About Outdoor Furnaces
Wood Burning Benefits and Installation Diagrams
In recent years, wood burning outdoor furnaces, also referred to as outdoor boilers or hydronic heaters have become more popular as Americans search for renewable energy sources to heat their homes and businesses. Outdoor furnaces provide a cost-effective, safe and environmentally responsible heating option that decreases the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil.
are freestanding appliances that provide heat and hot water to one or more nearby buildings, swimming pools, and/or hot tubs. They heat water by burning seasoned wood or wood pellets. The hot water is then circulated to and from the home or commercial building through underground, insulated piping. Because they use water to heat homes and buildings, they are classified as hydronic heaters.
Once inside the home or business space, the heated water circulates through heat exchangers, radiant floor tubing or radiators to warm the building. Systems are compatible with existing heating systems including forced air, radiant floor, radiant baseboard or other space heating applications. Users control the indoor temperature with a thermostat.
Outdoor wood furnaces offer significant benefits over other wood-heating appliances.
- Safety: Units are located outside, eliminating the risk of an indoor fire, and indoor smoke and carbon monoxide buildup in the home associated with burning wood indoors.
- Affordability: Outdoor furnace owners save 50% to 100% of their heating costs depending on the cost of wood.
- Convenience: Depending on the size of the appliance, most outdoor wood furnaces need to be loaded only once or twice a day. Outdoor wood pellet furnaces are another option that burn very clean and can sustain heat for days on a single load of wood pellets. Some owners have maintained heat up to two weeks without needing to replenish the appliance with more wood pellets. Also, by moving the furnace outdoors, users remove any ash, odor or soot buildup on walls and ceilings, typically associated with indoor burning.
- Even Heating: Outdoor furnace heat is thermostatically controlled; therefore, it is a more even heat than wood stoves and fireplaces.
Factors that Affect Burn Time
Poorly insulated buildings, cold air infiltration, energy inefficient windows and doors, and colder outdoor temperatures can decrease an outdoor furnace’s burn time per load of wood or wood pellets. Users can conserve energy and increase an appliance’s burn time per load of fuel by well-insulating the buildings being heated, reducing cold air infiltration, and installing energy efficient windows and doors.
How to Install an Outdoor Furnace
Consult the installation diagrams below for details on how outdoor furnaces can be installed in a variety of heating applications.
Forced Air System with Water Heater
Dual Heat Systems