Outdoor Wood Boiler Summer Shutdown Essentials
What You NEED To Know: Top 4 Ways To Eliminate Harmful Creosote
Creosote is a nasty black tar that builds up inside your outdoor wood boiler. There’s really no way to stop creosote completely. 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.
Creosote causes the following problems, because creosote...
1. Makes your wood stove consume much more wood than it should
2. Harmful to your steel surfaces
3. Reduces efficiency
4. Can cause dangerous chimney fires
5. Can reduce airflow through the boiler and even completely stop airflow thus preventing the boiler from operating (particularly in GX series with air tubes).
Another issue with creosote is that it does not go away on its own; instead, it "grows" in a self-sustaining cycle. Creosote builds up due to a lack of free ventilation, causing creosote to coat the chimney flue's walls, narrowing the pathway.
Clearly, creosote cannot be avoided but it can be and should be minimized. And, any creosote that does build up, MUST be removed.
Here is the definitive solution for MINIMIZING creosote buildup and REMOVAL of any creosote that does occur.
"Top 4 Ways to Eliminate Harmful Creosote"
1. Easy Creosote Remover Stick (just toss one in the fire!)
3. Never operate your boiler with water jacket temps below 140 F
Easy Creosote Remover Stick
This new product is the BEST way to remove creosote - just toss one stick into the fire in your outdoor boiler, and in 24 hours, creosote will be eliminated! This is one great way in cleaning your wood-burning stove.
It is recommended to use at least one stick in your outdoor wood stove per month, and two sticks during the final week before shutting down the boiler for summer.
For GX Series boilers, be sure to remove the catalyst before using the Easy Creosote Remover Stick, and leave the catalyst out for 7 days after using the stick. The catalyst coatings are highly sensitive and are designed for wood burning only. Easy Creosote Remover Sticks are available by clicking HERE.
Dry Burn Procedure
The best way to minimize creosote from even forming inside your boiler is in how you operate your boiler. The most effective way is called the Dry Burn procedure, which requires burning each load of wood almost completely so that the final few hours of burning are when only dry coals remain.
Learn more about the Dry Burn Procedure - read our article on this topic by clicking on this link HERE.
Never Operate Boiler at Temps Below 140 F
Watch this video for more information on why you should not operate your outdoor wood furnace below 140 degrees.
Since even the most seasoned hardwood contains 20 percent moisture, burning wood requires eliminating this moisture. In normal operations, we want that moisture to exit the furnace harmlessly in the form of steam.
However, some of that steam will condense if ash levels get deep, and most critically, if the water jacket temp drops below 140F, then substantial amounts of condensation form, which leaves a thick layer of creosote. Learn more by watching the video on this topic HERE.
Use Properly Seasoned Wood
Your firewood should be seasoned. Green wood contains far too much moisture (up to 50%) and does not burn well. High moisture content wood requires up to 40% of the heating value of your wood just to burn off the moisture and convert it to steam. This is heat that otherwise would go into your home.
To properly season firewood, it must be cut, split, stacked, and covered on top, but not on the sides so air can flow through the wood pile. Many customers report that after 6-9 months, their wood is properly seasoned. This means that you must prepare your wood NOW for the upcoming 2018-2019 heating season.
Learn more about preparing your wood for next winter by clicking on these links below.
-Frozen? 3 Reasons to Keep your Furnace ABOVE 140 Degrees!!!
-3 Things To Remember When Preparing Your Wood For Winter