Tips & Advice for Heating with an Outdoor Wood Boiler
Outdoor Wood Furnaces have been keeping households warm and toasty for decades. However, as the cost of electricity and natural gas continues to rise, installing outdoor wood-burning furnaces is without a doubt the best option to heat your home.
Wood is one of the most cost-effective heating options. Unlike oil, gas, and ultimately electricity, wood is a natural, renewable resource that can be supplied by nature. Heating with wood in your outdoor wood furnace will almost instantly save you money.
The Benefits of Using an Outdoor Wood Burning Boiler
- There is no indoor mess because the boiler is placed outside.It also eliminates the risk of a house fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.
- You can heat multiple buildings, including a swimming pool or spa, with an outdoor wood furnace.
- You’re not dependent on the oil, electric, propane or gas companies, if you decide to provide your own wood, then heating is FREE! And even if you decide to just buy wood, it's much cheaper than the cost you would spend for oil, gas or electric bills.
- Since the firebox of an outdoor wood stove is much bigger than an indoor stove, it will only require you to load wood once or twice per day
- It can connect to most existing furnaces and other existing heating systems.
Outdoor Furnace Maintenance Tips
- Treating Your Furnace Water. It is critical to keep your pipelines and components free of corrosion. Remember that water starts to eat holes in steel immediately upon contact (through rust corrosion), UNLESS the water is properly treated with a special chemical that has been formulated to protect the exact grade of steel in your furnace - Liquid Armor Water Treatment.
- Ash Removal, Rotation, and Disposal. When the wood burns, the moisture leaves the wood in the form of steam. We want that steam to leave the boiler and not get absorbed by the ash. If the ash layer in your outdoor Wood furnace is more than 2-3 inches, the ash will absorb the moisture in the steam, and form a CAUSTIC paste that eats holes in steel.
Solution? Simple! Keep your ash levels low - about 1-2 inches in the bottom of your outdoor wood burner. Also, remember to remove ALL the ash every two weeks, and scrape out the inside of your firebox to remove all ash.
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- Creosote Removal. Creosote is a nasty black tar that builds up inside your outdoor wood boiler. Because creosote is formed naturally when fuel sources are consumed and is a byproduct of burning wood, so that means preventing a fire from producing creosote is similar to preventing a fire from producing smoke. But you can definitely minimize creosote build-up and remove it easily.
"Top 4 Ways to Eliminate Harmful Creosote"
- Easy Creosote Remover Stick (just toss one in the fire!)
- Dry Burn Procedure
- Never operate your boiler with water jacket temps below 140 F
- Use Properly Seasoned wood
- Cleaning Your Chimney and Removing your Chimney Cap. This is about the inside parts of your outdoor wood stove that must be cleaned with brushes or other cleaning tools. You need to clean it regularly to avoid roof stains and creosote build-up. For more information, read our articles “How To Completely Clean the Inside of Your Outdoor Furnace” and “Prevent Costly Outdoor Furnace Damage: Chimney Cap Removal.”
Outdoor Furnace Operation Tips
- How to Prepare Your Wood. Freshly cut green wood contains up to 50% moisture. That means that 50% of the weight of the wood is water. Even properly seasoned wood contains only 20% moisture.
So to properly prepare your wood for the heating season you need to
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- Emergency Preparedness Kit. All outside wood boilers are designed to outlast their electronics. You wouldn’t know when your electrical components reach their limits so it is better to always have a spare part ready. The standard "Emergency Preparedness Kit" contains four items:
In most cases, we also recommend having a spare Aquastat Controller on hand.
Never Overheat Your Outdoor Wood Burner. If your boiler has overheated, you must know the reason why because you could have a serious problem. Then take the recommended steps to prevent long-term damage to your boiler. Read our article on this topic found HERE.
Our goal at OutdoorBoiler.com is to help you realize the best return on your investment! We have invested MILLIONS in research, testing, and proving our designs and methods. We want YOU to benefit from all we have learned!
Visit OutdoorBoiler.com to browse for outdoor wood boiler parts or ask us any questions. You can also check our Easy Fix Articles for more maintenance and operations tips!