What is an outdoor wood boiler?

February 15, 2023

Outdoor wood boilers, also known as outdoor wood-fired hydronic heaters, are systems that burn wood to heat water, which is then circulated through pipes to provide heat for homes, buildings, and other structures. They are an efficient and sustainable source of heat for those who live in rural areas or have access to an abundant supply of wood. In this article, we will explore the basics of outdoor wood boilers, including how they work, their benefits, and the factors to consider when choosing one.

How do outdoor wood boilers work?

Outdoor wood boilers consist of three main components: a firebox where the fuel is burned, a water jacket that surrounds the firebox to heat the water, and heat circulation equipment that transfers heat from the water to the home or building's heating system. When the firebox is filled with wood and ignited, it creates heat that is absorbed by the water in the water jacket. This heated water is then circulated through pipes to the home or building's heating system, where it warms the air and provides heat.

Benefits of outdoor wood boilers

  1. Renewable energy source: Outdoor wood boilers use wood as a fuel source, which is renewable and sustainable. This makes them a more environmentally-friendly option than oil, propane, or electric heating systems.
  2. Efficient heating: Outdoor wood boilers can be highly efficient, with some models boasting efficiencies of over 90%. This means that they use less fuel to produce the same amount of heat as traditional heating systems.
  3. Cost-effective: For those who have access to an abundant supply of wood, outdoor wood boilers can be a cost-effective heating option. The cost of fuel is typically lower than oil, propane, or electricity, and the systems themselves are relatively low-maintenance, which can help reduce operating costs.
  4. Increased comfort: Outdoor wood boilers can provide consistent, even heat throughout a home or building, which can help increase comfort levels and reduce the need for additional heating sources.
  5. Safe operation: When installed and operated properly, outdoor wood boilers are safe and pose no greater risk than any other heating system. They should be installed a safe distance from buildings and have adequate ventilation and chimney systems to prevent the buildup of harmful gases.

Factors to consider when choosing an outdoor wood boiler

  1. Fuel efficiency: Look for a model with a high fuel efficiency rating, as this will help reduce fuel costs and emissions.
  2. Capacity: Consider the size of your home or building and choose a model with the appropriate capacity to meet your heating needs.
  3. Durability: Choose a model made from high-quality materials and with a strong, well-constructed firebox to ensure durability and long-lasting performance.
  4. Cost: Consider the initial cost of the system and the ongoing fuel and maintenance costs when choosing an outdoor wood boiler.
  5. Ease of use and maintenance: Look for a model that is easy to use and maintain, with clear instructions and readily available replacement parts.
  6. Safety features: Look for a model with safety features such as automatic shut-off switches, over-temperature protection, and fireproof construction.

Outdoor wood boilers are a sustainable and cost-effective source of heat for those who live in rural areas or have access to an abundant supply of wood. When choosing an outdoor wood boiler, consider factors such as fuel efficiency, capacity, durability, cost, ease of use and maintenance, and safety features. With proper installation and operation, outdoor wood boilers can provide a safe, efficient, and comfortable source of heat for