Let’s admit it – owning an outdoor wood furnace is expensive. But don’t let that intimidate you. It’s a long-term investment and lasts even longer with proper care.
Below are three basic tips for outdoor wood furnace maintenance:
Depending on the amount of wood you are burning, the unit normally needs to be cleaned out once a month at least, sometimes more frequently. Some units have a built in auger system that makes use of an auger to eliminate the ashes. But auger usually only removes those ashes around it and leaves those which are stuck to the sides.
When it’s time for cleaning, allow the fire to burn down and reduce to a few hot coals. All the hot coals have to be moved to one side of the firebox with the use of a shovel. Scoop the ashes out and into a metal garbage bin.
After cleaning one side of the firebox, push the hot coals to the other side of the firebox and remove all remaining ashes. When this step is done, you will have an ash-ree firebox with a few hot coals to restart your fire easily.
The metal garbage container will cool the ashes safely, and in a matter of days, you can spread in other places, such as your garden.
The water inside the unit has to be treated so that corrosion can be prevented.
Untreated water drastically reduces the lifespan of your unit. Water treatment is widely available these days from various providers. For a lot of people, tinted water treatment is preferable. The tinted treatment is added until the water in the unit develops a similar tint. When this happens, the process is complete. Just keep an eye on water’s color, and, if necessary, add more treatment.
There are also other treatments that work, like those that require a test kit to make sure the water has been successfully treated. It is all a question of preference, so the decision on which treatment to use, is entirely in your hands.
Just ensure the water is treated properly, whichever treatment you pick. The right volume of water in the unit should also be maintained to avoid damage. The furnace should come with a gauge that makes it easy to checking the water level.
Most units come with an anode rod that is accessible on the top portion of the furnace. It is the target of rust and corrosion, thus sparing the water jacket.
Anode rods are often used in water heaters and are meant for the same purpose: to make the unit more durable. The anode rod must be inspected at least once yearly, ensuring it has remained in good shape. If it’s not, it is easy to replace it.