What makes Century better than other Units
There is no one simple answer. For each family, it may be a combination of attributes that makes Century the answer to their heating requirements. Here are some answers we received when owners were asked this question.
- Safety Record – Not one fire has been attributed to a defective Century since its beginning in 1976. Owners like the security this offers.
- Versatility – Can be used as a free convection unit or centrally ducted through the existing duct system. Have many water heating options.
- Beauty – Looks like an old fashioned fireplace, but is actually a 92.24% efficient furnace.
- Ease of Installation – Can be set up and in operation in a few hours. Comes from the factory 98% assembled.
- Cost – Has the ability to totally heat your home for around $3.00 per sq. ft., and pays for itself in utility savings in less than five years.
What will my Century look like when it's installed?
The Century, after installation, does not look like a factory built fireplace. The door opening is very large, giving the appearance of an old fashioned fireplace. Since the Century does not use small fans, there is no noise. When the convection outlets are raised to within a foot of the ceiling, you may build a beautiful mantle for decorating. You may also install a flat screen television, picture, or mirror above the fireplace, adding to the versatility and design options.
The beauty of the installed fireplace is limited only by your imagination.
How energy efficient is the Century?
When tested for the EPA, Century received the highest rating of any wood heating appliance. The Century achieved an efficiency rating of 92.24%. Since the Century was twice as efficient as they thought it would be, the testing laboratory called the EPA to discuss the results. The efficiency was hard enough to believe, but the tremendous BTU output in conjunction with the efficiency blew the doors off of anything that had been tested.
The EPA could not believe the finding, and requested that the laboratory retest the unit. The lab asked the EPA who was going to pay for the re-test. The EPA was adamant that the error was the labs, but said that if it wasn’t, they would pay for the test. On the re-test, the Century tested at a little over 93% efficient! The EPA was again contacted and told the results. The EPA said to give Century the 92.24% efficiency rating and send them the bill.
Most units with much smaller output which are claimed to be energy efficient achieve ratings from the lower 70’s to mid 80’s, but the BTU capabilities are normally approximately 40% or less than the Century’s output. Normally, the larger the heat output, the lower the efficiency.
Why is the Century so efficient?
At the heart of each Century is a 13-point patented heat exchanger. In the C0-36-GW, there is nearly seventy square feet of steel in the heat exchanger, which provides adequate surface area to strip the heat.
Second, the Century has a secondary heat exchanger which contains the heat an adequate time for the heat exchanger to strip the heat from the fire before it escapes up the flue.
Third, in the furnace mode, the gasses are recycled through the coals where fresh oxygen is injected to provide a complete burn.
In fact, a properly operated Century emits little if any smoke out of the chimney. We do our part to keep our planet green.
How much heat will the Century produce?
The Century is built in only two sizes, which can be adjusted to put out adequate heat for the small home to the very large home. The Century C0-28-GW has a capacity of over 100,000 BTU and the C0-36-GW has a BTU output over 160,000, and can be dampered down to under 20,000 BTU. The wide range of heat output really makes these two units fit almost any home’s requirements.
The C0-28-GW is good for homes to around 2,500 sq. ft., and the C0-36-GW will handle the small home or the large home, even to over 6,000 sq. ft. Many times, homeowners with smaller homes that have a large great room elect to use the larger unit because of the larger door opening, but run the Century at a lower burn rate.
What about hot water options?
Due to Century’s high BTU output capabilities, you may elect to use a portion of the excess capacity to heat hot water. Century does an excellent job of providing any low temperature hot water requirements such as radiant floors, hot tubs, remote heated areas, pools, snow melt and as a pre heater for domestic water requirements. Since each application is different, we aid in designing your specific water system for you.
Should I duct my Century or use it as a convection unit?
Whether to duct the Century or use it as a non-ducted (convection) system depends on the application. Large homes may require ducting to maintain even temperature throughout the home. In homes that are over a basement, you may elect to use the basement as a large return air. By placing through grills around the perimeter of the main floor to the lower level, the system operates as a pressure differential system. Simply, the heat is emitted from the convection outlets located near the ceiling on the main floor, and the return for the Century is pulled from the basement floor. The main floor is a positive pressure area, and the basement becomes a negative pressure area. In order for the air to return to the return ducts of the Century, (located on the basement floor) the warm air will gravitate around the home and return to the basement through grills placed around the perimeter of the home which open to the basement. This is a simple and inexpensive method of moving heat around the main level and providing heat to the lower level of your home.
If you elect to use a blower or ducted system, the output heat from the Century will be increased by approximately thirty per cent. Century is the only unit on the market coded under UL391 which permits you to duct the Century through your conventional duct system. Other units require their own small duct system, which is expensive and lacks even heat distribution.
We prefer to use the blower from your conventional heating system as the he propulsion system for the Century. To do this, the blower of your conventional system must be 1,200 to 2,400 CFM for the C0-36-GW and 1,000 to 1,600 CFM for the C0-28-GW. By using a two-stage thermostat, you can use stage one to operate the blower only on your back up gas, oil, or electric furnace. Stage two may be set a couple of degrees colder to operate in the heat portion of your conventional furnace in case your home needs additional heat. This is a simple automatic method of assuring your home maintains a constant comfort level. Century offers, at no charge, additional aid in laying out your duct system. We will work with your heating contractor to provide the optimum system for you.
Where should I place my Century?
First of all, place the Century in a location where you will enjoy it most. If you are going to duct the Century, placing the unit on the main floor and ducting the unit below provides the best heating system in times of power outage. I would not let this best method dictate my placement. Many owners place the unit in the basement family room which may have better access to the wood supply.
Century is very adaptable to a variety of ways to be ducted. If you are using the Century as a convection unit, it would be desirable to put a return air from your conventional furnace near the ceiling in the room where the Century is located. You can run the fan only on your furnace to distribute the heat throughout your home. This method is known as an indirect duct system. Above all, place the Century where you will enjoy the charm and beauty of your fireplace.
How safe is the Century?
Century was designed using what we call fail safe criteria. This means that, if something would break, such as a damper, it would fall open. If the unit would develop a crack, oxygen would get in the box, not smoke out. Century is designed with three layers of steel protected by high temperature installation.
How safe is the Century? Since its introduction to the market in 1976, over thirty years ago, the Century has not had one, not one, fire attributed to a defective unit! Perfect is hard to beat.
How long will the Century last?
We designed a unit which we felt would achieve at least a twenty-five year life expectancy. Thirty years later, to the best of our knowledge not one unit has been replaced due to degradation.
The length of service you can expect from your Century is still being tested by the thousands of units in homes. We do know that a great many of the units in use are being used as the primary heat source. They are fired twenty-four hours a day for as much as eight to ten months in some areas. Yes, Century was built to provide years and years of trouble-free service.
Is the Century difficult to install?
Century is 98% factory built! Actually, making a Century ready to burn requires not one tool. The convection outlets slip under guides, the flue twist locks in place, wooden door handles push on, and you are ready to burn.
We have had many customers burning the unit in a couple of hours. You may fire the Century prior to building your surround around the unit. Many builders claim that during the winter building season, they save thousands burning the scrap while finishing sheetrock and trimming out the home. It’s a fact that warm workmen save money and provide a higher quality of craftsmanship.
Is the Century difficult to operate?
Century is very easy to operate. Century brings the combustion air under the wood, so the unit fires up easily. The large fire box allows you to load a large supply of wood. Once a three to four inch bed of hot coals is established, you can reduce the combustion air supply to get the desired BTU output. With the C0-36-GW, you can easily burn three 10” logs at a time, which will adequately heat a large home for eight to ten hours.
Normally, you will load your fireplace in the morning to burn all day. In the evening, you can burn your small wood while enjoying the fireplace with the doors open or closed. Load the unit before going to bed, which will run all night. Since Century burns round wood very well, we recommend that you not split any wood you are able to comfortably load. The C0-36-GW can take wood up to 35” long and the C0-28-GW can take wood up to 27”.
The Century is designed with the user in mind.
What is the cost of the Century?
Century customers have told us time after time that the Century was the best purchase they made when building or remodeling.
The Century currently costs approximately $3.00 per sq. ft., a little less for larger homes and a little more for small homes. The main consideration is that the Century doesn’t cost, it pays. Most home owners find they have recovered their entire cost through utility savings within two to five years. With the current cost of utilities, the payback is even quicker. Even if you only burn the unit on a limited basis, you will have the knowledge that the unit can heat your home if necessary. That creates a comfort level with today’s uncertainty as to price and availability of energy. What would you be willing to pay for a warm home if conventional energy was not available?
Can I get help designing the Century into my home?
Century offers a free design service for our customers. We will work with you or your heating contractor to achieve the optimum design, whether you need a ducted system or a convection system. We can also design many water options for you to supplement your domestic hot water, use for radiant floors, remote area heating, pools, or snow melts.
How do I order my Century?
Since Century can be used in a variety of ways, we recommend that you contact us on our toll free number. A no-pressure discussion of how the Century can help you allows our customers to make a proper decision on their purchase. We strongly recommend that you examine all products on the market to see what the various units offer. We are sure that, when you compare the Century to other products, you will find that you receive true value for your investment with Century. We strongly recommend that you view our DVD to see how we build the Century and what our customers have to say.