It’s not a secret that wood boilers take the idea of the traditional wood stove and improve on it, solving some problems inherent in wood burning and making wood a clean, safe, and efficient source of heat. It’s common knowledge that wood stoves have been used for ages; a very famous American, Benjamin Franklin, invented the Franklin stove in the 1700s as a safe alternative to fireplaces, which were dangerous – likely to catch the mainly wooden homes standard back then on fire – and not particularly efficient. As you may know, the stove provided radiant heat in a relatively safe manner compared to the open fires of fireplaces.
In fact, while wood stoves were supplanted by central heating decades ago in urban and suburban environments, in the country many people continue to heat their homes, as well as cook their meals, partly or entirely with wood. But problems, as far as this issue is concerned, remain in the use of wood as a fuel; while a properly sustained and operated wood stove is relatively safe, the build-up of creosote in stove pipes and chimneys can still result in dangerous fires. By the way, another problem is time. Beyond any doubt, in an era when at least one person in the family spent the most of the time at home, feeding a hungry wood stove was not a big problem; now, however, with adults working outside the home at least forty hours a week, if not more, having a fire go out means coming home to a cold house and, in extremely cold weather, dealing with the possibility of frozen and burst pipes. Also, as a matter of fact, walking away from a house with an active fire burning in the wood stove doesn’t necessarily inspire a lot of peace of mind.
In fact, designed to burn cleanly, with a minimum of creosote build-up, a boiler can be loaded with enough wood to burn for hours without having to replenish the wood supply. It is very important to take into account that the boiler, which can be put inside or outside the home, heats water which can be used in hot water heating systems and, combined with a hot water storage system, can be stored for long periods of time (from seven to ten days) between firings.
To the best of our knowledge, some boilers are constructed to be used with a variety of fuels, including wood, oil, and gas, offering a lot of flexibility to the homeowner, particularly with the fluctuations in the availability and pricing of different fuels. Other boilers are designed to burn corn or wood pellets, and you should also know that two more fuels which are increasing in popularity as alternatives to traditional fuel oil or natural gas. To sum up, with more consumers waking up to the problems inherent in heating with oil and natural gas, people are looking with renewed interest at alternative sources of fuel for heating their homes; and more and more are choosing wood boilers as a safe, sensible, and sparing solution.