What is an Outdoor Boiler?
Firewood is proven to be the lowest cost heating fuel known to mankind. Burning wood in an indoor heating appliance can be dirty, time-consuming, and even dangerous. So to address these issues, industry leaders have created very innovative solutions to eliminate those problems, and still capitalize on the opportunity for heating cost savings using firewood - this lowest cost heating fuel.
The solution is an “Outdoor Wood Boiler” . An outdoor wood boiler is a heating device that is normally located outdoors away from the building(s) for which it provides heat. Outdoor boilers burn wood and convert the energy from firewood into a tank of water that surrounds a burn chamber. The heated water is then pumped through insulated underground PEX tubing into the building(s) and interface with the existing heating systems of those buildings.
The heated water from an outdoor boiler can interface with almost any indoor heating system, including forced air systems, indoor boilers, radiant in-floor heating systems, baseboard and radiator systems, unit heaters, pool heaters, domestic hot water tanks, and many more.
What does an outdoor boiler do?
An outdoor furnace can heat multiple buildings, such as a home, garage, workshop, shed, greenhouse, or barn -- without using other heating sources. It can even be used to heat a swimming pool or hot tub.
Is an outdoor wood boiler worth the money?
Yes! An outdoor boiler is an innovative solution to capitalize on the savings available from heating with firewood, the proven lowest cost heating fuel known to mankind. An outdoor wood furnace is an investment that many people turn to save money on heating their homes. It can save a homeowner thousands of dollars each year, not only on fuel but even with your home insurance. Outdoor boilers also provide endless luxurious hot water and warmth that is just not normally available or economical to many homeowners.
Other terms for Outdoor Boiler include “Outdoor Furnace”, “Outdoor Wood Stove”, and “Wood Hydronic Heater”. In technical terms, a “boiler” is normally under high pressure. Outdoor boilers, however, usually have water tanks that are too large to be under pressure and almost all of them are open to the atmosphere so the use of the term “boiler” is technically incorrect, but very commonly used anyway.
How much do outdoor wood boilers cost?
In short, an outdoor wood boiler costs $6,000 to $12,000 or more based on the size and features of the model you choose. Other factors include installation cost, and the components needed to interface with the heating system(s) of the building(s) being heated by the outdoor boiler. (If you have decided to obtain an outdoor boiler, click here for FREE Design Services!)
Are outdoor boilers efficient?
High-efficiency outdoor wood boilers have been developed and tested with proven efficiency ratings over 80 percent, but be careful of the claimed efficiency ratings – there are hundreds of technical terms related to “efficiency” and some can be misleading. But if the outdoor wood boiler is “EPA Approved for residential use”, this is the highest standard currently in effect and this is a perfectly viable option for many people. If installed correctly, well insulated, and maintained, these can be as effective as internal oil boilers without impacting the interior of your home.
EPA Regulations on Outdoor Boilers – New Information!
In 2016, the EPA banned traditional outdoor wood boilers. Those new regulations allowed homeowners to only install "high-efficiency" outdoor boilers for residential use . These "high-efficiency" units require additional maintenance and must only use well-seasoned wood, but their technology is improving and costs are coming down. So the future of burning wood to save on heating costs is still bright.
If the outdoor boiler is not going to be connected to a residence, there are many “traditional” outdoor boilers available that can be obtained and used for heating workshops, garages, commercial buildings and other non-residential structures. These traditional outdoor boilers are often chosen over the high efficiency outdoor furnaces because of lower cost, simpler design, and less required maintenance.
UPDATE as of June 30, 2022:
The US Supreme Court has ruled that the EPA overstepped its authority in creating Clean Air rules and that only a constitutionally-elected congress has the authority to create such far-reaching regulations. Disclaimer: we are not a law firm and are not making legal claims, blah, blah, blah. Everyone is entitled to their own interpretation, but many pundits are stating the obvious that the Supreme Court is taking a very strong position against the EPA and all other UNELECTED government regulatory agencies that attempts to create laws – that authority rests solely with congress.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who delivered the majority opinion, wrote that the Obama-era regulation was too broad of an interpretation of the agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act. “Agencies have only those powers given to them by Congress,” Roberts wrote. “The agency … must point to ‘clear congressional authorization’ for the power it claims.”
The EPA rules addressed by the Supreme Court are cited in the Clean Air act are from the “New Source Performance Standards” section. It is under that same section that the EPA created its rules for the outdoor boiler and other wood burning industry products.
Accordingly, this appears to put the responsibility for any needed regulations back at the local level, where it belongs. We remember very well the hearings that were held by congress back in 2015 when the good folks from the upper peninsula of Michigan stood in front of the microphone to address the EPA – they said: “Does the EPA have any idea what it is like to live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan? We live in the woods here! How can you pass federal regulations that affect those of us who have been burning wood since the beginning of recorded history?! You people in Washington DC are completely out of touch with the real world.”
We at OutdoorBoiler.com agree. The future of burning wood to save on heating costs just got a lot brighter.https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/20-1530_n758.pdf
What if I already have an outdoor boiler?
The government says, "If you like your wood-burning heater, you can keep your wood-burning heater"...for now.
The most important thing you can do is properly maintain your outdoor boiler so that it will last for 40 years or more. We will show you how! Just follow our simple 3-Step Program to add up to $250,000 to your retirement with your outdoor boiler.
Can I Buy a Used Outdoor Boiler?
Yes. Regardless of your interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling in June 2022, the EPA rules only govern “new sources” of emissions. So any used outdoor boiler can be purchased and is outside of the jurisdiction of the EPA.
How Does This Affect Me?
What we do know is that when your traditional outdoor boiler reaches its end of life, YOU CANNOT REPLACE IT! That is the law. So our goal here at Outdoor Boiler is to help you keep your furnace healthy and in perfect running condition for decades! (So you can keep saving money!)
How Do I Do That?
We make it simple for you! Just follow our easy maintenance tips, read our newsletters and laugh at our funny jokes, and most importantly, make sure you remove ash and that your water is appropriately treated with Certified Liquid Armor water treatment.
Should I have Spare Parts?
Yes! And this is a perfect time to get the “Emergency Preparedness Kit”. All outdoor boilers will outlast their electronic components, so now is the time to get a spare of the critical electronics that will fail at some point during the life of your furnace - a blower fan, pump, solenoid, and high limit switch.
Urgent Action Must Be Taken!
If you purchased your furnace more than one year ago, the warranty on the electronic components likely has ended. This "Overstock Sale" is for a limited time so call Outdoor Boiler Care now to take advantage of this sale. Call us at (231) 861-8200 or (888) Log-Burn. You can visit our website, but you must call to get Overstock Sale prices.
Which Brand Furnaces Are Affected?
ALL traditional brands of outdoor boiler furnaces are affected by the EPA ban. Regardless of which model outdoor boiler you have, you cannot replace it with another outdoor boiler once your boiler reaches its end of life. The only outdoor boilers that are now available for residential use are “High efficiency” units that are more costly and require more maintenance.
Stick It To The EPA!
If you keep your Outdoor Boiler in good working condition and follow all the maintenance requirements, the EPA will have no power over you and will not be able to prevent you from burning wood to heat your home with your traditional outdoor boiler.
I want to congratulate you for being diligent in caring for your outdoor boiler. You can take control of your future by keeping your outdoor boiler healthy, so you can continue saving on your heating bills for decades!
Underground Insulated Pex Pipe
Underground Insulated Pipe transfers hot water from your outdoor boiler to your building, barn, garage, pool, or wherever the heat is needed. The Heat Mizer brand is the most trusted brand in the industry and has surpassed every test and standard known in the outdoor boiler industry. It is the only brand we trust and since our entire team uses only this brand in our own homes, we can all vouch for it personally as the brand that is the easiest to install, and keeps our homes the warmest of any brand, all at the most reasonable cost available in the industry.Shop here
Boiler Water Treatment | Corrosion Inhibitor
Why is Outdoor Furnace Water Treatment ESSENTIAL?
Would You Drive Your Car Without Oil?
Of course not! Equally so you should never operate your outdoor boiler without water treatment. You will NOT discover how badly you are damaging your boiler without water treatment UNTIL IT IS TOO LATE!
And you won’t know whether your water is properly treated without sending a water sample to our Lab for your FREE Water Testing and Analysis.
The “Free Water Testing Info” section of OutdoorBoiler.com answers these important questions:
Why Should I Use Water Treatment?
Simple - because without it, your investment is wasted. You wouldn’t buy groceries and then leave them at the store, would you? You made a big investment in your outdoor boiler - but unless you use water treatment, the life of that investment will go from 40+ years to maybe less than 5 years! You are too smart to make that mistake.
Why Should I Submit a Water Sample?
Why? So you can be sure your boiler is properly protected. (And to keep your warranty valid!) Our Laboratory has expensive testing equipment that provides a sophisticated analysis of your boiler water. Those test results are then run through a computer algorithm that provides you with a customized report so that you can have the peace of mind knowing that your investment is properly protected. If your water test results are not satisfactory, you will get specific instructions on what needs to be done. In some cases, more water treatment is needed, and in other cases, some sediment may need to be flushed from your system. We won’t rest until you are properly protected!
What happens if I don’t use Water Treatment?
The Bad News: Untreated boiler water will eat holes in steel immediately upon contact (rust, corrosion), then your boiler steel will become paper-thin and start to leak. The Worst Part: At that time, your investment will be lost. It would be like buying a new car, and driving it without oil in the engine...it is only a matter of time and the investment will be worthless.
The Good News: It is never too late to start protecting your investment!! Liquid Armor Certified Water Treatment is the only way to treat your boiler – Liquid Armor has been formulated to protect the exact grade of steel in your boiler. Just start now and stop the rapid destruction of your steel. If you do this, you can Keep Your Family Toasty Warm and Comfortable for Decades.
How Much Water Treatment Should I Add?
For the first-time treatment, one gallon of Liquid Armor will treat 200 gallons of water. This is a generalization because water quality is widely different around the country – this is why FREE water testing is so very important.
For a boiler that has been properly treated previously, just add one-half gallon every 12 months before sending your annual water sample.
How Do I Get Water Sample Bottles?
Each gallon of Liquid Armor is shipped with two FREE water sample bottles, shipping labels and shipping boxes. Just order a gallon of Liquid Armor at OutdoorBoiler.com, and your water sample bottles will be included at no charge!
Alternatively, you can order water sample bottles in kits of 2 for a small charge plus shipping. Existing customers may order one package of water bottles per year at no charge using the discount code “FREEKIT” at checkout. Shipping charges apply
Where Do I Send My Water Sample For The FREE Water Analysis Testing?
Just follow our simple instructions on page 5 below. Please send water samples via US MAIL ONLY. Also, the only drop off location for water samples is the Shelby Post Office since the Hawken Lab uses a post office box. Please mail water samples to the following address:
PO Box 158
Shelby, MI 49455
Outdoor Boiler Heat Exchangers
One of the most remarkable discoveries in nature is that, in the history of the world, no scientist has ever been able to invent a fluid that transfers heat more efficiently than just regular water!
So for example, when a heating fuel is burned, and the heat needs to be distributed throughout one or more buildings, this can be accomplished with a boiler. The advantage of a boiler is that the fuel is burned in just one location and the resulting heat can be transferred to a variety of OTHER locations very easily and efficiently. The fuel burned in a boiler heats the water. That water is then circulated through hidden pipes to every section of your home and other buildings to provide comfortable warmth without losing any efficiency. Cool right?!
The only small issue is when the boiler is made of steel, it must be protected with a corrosion inhibitor. But we have completely solved that problem with our Liquid Armor Water Treatment.
To complete this efficient process, a “Heat Exchanger” is required to transfer the warmth from the circulating water into the space to be heated.
Boiler Pumps / Circulators
We have been selling pumps for use in hydronic heating for several decades and have sold more than 30,000 pumps. These are also called “Circulators” and that is the more accurate technical term, though most people just call them “Pumps”.
Regarding pumps, remember to have the correct size of the pump. We carry two standard sizes of pumps. The larger pump is the standard for installation and it is a 1/6 hp pump. This pump is strong and powerful and will handle most applications. While we are happy to provide an analysis of the pump size needed, more than 95 percent of our calculations show that the 1/6 hp pump is needed.
The smaller pump is only 1/25 hp and will work for only a few home installations if the distance between the boiler and building is less than 75 feet and there are only 2 bottlenecks (such as one filter, and one heat exchanger).
However, most home installations have three bottlenecks - a filter, a domestic hot water plate heat exchanger, and then a forced air heat exchanger. If you have three bottlenecks and/or more than 75 feet of underground pipe, stay with the larger 1/6 hp pump.
When do you need MORE power than only ONE of our strongest 1/6 hp pumps? Good question. If you are pushing water more than 150 feet and going through more than three bottlenecks, you may need more power...BUT there is a right way to get that power and many wrong ways!
DO NOT add a pump inside the building! This seems logical, but it does not work - this pump will get air locked and fail. Also, DO NOT think you can use a larger pump.
The PROPER way to get more power, is to "Daisy-Chain" together with two of our special 1/6 hp hydronic circulators. Two pumps are "Daisy-Chained" together by simply connecting them to one another so they boost one another and provide the flow strength needed. And they must be located together at the back of the outdoor boiler so that they are always primed. Remember, their goal is to “circulate” the water through the entire loop, and this “Daisy-Chain” configuration is the only method recommended by the manufacturer and all hydronic experts.Shop here
One of the most frustrating parts of the outdoor boiler installation experience is finding the right parts. If you purchase your parts at Lowe’s or Home Depot, you will pay more than TWICE the price that you should. Plus it will take you months of trying to figure out how to connect what to what, and which fittings will do the job and reliably interface with one another.
That is why we, at OutdoorBoiler.com, have created our proprietary system of Outdoor Boiler Installation Kits. We have spent millions on perfecting the design for outdoor boiler systems and now you can benefit from this also.
Unit Heaters The easiest way to get a workshop or similar spaces is with a "Unit Heater". This is a self-contained heating system in a small box that includes a water-to-air heat exchanger and built-in blower fan that turns on and off to keep the room at your desired temperature, according to the setting on your thermostat (thermostat sold separately).
What Size Unit Heater is Needed for My Building
For a simple formula on how to select the proper size unit heater, click HERE to read our article "How to Calculate the Proper Size Unit Heater".
Unit heaters are used to heat garages, pole barns, workshops, and other spaces that are open. They are generally hung from the ceiling in a corner. These unit heaters have Single-Speed Quiet Fans, they are pre-wired with a switch and cord, and the unit heater can be plugged into a thermostat for steady heat.Shop here
Chimney extensions are known to extend the life of an outdoor boiler because they enhance draft and hence combustion. Read more HERE.
While we only show our most popular products on this page, we have literally thousands of Chimney Components available in many sizes. Please call us for your chimney component needs and we will do our best to beat any price!
Read our article “3 Biggest Installation Mistakes You Can Make with Your Outdoor Boiler” at this link HERE.. Also, feel free to contact OutdoorBoiler.com Technical Support for more information at this link HERE.
Learn more by visiting this page containing Chimney Components for use with outdoor wood boilers. Check to confirm model specifications and compatibility. For chimney extensions, NEVER use any uninsulated product as these will destroy your outdoor wood boiler.
The Outdoor Boiler Filter Kit products are the components needed to protect an outdoor wood boiler system from failure due to sediment build-up using a high temperature-tolerant filtration system.
Why Boilers Need A Filter
Sediment is the "Secret Killer" of outdoor boilers. It will eat through steel, AND cause electrolysis damage to your water jacket - holes in your boiler are very bad.
Most outdoor boiler owners already have a filter. But some dealers make the mistake of NOT recommending a filter to "get the sale". This is not wise. If you don't have a filter, this is not your fault of course if your dealer did not even tell you about it. But you still need one to protect your system. Learn more by clicking HERE.
We get calls from outdoor boiler owners whose systems are from 3 to 7 years old who need to replace all their heat exchangers at great cost. This could have been prevented if they had a filter.
If you don't have a filter, you can install one now easily. This will reverse the damage being caused by sediment, and clean up your system perfectly!
Filter kits are available! They include literally every component needed to install a filter, including the bypass. A bypass is required to allow the water to continue flowing while the filter is getting cleaned every month or two. Simple instructions and drawing for the filter are included with every Filter Kit. Click HERE for more info on Filter Kits.
A filter will enable you to Turn UP Your Thermostat and Still SAVE Money on your heating bills for decades with your outdoor wood boiler!Shop here
Warranty Required Components
Certain Outdoor Boiler components are required for the warranty to remain valid. Among such are these Factory-Authorized components and kits.
(Check with Juren for correct version of the following photo)
Contact us at OutdoorBoiler.com for more information.Shop here
Aquastats And Controllers
The aquastat controller on your outdoor boiler serves some very important purposes. Mostly, it controls the blower fan and draft, opening and closing the draft to keep the outdoor boiler water in the desired temp range.
If it weren't for your aquastat, your boiler would require constant attention so that your fire does not burn too hot (and boil out your water) or too cold. (and you freeze!).
The aquastat is a cool little component in an outdoor boiler that allows us all to enjoy life without worrying about our heat, except once or twice per day when we need to add wood. Not only do we get to save lots of money on our heating bills, we also get to have a life in the meantime! After all, we need lots of time to enjoy spending all that money we are saving on our heating bills!Shop here
Boiler fittings face certain stresses that require the fittings to be high grade and of good quality. Fittings come in many different levels of quality and the source must be evaluated very closely.
We at OutdoorBoiler.com have conducted extensive research into the quality control systems at our world-renowned fitting manufacturers. Accordingly, we know when to pay for extra high quality, and where to save money.
We are heating with firewood to SAVE money, after all…right?
But we want our boiler system to be strong and not fail. We want it robust, but not “gold-plated” so that it costs a fortune.
So leave it to the experts at OutdoorBoiler.com to identify only the Best Quality at the Best Value for your outdoor boiler system.
The Definitive Outdoor Wood Boiler Guide
You must be very wise. You are also an independent American Patriot who knows how to save money. Our goal is to help you realize the MAX savings and the BEST return on your investment - if you follow our recommendations, you should be able to get 40 years out of your outdoor boiler. Some customers calculate that they will add more than $250,000 to their retirement,
just because of their outdoor furnace!
The Ultimate Outdoor Boiler Guide
This guide has 3 sections:
1. Urgent First Steps - Read this now, and take care of these urgent items first.
2. Routine Maintenance Items - This simplifies routine maintenance!
3. Other Resources - Keep this guide handy. You will eventually need ALL of this information.
This Definitive Outdoor Boiler Guide will make your outdoor wood stove last, and give you decades of worry-free heat! Here goes:
Urgent First Steps:
1. Confirm your boiler is registered with us. This will ensure your warranty coverage continues in your name, and allow us to help you better. Click here for OutdoorBoiler.com "Contact Us" info.
2. Completely FLUSH your boiler water every four years - read why and how here in this article "When a Complete Flush is Urgently Needed"
3. Use ONLY Liquid Armor water treatment, and submit a water sample to our lab for free water testing and analysis. Click here for info on why and how in this short article"This Year 100s of Outdoor Boilers Will Die from Stubbornness".
Also, all the water treatment info you will ever need is available from a link in the top right corner of our home page at OutdoorBoiler.com, here.
4. Confirm your chimney extension (if you have one) is properly insulated - a good extension will EXTEND the life of your outdoor wood burner and we all love having them on our boilers, but the wrong type of chimney will kill your boiler in 6 months. Read why here in 30 seconds.
(Button) Download the Full Copy
Unlock The Power of your Outdoor Boiler
Here are the 5 easy steps to help you “Unlock the Power of Your Outdoor Furnace”:
Step 1 – Be Informed
Don’t Just Be The Smartest Guy in the Room - How to Know It All in Just 90 Seconds per Week!
Most of us get comfortable. Things work, and we believe they are okay because they function fine. But imagine driving a car without oil...it might seem ok for a while, but deep inside, the engine is getting destroyed. That is why we like having a little sticker in the inside upper corner of our windshield that reminds us when to change the oil!
STEP 2 – Take Control
Have Total Control Over Everything In Your Life
If you are the type of person who likes to have total control over everything in your life, listen up...We can help you have a wonderful standard of living! If you like to create value, build wealth, and just have a great standard of living, UNLOCK the Power of Your Outdoor Boiler!
By following these guidelines, you will simplify the outdoor boiler ownership experience during each phase:
- 1. Water Treatment Procedure
- 2. Fall Start-Up
- 3. Winter Easy Operations and Maintenance
- 4. Spring Shutdown Checklist
DID YOU KNOW...that if you use the wrong chimney extension, it will kill your boiler in as little as 18 months? This is true!
DID YOU KNOW that if you don’t use the proper water treatment, your boiler steel will become paper-thin and useless? This is also true!
DID YOU KNOW that thick layers of ash absorb moisture and this makes the ash like a caustic paste that will eat holes in your steel? Sadly, this is also true!
STEP 3 - Don’t Miss Any Critical Steps... Use Our Checklists!
Follow our checklists for every important stage of installation, operations, and maintenance. We will send these to you periodically throughout the year, normally during the time of the year when they are required.
STEP 4 - DON’T BE THAT GUY
Biggest Mistakes With Your Outdoor Boiler?
This is Pablo. Pablo thinks he knows everything, and he struggles when people give him advice. Pablo actually made the biggest mistakes at ALL 3 of the important phases of outdoor boiler ownership: Installation, Maintenance, and Operations.
We recently published the first two - we’ll recap those below. But first, here are the
“3 Biggest Mistakes When Operating an Outdoor Boiler”
1. Never Overheat Your Boiler
2. Don’t Give Your Boiler a 6-Month Moisture Bath - Follow the Dry Burn Procedure
3. Freeze Damage Will DESTROY Your Boiler Fast - Be Prepared
Overheated? If your boiler has overheated, you must understand why because you could have a serious problem. Read our article on this topic found HERE. Then take the recommended steps to prevent long-term damage to your boiler.The fix might be as simple as a fan seal, but it also may mean that your pump is failing and needs to be replaced. So this is an urgent issue.
6-Month Moisture Bath If you don’t follow the recommended “Dry Burn Procedure”, you are giving your boiler steel a moisture bath that will destroy the steel. Follow this Dry Burn Procedure described HERE. This is not only for people who use their boilers year-round, but for EVERY owner of an outdoor boiler.
How Fast Will Freeze Damage Destroy Your Boiler?
We all worry about this, but are we truly prepared for a catastrophic event? Your boiler was designed to outlast all its electronic components (several times) so you should have one of each of these 4 electronics that will fail at some point: Fan, pump, solenoid, and high limit safety switch.
We recently published the Biggest Mistakes that can be made during the Installation and Maintenance phases - we’ll recap those here:
3 Biggest Installation Mistakes:
- 1. No Filter
- 2. Using an UNinsulated Chimney Extension
- 3. Installing low-quality underground Insulated PEX
3 Biggest Maintenance Mistakes:
- 1. NEVER allow ash layers to get deep - Always remove all ash WEEKLY
- 2. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR STEEL TO CORRODE! Fill your boiler completely full of properly treated water, and send a water sample to be tested by the Outdoor Boiler Lab.
- 3. Sediment is the “Secret Killer” of Outdoor Boilers...GET IT OUT of your boiler by Performing a sediment flush.
Avoid these mistakes! Follow our recommendations and we will enable you to Keep Your Family Toasty Warm and Comfortable for Decades!
Step 5 – BE PREPARED FOR ANY EMERGENCY
Let me tell you about Steve. Steve is amazing and we really admire him. Steve is the kind of guy who can tell you how many miles he has driven on his pickup since his last oil change. He is incredibly organized. However, Steve realizes he doesn’t need to be super organized to properly care for his outdoor boiler, and that is why he loves it - his outdoor boiler doesn’t add stress to his life, but he does a few simple things to keep it running great.
Steve reports to us that he loves our newsletters, and loves the jokes and funny videos. He follows our recommendations and he is saving a ton of money.
Steve used to burn propane to heat his home and pole barn, and he hated it when the propane truck would arrive monthly, because it meant he had another $740 bill to pay. His annual propane cost used to be over $3500 every year. Now, he uses less than $250 for the entire year! He paid for his outdoor boiler in about 3 years.
Steve loves to hunt and fish, and he prides himself on his trophy Northern Pike he caught on a fishing trip at a fly-in lodge he went to in Canada - he paid for this trip with money he saved by owning his outdoor boiler! That trophy pike measures 44” but no worries, it was catch and release so his taxidermist made the trophy from the photos and measurements Steve took before he released the beast. That whale is still out there ready for his next victim! Steve had a pump fail this year, but Steve was prepared with his Emergency Prep Kit and was able to quickly swap out the pump.
His failed pump was less than three years old so the replacement was covered 100% under our warranty. He just sent it back for a full refund. The best news is that Steve was prepared. Then there is Eddie. Eddie made the investment to get his boiler installed five years ago. He thought things were great. It saved him tons of money each year, and it was easy to operate. The boiler gave him no trouble, at least not for the first four years.
Then his pump failed. That didn’t make sense. So we studied the situation, and found the following problems:
- 1. Eddie never installed a Filter Kit.
- 2. So SEDIMENT, the secret killer of outdoor boilers, built up in his heat exchanger, and the heat exchanger had to be replaced (no warranty).
- 3. The pump failed also because of the sediment and had to be replaced (no warranty).
- 4. He never did the periodic flush so sediment built up in his boiler water jacket.
- 5. And since he also never used Liquid Armor water treatment, the steel of his boiler was severely damaged. (This is like buying a new set of tires, and burning rubber all over the road - you shorten the life expectancy enormously, by almost 80 percent.)
- 6. Worse yet, Eddie’s pump failed during one of the coldest weekends of the year. We shipped him a new pump on Monday when we received the recorded messages of his frantic weekend calls. The pump arrived two days later, but by then, his underground pipe was frozen solid and cost him almost $1600 to replace.
Eddie’s total repair cost? $2,329
We never say this in an unkind way, but we warned Eddie many times that we were worried about him. We were worried that he did not have a filter kit, and that he was not using water treatment. We recommended that he have the Emergency Prep Kit - but he refused.
Don’t let this happen to you! We are offering a special promo this week only - get the Emergency Prep Kit now, and you will receive a 50% discount on your blower fan! This is a rare opportunity - we have never offered such a discount before. And with SINGLE DIGIT TEMPS not too far away, this is a great time to be prepared.
Don’t blow it like Eddie did. He had no choice but to pay the money to get the repairs done. He could not live without his outdoor boiler - it saves him too much money. But OUCH, he did not want to have to spend so much to replace practically new parts, especially when all this could have been avoided.
Be prepared. Save money with your outdoor boiler for 40+ years!
The Ultimate Summer Shutdown Checklist
Although we are already into the warm summer weather, if you have not completed any of the steps of this Ultimate Summer Shutdown Checklist, please do so. We recommend reading over this checklist one last time just to make sure you have everything taken care of.
1.) First, watch this video for a quick refresher of the "Summer Shutdown" process.
2.) Be sure to follow all safety warnings! (Don't you just hate it when you open an owner's manual for instructions and have to read five pages of safety warnings before you actually get to the REAL INSTRUCTIONS?!
We hate that too! But we honestly don't want anyone to get hurt. Lawsuits? Well, our customers are very smart when it comes to safety. Just keep in mind to stay cautious!
3.) Put in TWO Creosote Remover Sticks in the firebox THREE DAYS before shutting down your furnace. Creosote Remover Sticks are SUPER EASY because they require no measuring and will simply dry up harmful creosote in your outdoor furnace. Click HERE for more information and to order online.
4.) Allow the fire to completely burn down. You may wish to preserve your dry coals for Fall Startup. The reason many people do this is that if you start your furnace in the fall with a load of dry coals (instead of firewood), you will have far less condensation/moisture/creosote in your furnace. Remember that even well-seasoned wood contains at least 20% moisture and that will always complicate starting up a cold furnace, especially a GX model.
To save your dry coals, load your furnace with a large load of wood, and allow it to burn the moisture out of the wood - this will require several hours depending upon how fast you are using the heat. Then simply shut off the fan switch and smother the fire for a few days to completely stop all burning. Then remove those coals and place them on dry ground, or in a metal container until the final steps below are completed.
5.) Remove all the ashes and lightly scrape the firebox. Be sure that all ashes are removed. Dry ashes are harmless, but if left in your outdoor wood stove over the summer, these dry ashes will absorb moisture and create an acidic paste that will eat through your steel firebox.
6.) Clean the water filter. If you do not have a water filter, click HERE to read the article "Why Should I Have A Filter For My Outdoor Wood Boiler?"
7.) Is your boiler due for its periodic COMPLETE WATER FLUSH? If you have not FLUSHED your boiler water in the last four years, you must do this now. Other circumstances also require a complete flush, such as using unauthorized treatment chemicals in your boiler - click on this link HERE to read "When Should I FLUSH My Outdoor Boiler?". We highly recommend following this procedure to ensure the longest life expectancy of your boiler.
8.) Add the required amount of Liquid Armor water treatment. You have made a big investment in your outdoor boiler, and if you don't properly treat your furnace water, it is similar to driving a car without oil. It will only be a matter of time before your furnace will be destroyed from corrosion. Click HERE for more information on water treatment.
9.) Send a water sample to OutdoorBoiler.com Lab for your FREE water test so you can have confidence knowing that your investment is protected! Instructions for submitting a water sample to the OutdoorBoiler.com Lab are found HERE.
10.) Make sure to REMOVE the chimney cap and clean out the chimney! This is very important and often overlooked - remove the chimney cap, clean the inside of the chimney with a wire brush, then vacuum out the entire area with a shop vac.
Some customers complain that the chimney is difficult to remove. This is to be expected if you fail to complete this important step every year. You must get the chimney cap off, even if it gets destroyed in the process. Click HERE to read "Why Would I Need To Replace My Chimney Cap?" and access the coupon for a new replacement.
Also, clean the deflector plate using the D-Plate Brush. Push the wooden handle down the chimney from above and push it towards the front until it stops.
Then open the front door, reach up and grab the handle and pull the D-Plate brush through. Do this several times. Click HERE for more info on the D-Plate Brush.
Afterward, from the front of the furnace, pull the pull rod to its stop, then turn it clockwise until you can pull it past the stop. Pull it towards you all the way until it scrapes off the entire deflector plate. For more info on Pull Rod Best Practices, click HERE.
11.) Door Seal - Has your door seal been replaced in the last 2-4 years? If not, replace the door seal as needed. Click HERE to read our article "Problems Caused By A Leaky Door Seal."
12.) Turn the power off at the breaker/power source - Or to protect and prolong the life of your pump, leave the power on and allow the pump to circulate. Your choice. If you do this, turn off the blower fan and unscrew the light bulb. Click HERE to read our article "Should I Keep My Pump ON All Summer?"
13.) Check the Owner's Manual for full details. Click HERE to view your Owner's Manual.
Thoroughly cleaning your outdoor wood furnace will ensure added years of reliable service and comfortable heating. Some furnace owners like to oil their firebox as added protection for the summer months.
If you don't plan to shut down your furnace through the summer as a way of heating a pool or your hot water, it is still necessary to perform this annual maintenance.
Note that if you operate your furnace during the summer months for any reason, please be sure to follow the instructions found in the newsletter entitled "Why You Should NEVER “Top OFF” Your Outdoor Wood Furnace" found at this link HERE:
TIP: I like to fill the cleaned firebox with dry coals and a small amount of seasoned wood in preparation for the upcoming heating season. I stack my coals, kindling, tinder, and wood in place, shut the door, and start a 1-match fire in the fall.
Outdoor Boiler Fall Start-Up Checklist
Tools you will need:
- - Stepladder
- - Cleaning Brushes (only if the chimney wasn't cleaned in Spring)
Supplies you will need:
- - Liquid Armor Water Treatment
- - Door seal fire rope/caulk (if due for replacement every 2-4 years)
- - Water sample kit (included with every gallon of water treatment)
- - Firewood/match
Fall Startup Procedure:
- 1.) Observe all safety precautions
- 2.) Ensure that the installation has been completed properly.
- 3.) Ensure that all fittings are properly tightened.
- 4.) If the boiler was not properly cleaned in the Spring, do so now (and please remember to do this in the SPRING next year!). Remove all ash and creosote. Brush out the chimney and deflector plate. Brush out heat exchange tubes (GX Afterburner models only)
- 5.) Make sure the boiler is completely full of water. Verify this with your water level indicator, and by filling the boiler until water flows out of the vent tube on the roof.
- 6.) Treat the boiler water with Liquid Armor water treatment. Follow directions on the Liquid Armor bottle. For previously treated water, add 1/2 gallon of Liquid Armor before sending the water sample to the lab.
- 7.) To VERIFY that your investment is protected, send a water sample to our lab for a FREE water analysis EVERY 12 MONTHS!.
- 8.) Open all valves. Allow 5 minutes for the water to fill the pump and system.
- 9.) Turn on the power and make sure the pump is running. Never operate a boiler without the pump circulating water 24/7.
- 10.) Make sure the fan switch is operational. Turn the fan switch to the ON position.
- 11.) Your outdoor boiler water temperature is controlled to the pre-set factory standards. Adjustment is not normally needed. The temperature controller will automatically control the blower to maintain the water temperature between the preset range. We recommend the range of 160F to 180F for traditional boilers and 172F to 182F for GX Afterburner models
- 12.) Build a small fire in the primary firebox changer, and allow the temperature to slowly rise. If possible, use only charcoal from previously burned wood, otherwise, you should expect to see considerable moisture condensation inside the boiler. This is the moisture from your wood that is condensing on the boiler walls and tubes while the water jacket water is below 140F. Do not worry, this condensation is normal - your boiler is not leaking.
- 13.) When the boiler reaches 170F, the boiler is ready to be filled to capacity for normal operation.
Easy Operations & Maintenance & Maintenance
Normal Operations – Best Practices:
4 Biggest Operational Equipment Mistakes that are COMMON:
- - You should NEVER operate your boiler without a filter. Sediment is the secret killer of outdoor boilers and will kill your pumps, heat exchangers, and destroy your boiler steel.
- - If you use a chimney extension, ONLY use an approved insulated extension. An uninsulated extension will destroy most boilers in 18 months. Call us so we can give a detailed explanation.
- - Always use a chimney cap. This will keep the rain out, knock down sparks, and prevent wind from sucking all your heat out.
How To ELIMINATE Creosote!
Creosote is that nasty black tar that builds up in your boiler and is very hard to clean out. Creosote wastes wood, is harmful to your steel surfaces, and can reduce airflow which will completely shut down your boiler!
Here are the Top 4 Ways to Eliminate Creosote:
- 1. Toss a Creosote Remover Stick into your boiler fire once per week
- 2. Follow the Dry Burn Procedure
- 3. Never operate your boiler at water jacket temps below 140 F
- 4. Use properly seasoned wood
Conclusion – Stay Toasty Warm and Comfortable with Your Outdoor Boiler
We make owning an outdoor boiler simple. Just follow our 3-Step Process and your outdoor boiler can last 40 years or more! Plus, you can add up to $250,000 to your retirement with all the savings you can achieve from an outdoor boiler.
Here are the 3 Simple Steps:
- 1. Get your FREE “Definitive Outdoor Boiler Guide” (click HERE)
- 2. Sign up for our Money-Saving Tips and Maintenance Reminders
- 3. Protect your investment with Liquid Armor water treatment, and send a water sample every 12 months to our lab for FREE water analysis
Follow these simple steps and you will be the hero to your family! You will Stay Toasty Warm and Comfortable for Decades!