A deep layer of ash causes two main problems:
- Deep ash reduces efficiency
- Ash can be highly corrosive and it can eat holes in your firebox steel.
During the summer months, ALL ash should be removed, and the firebox should be completely scraped clean.
EFFICIENCY: The heat from your burning wood transfers into your existing heating system or let’s say your furnace water through the furnace walls. If the level of ash is too thick in the firebox, it does not allow for efficient heat transfer to the water in the water jacket of the furnace.
It is sometimes funny for us to see poorly maintained furnaces with more than 18 inches of deep ash! You could put your hand into the deep ash and feel the cool ash because it is so deep (do NOT do this!). And a significant portion of the firebox steel is buried in ash so that a large portion of the steel surface area is covered and unavailable to transfer heat. Learn more.
CAUSTIC PASTE: If the ash becomes wet it is corrosive to the metal of the furnace. All wood contains moisture. That moisture should leave the furnace in the form of steam.
However, deep layers of ash can absorb that moisture and form a CAUSTIC paste that can eat holes in your outdoor wood furnace firebox. It is NEVER good to have deep ash, no matter what you have been told in the past. But if you keep the ash layer less than three inches, the ash remains dry and powder-like. Ash is harmless in its powdery state.
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How do I Clean the Lower Ash Chamber?
- Use caution. Only open the lower back door when the furnace is switched to the off position. Using the provided cleaning/scraping tool, remove ash from the lower chamber as necessary, at least every week. Always remove ash into a covered, non-combustible container.
Why is water treatment important?
- The chemical (water treatment) coats the inside of the furnace to reduce the effects of corrosion on the metal.
What do you mean by proper ash management?
- If the ash becomes wet it is corrosive to the metal of the furnace. If the level of ash is too thick in the water box it does not allow for efficient heat transfer to the water in the water jacket of your outdoor wood burner. The temperature of the water in the jacket is used to heat your house.
May I buy parts directly from OutdoorBoiler.com?
- YES, of course! To order parts, visit our online store at OutdoorBoiler.com by clicking HERE, or call our office at (231) 861-8200, or (888) Log-Burn.
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