Outdoor wood furnaces are increasingly becoming popular in homes. Homeowners are quickly embracing them. With an outdoor wood stove, you have a solution that’s efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly. 

So, if you are planning to bring an outdoor wood furnace into your home, here is all you need to know. From common features, parts, to how to choose the best unit for your home—this article is going to help you understand your next wood boiler. Plus, it is going to delve into the outdoor wood furnace accessories and care.

The Environment and Outdoor Wood Furnaces

With an outdoor wood furnace, you have a solution that is cost-effective. Remember, the cost of fuel and electricity is skyrocketing. Plus, fossil fuel impacts negatively on the environment.

The Greenhouse Effect

According to research, burning fossil fuels leads to the Greenhouse effect as well as Global Warming. Plus, the costs of oil, Propane, as well as electricity has skyrocketed. This has prompted people to look for other options. And that’s where burning dying timber comes in. With an outdoor wood furnace, you are sure of a source of energy that’s not only cost-effective nut also environmentally-friendly.

The Working Principle

The fire pit—which is usually surrounded by a working water jacket—is the first part of an outdoor wood furnace.  The water is heated to about 185 degrees and then supplied to your home via an insulated underground pipe. The heated water is then pimped to the water heater exchanger—where it is cycled. It is then dispatched to the furnace’s heat exchanger.

The Ultimate Wood Furnace Buying Guide

Don’t purchase any outdoor wood furnace. Go for one with the best feature. Remember, this is a long-term investment. Thus, you need to carry out due diligence before purchasing and installing one in your home. With that in mind, here are top things to consider before purchasing an outdoor wood-burning stove in your home.

Chimney Length

Pipe length plays a key role when it comes to the choice of your furnace. This is especially important when your furnace has a manual damper. In this case (i.e. a furnace with a manual damper), you will need to equip your furnace with long pipes. You will need a long chimney—it will help supply the fire with air. On the other hand, a forced-air furnace doesn’t require an extra chimney length. It will be a liability since it may cause creosote.

Chimney Location

Location is another important consideration as far as purchasing an outdoor wood burning furnace is concerned. For instance, if your furnace contains an outside chimney, it’s likely to produce more creosote. This is because unburned gases will cool off as they exit into the chimney. They will then condense—leading to the formation of creosote. It’s also important to note that outside chimneys tend to run much cooler. Thus, they may have a massive buildup of creosote.

Chimney Caps

In most cases, manufacturers won’t supply you with chimney caps—yet they are important. That’s why you will need to separately purchase one. With chimney caps, you have tools that will keep the rain off during the offseason. Without chimney caps, the firebox might end up rusting. They prevent wayward sparks. Ensure that you get a cloverleaf design that can prevent downdraft. Remember, leaving the downdraft may slow the fires down and consequently cause creosote.

Furnace Door Insulation

Ensure that the furnace you purchase comes with a door that is adequately insulated. The insulation must be above 4”. It’s also important to note that some furnaces may be equipped with an inner water-jacketed door—featuring a thin outer door. On the other hand, some doors may come with insulation of 2”. Avoid these furnaces—they will lead to heat losses. The best thing is to look for a furnace with an insulation level of 6”—it will give you the best results.

Anti-Blowback Catch in Doors

Purchase a furnace with a door featuring an ant-blowback catch. It will help prevent flash burns. Thus, don’t purchase a furnace that lacks this feature. It’s a safety feature that will prevent flash fires.

Door Gasket Type

Go for a furnace featuring doors made from cast/mild steel. The doors must also possess a recessed lip on its outer edge. It’s important to note that the recess (the inside of it) contains a door gasket covered by silicon seal.  Also, this resilient seal houses a good memory. Thus, whenever the door closes, an airtight seal is formed. Door gaskets that don’t come with a seal will easily break. This is because it will be lead to the formation of creosote. Remember, leaking doors may cause creosote as well as runway fires.

Door Construction

Normally, furnace doors should be adjusted from 4 directions. They include:


This is important for it compensates for warpages. But you must have a silicon seal. Otherwise, you will be doing nothing. Your furnace will have air leaks. It’s also important to note that water-jacketed doors tend to be more prone to things like corrosion and horse leaks. Also, incorporating double doors will only be important if they are adequately insulated. So, ensure that your doors are well-insulated and are lockable. Also, the doors should have an anti-blowback safety—it will prevent flash fires from occurring.

Door Size

Door size plays a key role when it comes to the furnace you purchase for your home. It’s therefore important to buy a furnace with a large door size—it will make things easy as far as feeding the wood is concerned. Ideally, a furnace door must be between 20 and 30”. Also, your door’s bottom should be high enough to allow the filling of firewood. Remember, it’s not easy to lift logs into the stove. So, get a furnace with the best door size.

Doors: Insulated vs. Cast vs. Water-Jacketed Doors

Doors are important for two main reasons:

To guarantee airtightness
To increase the heating surface

Get the best doors. Poorly designed doors may cost you. They will warp—allowing excessive penetration of air. Any outdoor furnace must be designed in such a way that it’s airtight. This will prevent things like overheating or over boiling. The water contact surface is used to determine the furnace’s BTU. Of course, water-cooled doors can be more expensive. However, they are efficient. The only thing with these doors is that they are prone to corrosion-related issues. Also, they may experience broken hoses.

The recommended insulation of water-jacketed doors is 6”. You can also go for furnaces with cast iron doors. However, they are more expensive.

 Legs or Skirting

Both LEGS and SKIRTING don’t impact on the performance of your furnace. However, models that come with legs are associated with the following benefits:

Lifting—Furnaces with legs are easy to lift from the ground during the leading process. This makes it easy to load wood into the furnace.

Installation—Furnaces with legs are easy to install. Plus, you don’t need a base concrete to install it. This reduces installation costs. Also, it saves time that could have been used to install the model.

Corrosion—another big plus of the furnace with legs is that they are not prone to corrosion. Remember, furnaces with skirting are manufactured using mild steel that’s prone to corrosion—considering the fact that they are made to sit on the ground.

Rust Control

Like any mechanical component, your furnace will be prone to rust. Rusting will increase the wear and tear of your unit. That’s why you should learn how to control rust. From prevention to cleaning your furnace—learning the best practices when it comes to rust control will play an important role when it comes to the efficiency of your furnace. Prevention doesn’t have to be costly. All you need is a well-designed steel ore even a stainless steel furnace. So, when purchasing your furnace, ensure it has rust prevention features.

Here is how to prevent rusting:

Anode rods—you can use anode rods to prevent rust. The only issue with anode rods is that they are only effective in the rod’s immediate vicinity.

Water jackets—ensure that you choose a furnace that is designed with a water jacket. It will increase the unit’s life expectancy rate.

High Heat Model—Purchase a furnace with a relatively high heat model. It will reduce corrosion. Remember, the number one cause of corrosion is ash. Thus, getting a high heat furnace model will reduce the amount of ashes produced, which will minimize corrosion.

Tips for Purchasing a Wood Furnace

Getting a quality furnace isn’t that easy—considering that there are lots of manufacturers out there. Plus, if you are new in this industry, things can be confusing. However, you don’t need to worry. Use the following criteria to choose the best wood-burning furnace from the market today.

Brand—Purchase from a reputable brand. Go for brands that have been on the market long enough. Remember, wood furnaces are expensive. And it’s your money you are going to invest in. So, purchase your unit from the best brand. Do your research online. Ask friends for referrals. Read online reviews. This will get you the most effective wood-burning furnace.

Cost—Cost is another important aspect you should consider when purchasing your furnace. Of course, you can go for low-cost solutions. However, don’t compromise on quality. Get a unit that is fairly-priced but with all the features you are looking for. The unit must be designed using the latest technology. Also, ensure that the insulation of that unit is good. Look at the efficiency of your unit.

Warranty—Go for a brand that offers an unlimited warranty. Read through the warranty document carefully. If there are things you don’t understand, be sure to ask your supplier. With warranty, you are guaranteed of a quality unit. Plus, you will be compensated if the unit faults.

Testimonials—Ask for testimonials from the company you intend to purchase your furnace from. Contact past clients. Try to ascertain the quality of that model.

Online forums—you can also go to community forums. Post your queries there. With online forums, you will get suggestions as far as the best wood burning furnace model is concerned.

Features—what features are you looking for in a wood furnace? Does that model come with these features? These are some of the questions you should ask before purchasing your furnace model. Features like a thermostat and door insulation are necessary. So, go for a model with these features.

Safety—the furnace you choose should possess the necessary safety features. For instance, it should be free from things like flash fires, etc. Thus, ask the supplier about these features. You can also read online reviews to ascertain if the furnace is equipped with the necessary safety features.

Other Factors

Before purchasing your wood burning furnace, consider the following additional factors

Stainless steel longevity—Go for a furnace that is made of stainless steel. Remember, stainless steel doesn’t rust that easily. Thus, it’s likely to serve you for several years

Ant-freezing—get an antifreeze agent to inhibit rusting. It will help prolong the life of your furnace

Freeze prevention—Purchase a furnace with freeze prevention features

Weight of steel, wood consumption, and insulation types

Water jacket location and size of water storage

Heating capacity and depth of firebox

The Bottom-Line

A wood furnace is a great way to heat any home. With a wood furnace, you have an environmentally-friendly source of energy to heat your home. Plus, with the escalating prices of fuels and electricity, it becomes increasingly necessary to look for an alternative source of energy. And that’s where wood burning furnace comes in.  It’s important to note that the cost of wood is relatively cheaper than electricity. Plus, wood is readily available. So, if you are planning to purchase a wood burning furnace for your home, start with the basics.  Know the different types of furnace, how to purchase the best one on the market, and things to consider before investing your money. The above article contains all these pieces of information.  Get the best furnace and heat your home in style.