If you've been thinking about ways to lower your energy bill, or just want to do your part to help save the environment, perhaps you've thought of buying an outdoor wood furnace. You may also know these products under the term "wood boiler" or "water stove." This simple guide can help you make the right choice for you and your family. An outdoor wood furnace is an investment, but one that consistently pays for itself over the long term.
Outdoor wood furnaces are essentially external fireplaces that are connected to an internal heating system. Lodged in specially built sheds, these fireplaces are surrounded by a shield of water that is heated to boiling point by the intense fires. The heated water then runs through pipes in your home, heating it with great efficiency. A dampener or fan in the wood stove communicates with your household thermostat and helps regulate the temperature of your house. This is the type of system that can offer you radiant heated floors.
Central Boiler's E Classic 2400 is an award-winning wood stove. It is extremely eco-friendly, and the company boasts, "There is no cleaner outdoor furnace with this amount of heat output." This monster of a wood stove is capable of heating several buildings, so if you're looking for something for a private residence, this may not be exactly what you want. If, on the other hand, you were trying to heat a large house and several outbuildings, this would be a great deal. The E Classic 2400 runs at about 11,000 USD, but there is always the option of financing your purchase.
Within the midrange of their products, the Wood Master 4400 is capable of heating a larger home or a home and garage combination. It even comes in a selection of colors. The website has a downloadable brochure with further information. Although they do not list a price, they do have a handy calculator to find your potential savings, and they also offer financing solutions.
This model may not be a looker, but the Eco-One Wood Boiler is good at what it does. Its special feature is a second fan that forces air downwards and reduces emissions. This one model comes in three sizes, allowing a variety of square footage to be heated, from 2,000 to 8,000. The smallest holds 48 gallons of water while the largest holds 76. Any size can be ordered as sheltered or unsheltered. A sheltered unit comes in a protective shed.
Heatmor offers a simple but comprehensive side-by-side comparison of its three home models of wood furnaces. The smallest heats 3,000 square feet and contains 85 gallons of water, while the largest heats 10,000 and holds 155. By adding the Shaker Grate, these furnaces can become qualified to burn coal as well as wood.
Hawken also offers a side-by-side comparison of its two outdoor wood furnaces. The smaller furnace heats 4,000 square feet and holds 150 gallons. The larger heats 10,000 square feet and holds 368 gallons. Hawken Energy is also devoted to the eco-friendly side of wood burning, and offers a page of facts about the benefits of using wood over coal or other nonrenewable resource.