Outdoor Forced Air Wood Furnace vs Boiler

So, you’re faced with the classic dilemma: outdoor forced air wood furnace or trusty wood boiler? It’s a decision akin to choosing between chocolate and vanilla ice cream – they’re both great, but they have their own flavors. In this enlightening exposé, we’ll dissect the glorious differences between these heating behemoths, ensuring you make a choice that not only warms your heart but also your living space. Get ready for a heating showdown that’s hotter than a dragon’s breath!

Forced Air Wood Furnace: Unleash the Windy Fury!

Imagine a heating system that not only burns wood but also serves as your personal wind whisperer. Enter the forced air wood furnace, a contraption that defies conventions by harnessing the power of combustion and wind-like airflow. This marvel – a forced air outdoor wood furnace – employs an electric fan to sweep in outdoor air through a network of vents and ducts, creating a cozy tempest of warmth within your abode.

The heart of this contraption is a metal chamber known as the plenum chamber, and it’s not your average metal box. It’s where the magic happens – warm air escapes through large openings like a phoenix taking flight. As this toasty outdoor air dances with the cool metal surfaces, it graciously imparts its heat. A trusty blower then steps in, like a seasoned DJ, to usher in another wave of refreshing air. It’s a symphony of warmth and efficiency that can rival the coziest of campfires.

Outdoor Wood Boiler: The Hydro-Thermal Enigma!

In the other corner, we have the outdoor wood boiler, a true aquatic artisan of the heating world. This wood-burning genius doesn’t just play with fire; it flirts with water. The boiler’s game is all about heating H2O to perfection. Once the water reaches its desired temperature, it embarks on a journey through a labyrinth of pipes. Along the way, it seductively transfers its heat to radiators or baseboard units, igniting an inferno of coziness.

Picture it: your home basks in the gentle embrace of warm water, while the outdoor wood boiler works its aquatic charm. No, it’s not a steamy romance novel; it’s hydronic heating at its finest. And the best part? It doesn’t require electricity to keep the flame of warmth alive. It’s like the James Bond of heating systems – sleek, efficient, and it doesn’t need gadgets to get the job done.

For those interested in exploring these innovative heating options further, you can visit SoloStove and StokeStove, where you’ll find a range of cutting-edge solutions to keep your space cozy and efficient.

Key Distinctions between Wood Forced-Air Furnace and Wood Boiler

The pivotal contrast between a wood forced-air furnace and a wood boiler lies in their heat distribution mechanisms. The former relies on heated air, whereas the latter utilizes hot water. In an outdoor wood furnace forced air system, the heat emanates from the combustion process and becomes an integral part of the home’s heating process. Conversely, in a boiler-based system, water retains its heat within dedicated vessels, maintaining its temperature at its boiling point. This approach ensures a more uniform and even distribution of heat, covering less fluid compared to the combination of flue gas, boiler/water mixture, and air. Additionally, boilers possess a substantially larger surface area, guaranteeing a consistent supply of heat.

Now, let’s talk turkey, or should we say, toasty timber? The crux of the matter lies in their heat distribution tactics. Forced air goes all-in with heated airflow, while the boiler opts for the subtle art of hot water. In the forced air corner, hot gases are part of the heating spectacle, while the water remains chillin’ in its vessels at boiling point. It’s like having a triple threat showdown: fiery gases, a boiling water-wonder, and the cool embrace of air. Meanwhile, boilers flaunt a vast surface area, ensuring a constant supply of radiant heat.

The Advantages of Forced Air Wood Furnace

These furnace marvels are your warm-weather warriors, ready to combat the chill even when the outside world sizzles. They’re also chimney-free, making them the space-saving heroes of heating. But remember, they can sing a bit of a noisy tune and demand regular filter TLC to keep their performance on point.

So, the advantages of using an outdoor wood furnace include:

  • Energy independence: Outdoor wood furnaces provide an alternative to traditional heating systems that rely on fossil fuels, giving homeowners more control over their energy supply
  • Cost-efficient: Once the furnace is installed, it can save you more money than you might expect. In fact, current owners of outdoor furnaces have reported using 25% to 70% less wood when compared to traditional wood furnaces.
  • Dual-purpose: With the addition of a brazed plate heat exchanger, wood furnaces can be used to heat domestic water and pools for an additional savings to your utility bill.
  • Safety: Since these units are placed outdoors, there is less concern regarding fire and smoke hazards. With the unit outside, smoke, soot, and ash are eliminated, and dryness is reduced in the buildings.
  • Cleaner: Smoke, soot, and ash are eliminated, and dryness is reduced in the buildings. And, if you are looking to go “green”; with an outdoor wood boiler as your home heating source you no longer need to use fossil fuels to supply you with heat.
  • Heat control: Outdoor wood boilers also have a thermostat control that keeps the heat at a constant level, which is sometimes difficult to achieve with an indoor woodstove or fireplace.
  • Versatile: Outdoor wood furnaces can be used with virtually any heating system, from forced air to radiant in-floor heat. With the use of a unit heater or air handler, hot water from the furnace is converted to hot air for your home or garage.

The Advantages of Using Outdoor Wood Boilers 

  • Energy efficiency: Boilers are highly efficient and can generate a lot of energy from a relatively small amount of fuel, making them cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
  • Better air quality: Boilers do not circulate dust and other allergens in the air, making them a better option for people with allergies or respiratory problems.
  • Comfortable heat: Outdoor wood boilers excel in providing a level of comfort that’s hard to match. They employ water as their heat distribution medium, ensuring quicker warming and sustained warmth. The cozy heat they provide is unparalleled, creating an inviting haven of outdoor comfort.
  • Versatility: Boilers can be used to power turbines, which in turn can generate electricity. They can also be used to heat buildings or to provide hot water.
  • Durability: Steam boilers can last a very long time, so if the installation date on the boiler itself seems old, that does not necessarily mean it needs to be replaced.
  • Safety: Boilers are generally safer than other heating systems, as they do not involve air movement and are less prone to fire hazards.
  • Zoning: It is rather easy to add a zone control system to a boiler, giving you greater control of where the heat is distributed.

It is important to note that the advantages of boilers may vary depending on the type of boiler and the specific needs of the user.

Outdoor Forced Air Wood Furnace Vs Outdoor Wood Boiler

When it comes to selecting between an outdoor forced air wood furnace and an outdoor wood boiler, several factors come into play:

1. Installation Costs:

Outdoor Forced Air Wood Furnace: These furnaces typically incur lower installation costs since they do not necessitate ductwork. This cost-effective installation makes them an attractive option for those looking to save on initial expenses.

Outdoor Wood Boiler: On the other hand, outdoor wood boilers may require a slightly higher upfront investment due to the need for a boiler system and plumbing setup. However, this cost can often be offset by the boiler’s long-term efficiency and versatility.

2. Fuel Availability:

Outdoor Forced Air Wood Furnace: These furnaces run exclusively on wood, which may require periodic refueling, depending on your heating needs and the size of the furnace. It’s essential to ensure a steady supply of firewood in your area.

Outdoor Wood Boiler: Outdoor wood boilers are also wood-fired, but they offer the added flexibility of running on oil or gas if desired. This versatility can be advantageous, especially in regions where alternative fuels are readily available.

3. Climate Considerations:

Outdoor Forced Air Wood Furnace: These furnaces excel in areas with cold winters. They provide powerful and immediate warmth, making them ideal for maintaining a comfortable temperature even during frigid weather.

Outdoor Wood Boiler: Outdoor wood boilers are versatile in their ability to provide both heating and hot water, making them suitable for various climates. They are particularly useful in regions with mild winters or hot summers, where hot water needs may fluctuate.

4. Noise Levels:

Outdoor Forced Air Wood Furnace: Forced air systems often use fans to distribute heated air, which can lead to some noise generation. If the furnace is located near living spaces or bedrooms, this noise factor may be a consideration.

Outdoor Wood Boiler: Outdoor wood boilers operate relatively quietly since their primary function is to heat water and distribute it to your heating system. This reduced noise level can be advantageous in residential settings.

5. Maintenance Demands:

Outdoor Forced Air Wood Furnace: Forced air wood furnaces require routine maintenance, including changing air filters and cleaning blower motors. This regular upkeep ensures optimal performance.

Outdoor Wood Boiler: Outdoor wood boilers also require maintenance, such as cleaning the firebox and chimney, checking water levels and pressure, and inspecting electrical components. Proper maintenance is essential to ensure safe and efficient operation.

Video: Outdoor Wood Furnace vs. Outdoor Wood Boiler, The Difference Between them

Choose on Your Own!

As you can see, there are many different things to consider when deciding between an outdoor forced air wood furnace and a boiler.

In the epic battle of outdoor forced air wood furnace vs. boiler, it’s less about choosing a winner and more about selecting the hero that suits your heating kingdom. Whether you fancy a blustery fan-driven bonanza or a hot water hydronic love affair, both systems are here to ignite your heating dreams. So, don your heating armor, brave homeowner, and embark on this toasty adventure!What do you think? Do you agree with our decision or disagree completely? Let us know in the comments below!