions in this
presentation, we offer some more here. Most are related
to getting more benefit yet from a JUCA, or to applications
that might not obviously benefit from a JUCA.
An easy idea with a JUCA installed is to just set the thermostat on
the conventional furnace to 65 or 67.
Then whenever you burn wood, the JUCA blower will
automatically turn on at the appropriate times to heat the
house. Your regular furnace burner will never use up any
fuel because the JUCA will keep the house at a fairly
constant 72 (or whatever) that you want.
If you go away for a weekend, then whenever the JUCA's fire goes
out, the blower will turn off. After a while, the house
temp will drop to the 67 you set on the conventional furnace's thermostat
and automatically the conventional furnace will come on as a backup.
Often, people think that they have to choose between a gas burning
and a wood-burning fireplace. A JUCA F-9A (or B-3D or B-3B) with
a standard gas log set can burn wood OR gas at your convenience.
When using the gas logs, all the JUCA performance still
exists, so you can still heat the entire house.
To control a gas log set, you can even use a gas control valve from
a gas house furnace. This would use a normal furnace wall thermostat
to cycle the gas logs on and off to act as a gas furnace (with up to
140,000 Btu/hr output) to keep your house at a constant temperature.
(You should have a licensed plumber do this installation.)
Even better is using a gas control valve normally used in the newer-type
pilotless ignition gas furnaces, still with the wall thermostat.
This way does NOT have a standing pilot light always burning.
All of these gas-burning possibilities DO still require removing the gas
log set in order to burn wood because all the gas log burner assemblies
are kind of flimsy and would burn out if wood was burned on them.
A few "handy" owners have installed a
normal heavy-duty wood log grate with 3 normal gas log lighters
(each rated at 30,000 Btu/hr) under it. They did the plumbing to have
all 3 work together. It would be important for them all to light
together, and some sort of safety pilot system should be used so
the gas supply would be shut off if the fire blows out.
Plumb them to whichever valve control system you're using.
When you want to use wood, just put logs on the wood grate;
use the lighters as ... lighters and burn them to start the
wood burning. The JUCA will work as normal.
When you want to burn gas, just place a set of ceramic
logs on the grate and operate the system with gas only. The
fire will come up between the ceramic logs and look very
real. The JUCA will work as normal.
All these choices are possible with the Built-In F-9A, all larger 3-sided
glass JUCAs and the B-3B.
Sometimes, customers who don't have warm air ducts (as with
electric or hydronic-hot-water systems) will use their JUCA
for one winter without any duct hook-up. During that
winter, they may need conventional heat in some rooms.
During the next summer, they can consider running a small
(or large) duct from the JUCA to that part of the house.
Nearly all JUCAs have ducting capabilities. You just don't
have to use that right away. It's always there if you want
or need it.
Sometimes, people have houses where it is not absolutely clear
whether connection to house ducts is actually necessary to
adequately heat the whole house. In such situations, the JUCA
could be installed with the heat outlet duct connection blocked
off, with only heat distributed locally from the outlets on the
unit. Then, if after one winter like this, it is decided that
the duct connection is necessary, such can be done then, since
nearly all JUCA models include that capability as a standard feature.
Occasionally, in houses that have warm air furnace and ducts, a (large) cold
air intake grille is (or can be installed) in the room the JUCA
is in (especially if it is high on the wall). Then, the house's
furnace blower could be set on its FAN position. This runs its
blower but without turning on the furnace's burner and therefore not
using up any heating fuel, to recirculate the
house air (sometimes used in summer to avoid mustiness).
That little FAN switch on the sub-base of your house thermostat
is usually a simple 24 volt switch. Any electrician could install
a RELAY with a 110 volt coil wired in parallel with the JUCA blower, and to
have its MAKE contacts in parallel with that FAN switch. This setup
would automatically turn on the house's furnace blower as normal AND
also whenever the JUCA blower was running, to automate its operation
for the choice described just above.
Occasionally, we have a customer who has an asthmatic member
of the family. We have found a solution for such situations.
There is a type of sophisticated air filter called a HEPA filter.
They are normally used in hospitals and other places where
absolutely sterile, pure air is required. Several years ago, one
of the manufacturers of HEPA filters started making a residential
version of their product. There are now several companies making
such super-filters. When the JUCA air path is sent through
the HEPA filter, hospital clean air results!
The cost depends on how large a house you're handling, but the list
price for a whole house unit is usually about $900 or so, and we can
usually get them for about $750, if you want or need this purity of air.
In the same vein, ANY house air filtration system is compatible
with JUCA products. Whether conventional fibreglas or electronic
or otherwise, any will work if it is put into the air path of the
JUCA air flow. As with conventional furnaces, it is usually best
to put such filtration in the cold-air path rather than in the
Again in the same area, ANY type of house humidifier is compatible
with JUCA operation. Many styles of furnace-type humidifiers
exist, from inexpensive evaporative plate types, to squirrel cage
evaporators, to mist spray injector types, to heated-boiler
evaporator mist sprayers. Every possible level of humidification
needs can be handled, again, exactly as for a conventional
People with alternative heating systems in their homes are
often surprised at JUCAs being compatible with them. Whether
air-source heat pump, (ground) water-source heat pump,
various solar heating systems, or other alternative source,
JUCAs can usually blend in. Solar system storage formats are
ALL compatible with JUCA's warm air output, whether the thermal
mass is solid, liquid, salt-transition or other.
Over the years, people have used JUCAs to supply heat for innumerable
applications. Pole barns, warehouses, garages, greenhouses,
pig brooders, and small factories have been common. In residential
applications, people have used the rather constant temperature
warm air created for many peripheral uses. Some heat has been
branched off for supplying heat for bread-baking ovens, clothes
driers, food dehydrators, kitchen ovens, and many other unique
usages. If you have thoughts toward interesting applications,
contact us so that our engineers can work with you.
The JUCA Home Page is at:
E-mail to: JUCA1@mb-soft.com