Wood burning furnaces provide your home with heat by burning wood as a fuel source. There are several different types of wood burning furnaces, each of which operates in a different way to accomplish the same thing. Understanding what each type of furnace has to offer your home can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.
Central Wood Burning Furnaces
Central wood burning furnaces are installed within your home, and can be either forced-air systems, which make use of ductwork and fans to blow hot air throughout your home, or hydronic systems, which heat water and pump it through pipes to radiators throughout your home. Forced-air systems can warm up your home fairly quickly while hydronic systems are quieter and don't require ductwork to be installed within your home.
The main drawback of central wood burning furnaces is the fact that they're located within your home, which means that you will have to store the wood in your home as well, which can take up a significant amount of space. Additionally, wood burning furnaces do pose a risk of fire due to a malfunction or accident.
Outdoor Wood Burning Furnaces
Outdoor wood burning furnaces are located outside of your home and are only hydronic. The main draws of outdoor wood burning furnaces are the fact that they are located far from your home, reducing the risk of a fire occurring, and that they can be used to heat up multiple buildings, which can be a huge benefit on large properties.
However, outdoor wood burning furnaces require you to leave your home in order to add more fuel to the furnace, which can be a major inconvenience, especially during periods of severe weather or during the winter season.
Multi-fuel furnaces, like their name suggests, can be used to burn multiple types of fuel. Units can be located either within or outside of the home, and primarily make use of wood to provide your home with heat. However, in the event of an absence of wood, the furnace will switch over to a secondary fuel source, usually natural gas, propane, or coal, which will continue to provide your home with heat.
The main drawback of multi-fuel furnaces is the fact that they tend to be slightly more expensive than central or outdoor wood burning furnaces, depending on the model, and require two fuel sources to be provided at all times, which represents an additional expense.
For further assistance, contact local professionals, such as those from Canuck Mechanical Ltd.