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.
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