Arguably, the most popular indoor home furnace is a wood furnace. Besides being a very utilitarian furnace, there is something attractive and comforting in the flames. Many types of wood naturally emit a wonderful scent as well. Certain woods are treated so as to create spectacular burning colors and scents when they burn.
One major choice you will make is whether to use a catalytic combustor or a noncatalytic combustor for your wood stove. Catalytic combustors regulate the burning temperature to about half that of the noncatalytic versions in order to burn the wood slowly and efficiently. Comparatively, it creates less dirt and soot than its counterpart does. The best catalytic combustors are made of cast iron or plate steel at least 1/4” thick.
Either an indoor furnace or an outdoor wood furnace can heat your home. Having your furnace outdoors allows you to potentially have a larger unit to better heat your home without taking up valuable indoor floor space. While an indoor heater generally heats through radiance, an outdoor heater will often contain a boiler, which allows the home to be warmed with a circulating radiator system.
Traditionally, an indoor wood furnace uses firewood, scrap wood, or sawdust. There are many handy sources for each of these materials. A variation of the wood furnace, a wood pellet-stove, uses compressed wood or biomass pellets as fuel. These furnaces can be setup for constant feed, allowing continual use with a minimum of supervision or refueling. It is easy to control these units with a thermostat. They also have the benefit of burning without creating creosote.
Many homeowners find themselves with a variety of materials for fuel, including wood, wood pellets, coal, and peat. In order to have a single unit that can deal with all of these fuels, a multi-fuel furnace is an excellent solution. The design looks very similar to that of a traditional wood-burning stove. Many families find that a multi-fuel stove also gives them the flexibility to help save on heating costs for their home.
Wood Furnaces Cost Effective Heating Alternative
Coal fired and wood furnaces are used in many areas of the world to provide heat to homes. They are popular in the UK, Canada, and in the United States in areas where the temperature can go below freezing for several months of the year. A wood stove or wood furnace can be used to heat shops, patios, homes, and even pool areas. They are often a very cost-effective method of heating an area safely and simply.
Types of Wood Furnaces
There are a number of different types of wood furnaces that can be utilized to effectively heat an area. They can use either a hot water system or a forced air system for distributing the heat. Where you have the furnace installed will depend on whether the furnace is an indoor or outdoor wood furnace. The furnace price will depend on the model as well as the manufacturer. There are a number of different manufacturers to choose from: Daka, Clayton, Fire Chief, Jensen, Yukon-Eagle and others.
Central Wood/Indoor Wood Furnace
The indoor wood furnace is designed to be installed indoors, whether it is in the basement, garage, or living room. It provides a specialized form of heating that is very centralized. When other sources of fuel such as oil and gas are going up in price due to the economy, the wood used in wood furnaces is often less expensive and is a renewable energy source. In general, the furnace price for an indoor wood furnace is quite reasonable, and the wood can usually be purchased or harvested for a low cost. In fact, many families find that they save hundreds of dollars on their yearly heating bills. Indoor furnaces can be a good choice for conserving heat energy, with some models converting up to 90% of the wood fuel into heat. This type of furnace can be an excellent green alternative to other furnaces. The heat is often spread through the house by a series of ducts and vents, and the smoke fumes are vented out of doors.
Outdoor Boiler Central Wood Furnace
When you want to keep the mess of the wood outside or if you have limited indoor space for a furnace, the Outdoor wood furnace is an excellent option. Many of these furnaces utilize wood, but there are additional options, such as wood pellets. Those that are designed with a hot water system use a system where the wooden logs or pellets are combusted and the heat energy is transferred to water. The hot water is sent through the house by a system of pipes that are designed to heat the home's interior. This type of system would include a water pump and water tank. The forced-air outdoor wood furnace does not require a water tank because it heats the air and sends the warm air into the home through a series of ducts. The wood can be stored outside next to the furnace so that it is very accessible. Most of the time, an outdoor wood furnace is located in the yard between 50 and 150 feet away from the exterior of the house.
A multi-fuel furnace can be stored either outside or inside the home. It is designed to run on multiple kinds of fuels, which may include wood, gas, coal, and oil. This gives you more flexibility in the fuel that you purchase so that you can go with whatever is less expensive at the moment.
Add-On Wood Furnace
An add-on wood furnace can supplement your current heating system because it can actually be connected to the existing ductwork of your home to provide that extra boost that your other furnace needs on those particularly cold days. If you prefer, it can stand alone as a separate wood furnace to heat a specific are such as a workshop or basement. One of the best things about this type of furnace is its versatility. You can use it in a variety of ways to meet your own particular needs.
Keeping Your Furnace Fueled
As you consider the different kinds of wood furnaces and wood burning stoves, it is important to take into account how often you will need to add fuel to the unit you are considering. A small wood stove will require more frequent fueling than a larger wood furnace. In addition, those styles that utilize a duel-combustion system will burn more efficiently and will require less frequent refueling.
The wood stove is the heating unit of choice for a kitchen because they can be used to cook food and keep it at a warm temperature while at the same time keeping the room warm. These often come in beautiful designs and can be either a free-standing or a wood pallet-stove. The top brands of wood stoves include: Vogelzang, Timber Ridge, Us Stove Company, Napoleon, Fisher, and more.
When purchasing a wood stove it is important to remember that certain precautions need to be taken because wood fires simply require more attention than gas heaters do. In addition, they are generally not regulated by a thermostat but are regulated by the amount of fuel you use and how frequently you add fuel to the stove.
Wood Stove Accessories
If you prefer a wood stove to a wood furnace, you may be interested in the many wood stove accessories that are available on the market. There are a variety of accessories and replacement parts that can be purchased on line or in your local store. You may be interested in our grates or cast iron grates. You may want to upgrade the wood pellet firepot if you have a wood pallet-stove. Whether you have a large or a small wood stove, you can find the accessories you need so that your stove can be the best wood stove for you.
In addition to the traditional wood burning stove, you can purchase a wood pellet-stove that runs on compressed wood pellets. There are different grades of pellets, but the highest grade includes a lower percentage of creosote that is released. This means that the chimney will not have to be inspected and cleaned as often. Pellet stoves often require less maintenance and attention because the compressed energy in the wood pellets can last longer than logs do.
When your wood burning stove or furnace begins to age, you will need to get replacement parts in order to perform proper maintenance. Searching online is a great way to locate companies that sell furnace parts for your particular model. You may even find that there have been innovations in the industry that have been designed to fit your furnace and improve its function. Whether you need a new blower motor or a fan, it is important to search for the parts based on the manufacturer. While some parts may be interchangeable from one manufacturer to another, it is important to verify that before making replacement parts purchases.
Benefits of Wood Furnaces
As a centralized form of heating, wood furnaces are often preferred because they burn quicker and hotter than other heating methods. The furnace is effective at containing the heat energy produced by the fuel and maximizing it to heat the home. In addition, when other heating methods are being pushed to capacity by extreme temperatures, wood furnaces are capable of pushing farther and maintaining a consistent amount of heat. Many customers who use a wood furnace for heating report favorable results in the amount of heat produced and the amount of money saved.
Gas Log Set, is it right for you?
Gas log sets are an alternative to the wood furnace, wood pellet stove, wood boiler, or wood stove. A gas log set will run on Natural Gas (NG) or liquid propane (LP). There are both pros and cons to a gas log set over the alternatives listed above. Gas log sets are low maintenance, produce a good amount of heat, go in an existing fireplace, create a great ambiance for you and the family, and are more eco-friendly than burning wood. The cons or problems with a gas log set is you have to have a gas supply which can be difficult in rural areas, gas logs will not produce nearly as much heat as the wood or coal heating options, the fire doesn't look the same as burning traditional wood, and this form of heating will usually not heat a full home like a wood stove or wood furnace.
Boiling Down To A Final Decision
Many people may not realize how much using their boiler accounts for their energy bill. It can be as high as 60%, so you need to make sure that your boiler is efficient and top of the line to make sure that you aren’t boiling through your funds. While the initial investment in a new boiler can be quite expensive, you may find that you save even more money on your energy bills.
Replacing Your Boiler
It’s a good idea to buy a condensing boiler if you’re in the market for a new one. These models have a bigger heat exchanger, which allows it to recover a greater amount of heat and sends cooler gases up the flue. Whenever the gases in the flue get cool enough, the water vapor condenses, allowing more energy to be recovered and the boiler to operate that much more efficiently.
The Right Stuff
Depending on your source of fuel, you’ll want to either get a gas, oil, coal, bio-mass or wood-fueled boiler. There are also regular boilers and combination boilers. In order to decide between the two, you should decide how much water you’ll use, how much space you have for a boiler and if you’ll have solar water heating.
Once you’ve done your homework, you’ll want to hire an installer. Be sure to check the company’s reputation and how long they’ve been in business in order to find someone who knows what they are doing. There are no shortcuts to deciding on a good boiler. Finding a good one may cost you money today, but will save you much more in the future.