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Wood, Coal, and Pellet Boilers

Wood, Coal, and Pellet Stove Boilers

Wood, pellet, and coal burning appliances that are used to heat homes and commercial establishments are not just limited to a stove setting in the middle of your living room. Basically there are four different appliances that can be used for heat: Boilers, Freestanding stoves, Inserts, and Wood Stove Fireplace.

Outdoor boiler exsmplr
This topic will discuss the use of wood, pellet, and coal boilers as an alternative to installing an appliance inside your home. The boiler is normally located outside and used to heat water that is pumped into the home or commercial site, using radiators to transfer the heat into the rooms.

The home or commercial site can use baseboard style radiators resembling electric baseboard heater, or a network of water tubing that is placed under the floor. The main characteristic of using hot water as a heat source is extremely comfortable heat, as the heat can be distributed over an entire home and each room can be controlled individually rather just heating one room. As the wood boiler is normally installed outside of the home, which means that the mess associated with refueling the boiler is also outside the home. Most boilers, depending on the size, can be large enough to accommodate enough fuel that it will only have to be refueled once or twice per day even in cold weather. Heat output from the boiler is normally controlled with some type of thermostat that is regulated by the heat demand from the home.

floor installation
There are two major methods of installation, one is in or under the floor method, which is normally installed during new construction, and can be installed under wood flooring or covered with masonry material.

Best type of heat

The in floor heating is by far the most comfortable form of heat available as the floor itself is warmed first and the heat drift up, creating a very uniform heat from the floor to the ceiling. Baseboard type radiators can be installed into an existing structure via insulated water piping. The heat is emitted close to the floor, but as the heat rises there can be different temperatures from the floor and the ceiling. As more of the heat rises, creating a warmer temperature at the ceiling level. The heat from either system is still very superior the other types of wood and pellet appliances as they will only heat effetely the area that they are installed in.

The downside of outdoor boiler is cost and pollution. Typically a boiler used to heat your home can be 4 to 5 times more expensive then the traditional stove that sits inside your home. The second downside is efficiencies and environmental issues. The boiler, if using wood or coal will not be nearly as efficient as the new certified stoves that can be purchased today. These boilers will produce a large amount of smoke, therefore they are not suited for dense population center, instead should be installed only in rural areas. The exception would be the pellet burning boilers, which do burn clean and efficient, but many are still not certified, and are not allowed to be in some areas. The state of Washington and California, will not allow any boiler to be installed in their state, as they are not meeting the new certification guidelines that are required of all solid fuel burning appliances.

Additional Articles of Interest

Wood Stoves

Pellet Stoves and how they work

Wood Stove Fireplaces