As we worked on editing the Outdoor Wood Boiler article in the current issue of the magazine, I began to think seriously about installing such a unit on our farm. We live in the midst of 90 acres of mixed hardwoods, and the prospect of meeting all of our heating needs (both heat and domestic hot water) exclusively using our own wood has lots of appeal, both financial and environmental.
As the article discussed, there are outdoor wood boilers out there that are highly efficient and burn far cleaner than the typical models you see belching away in side yards across the region. But I still had a bunch of questions:
I’m pleased to say that I found the answers to these questions, and many more that I didn’t (yet) know I had, at a very helpful online site: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums.
The forums are non-commercial. The one that struck me as most useful is called “The Boiler Room.” A bunch of homeowners running a bunch of different wood boilers maintain a dialog on everything from how often to stoke the boiler to how best to dry firewood to how to plumb the system for maximum efficiency.
If our recent article has piqued your interest and inspired you to consider installing a boiler of your own, I’d recommend you swing by the “boiler room” for more details. One caveat: set aside a chunk of time. Even if you’re not a geek, it’s an interesting site.