Extending The Life of Your Outdoor Furnace: Killers to Avoid

Extending The Life of Your Outdoor Furnace: Killers to Avoid 

Burning Wood This Summer? 3 Killers You MUST Avoid! 

If you have an outdoor wood boiler, this applies to you. Period.

Avoid these THREE outdoor boiler KILLERS and keep your heating system with high efficiency, so you can avoid spending too much on your HEATING BILLS, SAVE MONEY, and STAY TOASTY WARM AND COMFORTABLE for decades to come!

1 NEVER allow ash to accumulate more than 1-3 inches deep.

2 NEVER allow your water jacket temperature to drop below 140°F.

3 You must follow the “Dry Burn” procedure. See below for the details.


Remember that dry ash is completely safe. But when ash becomes wet, it becomes corrosive and will eat through steel. The moisture from your firewood and the humid summer air is absorbed by deep layers of ash.

DO NOT allow ash to accumulate in your outdoor wood stove. You take out a shovel full every day and scrape it completely clean every week. Click HERE for more information about the importance of ASH REMOVAL.



Extending The Life of Your Outdoor Furnace: Killers to Avoid

At temps below 140°F, your wood furnace will build up creosote, and generate condensation that will destroy your boiler fast. 

I once ran a prototype boiler at my home to heat my pool. In just two years, I destroyed the boiler because it always ran below 140°F - it was too small to heat my pool! The condensation caused so much corrosion. The system was completely destroyed - a costly but valuable lesson learned.

Solution: Do not adjust the Aquastat below 180 degrees. Add wood daily, but only enough wood to burn for 12-24 hours. And if you are heating a pool with a heavy heating load, call us for special instructions to protect your OWB.

Third, please, please, please ALWAYS use the "Dry Burn" technique. Please read this carefully:

These are the top three reasons you should “Dry Burn” your Outdoor Wood Furnace everyday:

  1. Longer Boiler Life - Condensation inside the boiler kills it. A short life is costly. Longevity is cost-effective!
  2. Less Maintenance – Your time is valuable, isn’t it?
  3. More efficiency=lower cost – get the biggest bang for your fuel!


As wood burns, the moisture is slowly burned out of the wood. Unfortunately, that moisture is coming out of the wood for most of the burn cycle – it is only at the very END of the burn cycle when the wood is just dry hot coals that all the moisture is out of the wood. This is the DRY BURN state.

Many outdoor wood burning boiler owners never allow their boilers to reach this state. They load up their heating system in the morning with a huge load of wood, and by the end of the day, the wood is only half-burned. 

This wood has NEVER reached a DRY BURN state and is still giving the inside of your boiler a moisture bath. Then they “TOP OFF” their firebox burn chamber with more moisture-filled wood, adding even more moisture to the process.  This boiler never experiences a DRY BURN.

The solution is simple! Only load into your firebox the amount of wood needed to get you to your next fill. You want your wood to burn down completely to coals and burn in that DRY BURN state for the last few hours of every wood load. 

How do Dry Burn extend the life of your boiler?

Wood boilers that don’t get a DRY BURN every day, will require cleaning much more often. This is because the DRY BURN will dry up and burn off accumulated creosote. Click HERE to know more on how to eliminate harmful creosote.

Normal creosote forms while normal wood is being burned until it reaches the Dry Burn state. Then in Dry Burn, that creosote dries up and often flakes off. Without a Dry Burn, that creosote builds up thicker and deeper layers.

Also, the Dry Burn process saves wood! This is because it burns your wood fuel more efficiently and this saves you time and money.

You want your wood to burn down completely to coals and burn in that DRY BURN state for the last few hours of every wood load. The DRY BURN process will dry out all the components that may have become moist from condensation. This will protect your outdoor wood burner – and your INVESTMENT! 

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