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Furnaces
Wood, Coal, Pellet Boilers

Wood, Coal, and Pellet Stove Boilers

Solid fuel hot water furnaces are a great alternative to the traditional freestanding stove that is situated in your home. Some of the boilers are very versatile in that they can burn wood or coal as a heat source, where other furnaces will burn wood pellets or corn.  These boilers normally sets outside your home and all the mess that is associated with refueling the furnace is also outside your home instead in the middle of your living room.  .
Outdoor boiler exsmplr

We will explore some of the advantage and disadvantage of the different type of furnaces that are available. The biggest advantage of the boiler type furnace is that the furnace is normally situated outside but near your home, and incorporate a pump for pumping water through the heating coils and or registers located in your home. The heating coils can be located either in the floor or in registers along the wall of your home.  In a more centralized application there even could be an inline fan blowing through the register into a ductwork similar to centralized heating system, as we know them.  The most comfortable method to heat your home is the in the floor method where coils are distributed underneath the flooring, thereby heating the floor, and letting the heat rise naturally This method has a very uniform heat from floor to ceiling, and without a doubt the most comfortable heat available.  Normally there will be thermostats to control the heat in each room, saving energy over a centralized heating system. Normally the in floor system is installed during the time that the home or commercial site is being built as the floor has to be built over the coils.

  The second most popular way to install a boiler system is to locate heat registers in each room, again allowing a thermostat to be installed in each room to allow total heat control through out the home.  The heat register system will not be as comfortable as the in floor, but this method of installation is still very desirable can be retrofitted into a home. Again, the register system still is considered a very comfortable heat source.  The third method is to install heat registers in conjunction with the ductwork in a home.  Like all centralized heating system there will be a fairly high velocity fan to distribute the heat throughout the home.

floor installation
The second big advantage is that the furnace is located outside your home.  Most of these types of furnaces have a very large fuel box or in case of pellets or corn a large hopper. Consequently you will not have to refuel as often as you do the smaller type units that are inside your home. Wood and Coal fired furnaces are typically very economical to operate depending on your available supply of fuel.  Pellet and or corn furnaces are cleaner to operate, but there will be more moving parts and more maintenance required to keep them operating correctly, but there is a lot less labor then trying to cut, haul, and split wood would requires.  Also the pellet and corn furnaces burn a lot more efficient and have less environmental issues, especially in denser population areas.
Best type of heat

The two biggest down sides with boiler furnaces are the cost and environmental impact of the units.  Being larger, and heavier, there is more material and labor required to manufacture the units. Labor to install the units is more complex and requires even additional material as in heating coils and or register.  All of the above increase the initial cost to install a furnace up to four to five time the cost of installing a wood or pellet stove inside your home.  The second biggest problem is the environmental impact from the smoke emissions.  The new generation boilers are much more efficient then their predecessors. But due to the type of exhaust chimneys they still cannot meet the clean air standards in at least two states, California and Washington.   In a densely populated suburban area the wood and coal furnaces may not even be allowed due to the smoke pollutants impact on the neighborhood. Always check with your local municipality prior to purchasing and installing a boiler type furnace.