4 Reasons an Outdoor Boiler is Better Than a Wood Stove. This Really Surprised Me!


Wondering what could be better than a wood stove? An outdoor wood boiler happens to be a better heating source, and we're about to tell you why, in addition to what you learned on the first page, that it is a lot cleaner than a wood stove. Once you check out these reasons, we're pretty confident you'll agree with us!

1. Greater efficiency.
Outdoor wood boilers are often referred to as “wood gasifiers” because they technically burn the wood twice, extracting extra BTUs of heat energy that are otherwise lost up the chimney in a traditional wood stove. In the initial burn chamber, wood is burned as it would be normally, and the energy begins heating a thermal reservoir that will be piped to your house. The gas created in the initial burn chamber is then “re-burned” to extract additional heat energy from the volatilized gasses produced by the initial burn.
2. Works with softwood or hardwood.
Since the wood gasses are burned more efficiently in an outdoor boiler, you’re able to burn softwood, including fir, white pine, cedar and hemlock, all of which are dangerous to burn indoors in a normal wood stove. The re-burn helps prevent buildup in the chimney, and lowers the risk of chimney fire when burning soft woods. Still, it’s important to keep your chimney clean with a thorough sweeping each year.
3. Warm floors.
When you’re warming the air in your home, often you still feel cold as you walk around on cold floors. With an outdoor wood boiler, you use the heat generated for radiant floor heating, meaning that the floors stay toasty warm and slowly diffuse the heat into the room.
This means more consistent warmth, as the heat slowly diffuses throughout the room and helps keep your home at a constantly comfortable temperature.
4. Cleaner household.
An outdoor wood boiler means that all the mess, dirt, bark and bugs that accompany firewood stay outside in the boiler shed rather than coming into your house. Unless you have extra money to burn on clean kiln dried bug-free firewood, firewood in the house means extra mess in the house. Some homesteaders store wood in the basement, but that can create another problem in that it can continue to dry and release moisture in your basement – creating mold and health issues.

Wow, I don't know about you, but the fact that it is is more efficient sold me right away. For a homestead that's crucial, especially when you're trying to keep the cost down. I did not know a lot of these little-known facts about outdoor boilers, but it seems like a more practical alternative than a wood stove. Plus — who doesn't like having warm floors?! We recommend trying this out!

Article Source: Off the Grid News

Featured Image via Central Boiler


  1. Kevin McDaniels said:

    I don’t have one of these, but I thought I read someone saying that if the power goes out, you have no heat because you need fans working to blow the heat around the house. Can anyone with experience with this type of heating system deny or confirm this? Thanks!

  2. Jess Johnson said:

    My cousin has ran one for the last 7yrs. And loves it, but yes if the power goes out no heat.

  3. Michael Smith said:

    I will give you three reasons why they aren’t .
    1-They smoke like crazy !
    2- try to enjoy a boiler .
    Something about a wood stove you can enjoy watching the flames .
    3- wood boilers take a lot of wood .
    It’s up and down but a high efficiency wood stove blows it away !!
    The pros on outside boilers is legit !
    Heat multiple buildings with one unit and that is by far the best feature .
    And you can burn anything from bails of hay to the kitchen table in them .
    Efficient wood fired fireplaces and stoves have them beat IMO !
    Although boilers let your imagination free lime in floor or driveway heating !
    30 hearth expert !!

  4. Kathy Stevens Austin said:

    We have one. It heats the whole farmhouse in winter. Very well matter of fact. No electricity needed. Wood only.

  5. Jodi Harrington said:

    My sister had one at her old house, that thing kept the house warm all night n the house was mostly Windows the front.

  6. Kevin McDaniels said:

    Either way, the whole “it won’t work without electricity” would be problematic.

  7. Jeremy Frey said:

    More expensive and complicated to install but way more efficient. I came across a setup like this in Minnesota. It heated a two story home plus basement, a huge shop and they put it in the driveway as well…no more shoveling. A really sweet set up

  8. Stephen Carter said:

    So what happens when there is a blizzard and you didn’t put the fuel into the fire outside because it is outside? What happens if the water in the boiler freezes or the lines freeze (yes it’s possible if the boiler stops working)? What happens if shut hits the fan or just the local drunken kid plows his dads Truck into it and just leaves?

  9. James Honeycutt said:

    When i built my home a few years ago price was the reason i went with a wood stove

  10. Gary Ogreen said:

    Every one I ever known to use an outdoor boiler has used at least twice the wood I use in my woodstove in similar sized houses. And I have junk Windows. Plus I cook on my woodstove

  11. William Yzerman said:

    switch to a wood fired forced air furnace instead. although the fans still don’t operate without electricity, with the furnace in the basement (where most furnaces are if you have a basement) the heat still rises through the closest vents even without power.

  12. Kevin Strade said:

    Have one with baseboard heating. Great but its getting old and the company no longer exists for parts.

  13. Steve Hanson said:

    I’ve had one for 10 years. Best money I ever spent. Easy to operate, maintain. Nice even hest

  14. Amanda Barnett said:

    You can buy fans that are heat activated..made specifically for woodstoves. We have bought at $10 a piece! We don’t even use wood heat at out apartment..but at the cabin they’d come in handy. Non electrical!

  15. Lone Wolfe said:

    It depends on the setup. If your using under floor or radiators in the house then no. If it was added to an existing ductwork then yes. I never heard of one with a secondary burn like a gasafire.
    Most almost smother the fire in till the thermostat calls for heat then it kicks on a blower under the fire to burn the wood extremely hot and a water pump to circulate the hot water too the home. Most people I know that have them put rv antifreeze in the water to keep them from freezing during a power outages

  16. Philemon Frederick said:

    Might I suggest a TEG generator which turns heat into electricity? Run it through an electrical back up battery bank.. or straight to the pumps.

  17. Philemon Frederick said:

    Weird, in Fairbanks Alaska, the EPA basically has banned these things as “too dirty”. The borough (similar to a county, I think) has been saying that our ppm of smoke is too high.

    (Though they completely disregard the fact that fairbanks is under a thermal inversion layer for most of the winter which traps smoke closer to the ground… it’s complicated.)

  18. Greg Farzetta said:

    These are cool if you have access to buttloads of free wood, hope you have 10-15k for one too

  19. Eric DeSantis said:

    This system costs $10,000 to install. There are two types. One runs on a heat exchanger on the plentum of your furnace. The other is a boiler system. Both require electricity to operate and you have to go out side in a blizzard to feed the fire. A wood stove is the true self sufficient system. You can cook on it. You can wrap copper tubing around the stack and heat water. Wood stove uses no power and saves money.

  20. Warren Hinkley said:

    this is a good story ,not a true story ,but a good one.when they came out several years ago they popped up every where now they have all disappeared around here . The fact that you are using fire to heat water then transferring the water to the house to transfer it to your heating system makes a for a lot of heap loss an efficient wood stove with a good damper is your best bet and it’s self contained .

  21. Tony Barone said:

    A quality wood burning stove will give you the efficiency, but the keeping it outside is definitely cleaner.