Here are three easy steps to make your wood supply last longer - these are steps you can take NOW:
1. Cover your wood pile
2. Do a complete cleaning of your boiler
3. Add a Chimney Extension and replace your blower fan
Cover Your Wood
If your wood pile is not covered, you likely have snow, frost, and ice all over your wood. As temps rise above freezing, there may be considerable rain making your wood moisture content high. It is never too late to cover your wood pile with a tarp, which enables the wood to dry and make your burn more efficient.
Wet wood will burn in your boiler, but many of the BTUs produced from the burning of your wood fuel are wasted because that energy is required just to burn off the water and convert it to steam.
Cover only the top of your wood pile so air can flow through it from the sides and dry out the wood.
Completely Clean Boiler
To get the most out of your wood fuel, you want the heat from the wood to transfer into your water jacket. But a dirty furnace is less efficient.
Deep layers of ash will prevent heat transfer of BTUs from your wood fuel into the water jacket. So, keep the ash layer to one inch or less.
Thick layers of creosote on the firebox walls will also prevent heat transfer so be sure to reduce creosote using the DRY BURN method described in this article HERE.
Also, make sure your chimney and deflector plate area are clean - deep layers of ash in this area will prevent proper air flow which reduces efficiency also.
Add Chimney Extension / Replace Blower Fan
A chimney extension slows air flow through your outdoor boiler and thus improves efficiency because heat stays in the boiler longer. Remember that HE furnaces require a chimney adapter to add the extension. These items are available at our online store by clicking this link HERE.
Blower fans that are older than 5 years old will begin to lose their effectiveness and may not be performing at their optimal power. We recommend replacing the blower fan if you are experiencing poor efficiency for undiagnosed reasons.
AT LEAST, we recommend having a spare blower fan on hand for when your fan dies, which will inevitably happen during the first 10-20 years of your furnace life. Please see the best promo we have for the Emergency Preparedness Kit.