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How Does an Outdoor Furnace Work?

Posted 08/20/12 by admin and filed under:

Your outdoor wood furnace works like any other furnace, indoor or outdoor. It has a heat source provided by fuel or a power source and heats water to carry heat. This basic setup is the same even for nuclear reactors and coal plants. Wood burning outdoor furnaces simply take the process outdoors and scale it down for private consumption. Wood burning outdoor furnaces are now experiencing new popularity, as people realize that burning wood as fuel is relatively cheaper than using normal power grid electricity or the municipal or county gas.

Wood As The Fuel

The wood burning furnace works on the same principles as wood burning stoves used to heat homes in the 1800s and early 1900s. However modern innovations make the process more efficient so more energy gets produced when the wood fuel burns. One innovation is the use of blowers in the furnace. The dry air blowers increase the size of the flame and decrease the humidity. This allows the fire to burn the wood fuel more efficiently. Despite these advances wood still produces smoke when burned and is obviously a fire hazard. To reduce the danger to your home, the recommended distance for your outdoor wood furnace is 50 to 500 feet away from your house. For optimal use the wood box or cabinet that stores the firewood is placed next to the furnace. That way homeowners may replenish the furnace with new fuel when needed.

How Heating Works When Using An Outdoor Wood Furnace

The outdoor wood furnace is easy to adapt to the indoor heating systems in most homes. How you implement the extra heating in your home will depend on your needs. Some homeowners will still use the electric heater or indoor gas furnace to heat their home. In this case the outdoor wood furnace would act as a supplemental heat source just like solar power in colder months to cut down costs. In other homes it can act on its own as a water heater, to heat air in convention air heating systems, or directly heat the indoors using older water pipe systems. In all these cases the key is the hot water. Piping connected to the furnace carries water to get heated by coils in the furnace. When at the suitable temperature the heated water gets pumped to the house where it is utilized according to the resident’s needs and preferences.


To those who are unfamiliar with it, an outdoor wood burning furnace may sound old-fashioned, but it is an overlooked renewable energy source. Trees are easy to raise and replace when cultivated properly. Also burning wood releases fewer green house gases than fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline. The biggest benefit lies in the cost. Due to its wide availability and relatively low demand, firewood is reasonably priced. So a homeowner can stock up over the warmer months and have enough fuel to warm a home all winter. While doing this they save money they normally spend using conventional heating systems.

This article was written by Kyle Brent, President of Outdoor Furnace Supply.  The company specializes in outdoor heating components.  Please visit their website for more information.

 © 2012,  The information on this page may not be reproduced or republished on another webpage or website without the author’s permission.


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