About Wood Furnaces

The Northern Stoker outdoor furnace is a non-pressurized, open type system (atmospheric vented) and does not have the safety concerns of a boiler or closed type system. In our opinion, this dramatically improves the level of safety and should be a reflected in your home insurance.

The outdoor wood furnace burns wood which generates tremendous heat that is transferred to the water jacket and then the hot water is slowly circulated underground to your building (or buildings). Once in your building, there are a couple of ways to utilize this energy:

A simplified example of the underground insulated water lines entering a building.

Direct Circulation connected to in-floor heating and radiant baseboards.

1. Direct Circulation- connect to radiant in-floor heating and radiant baseboard (hydronic) heating.

2: Convert the energy with a water-to-air heat exchanger that is installed into an existing forced air heating system.

2: Convert the energy with a water-to-air heat exchanger that is installed into an existing forced air heating system.

 

3. Convert the energy with a water-to-water heat exchanger to heat your domestic hot water or spas.

3. Convert the energy with a water-to-water heat exchanger to heat your domestic hot water or spas.

Example house with hydronic heater, forced air furnace, hot water tank, hot tub, pool, heated deck and walkway, radiant in-floor heating and a heat exchanger blower all running off a Northern Stoker.

Example house with hydronic heater, forced air furnace, hot water tank, hot tub, pool, heated deck and walkway, radiant in-floor heating and a heat exchanger blower all running off a Northern Stoker.

Insulated Underground Water Lines

All outdoor furnaces require the use of insulated underground water lines that carry the heated water from the outdoor furnace to the building. This is an important component of the overall system and should be installed with care. Improperly installing the insulated underground water lines can have a negative impact on the overall efficiency of your system no matter what furnace you are using. We recommend digging the trench at least 3 ft deep. We highly recommend that the customer discuss all trenching options with their local Northern Stoker Dealer. The insulated underground water lines should be installed with the highest R – value that can be afforded. It is also recommended that the lines are not run through low lying areas with a high water table. The reason for this is, the ground water can “leach” the energy from the submerged water lines and thereby drastically reduce the energy efficiency before the heated water enters the building.

Placement of Outdoor Wood Furnaces

Placement of outdoor wood furnaces is an important consideration for your safety and enjoyment. The outdoor furnace is usually placed anywhere between 30 ft and 200 ft away from the building it is heating. It should be installed with the prevailing winds in mind with respect to the surrounding buildings, your neighbours and combustible materials. Always use dry wood, as anything other than this can cause abnormal amount of smoke and can be irritating and noxious to everyone around. Also, the placement of the outdoor furnace around combustibles such as trees, foliage, hay fields, buildings and fuel storage is certainly a safety consideration.

Applications and Uses

  • In-floor heating
  • Garage
  • Pool
  • Greenhouses
  • Boilers
  • Livestock barn
  • Spa/Hot Tub
  • Hydronic Baseboard Heaters
  • Domestic Hot Water
  • Driveway Snow Melt
  • Commercial
  • Shop
  • Industrial

Outdoor Wood Furnaces as a backup heating source

The Northern Stoker Outdoor Wood Furnace is viewed as a cost saving heat source for the home. Traditionally, many homes heat with electric, gas, and oil. The Outdoor Wood Furnace functions like a primary heat source at all times and is to be backed up by electric, gas or oil in the event of equipment failure or if the home owner is unable to be home to keep the fire going (vacation). Normally, the electric, gas or oil heating systems in a secondary role have their thermostats set above zero and will turn on in the event the Outdoor Wood Furnace is out of fuel. In the Canadian climate, it is always good practice to have multiple heating sources for any household, even if you are not using an Outdoor Wood Furnace.

Best Burning Practices

We highly recommend using quality split dry wood with low moisture content for optimal efficiency. Efficiency is a big factor with any device that combusts fuel and the better the combustion, the easier it is on your wallet. As with any device that burns wood, the quality of the fuel will dictate the intensity, duration, ash, smoke, creosote buildup, and efficiency of the fire itself. The Northern Stoker is designed with very large fuel loading doors and the bottom ash grate that is extremely heavy duty. These features allow for wood up to 36” and 48” in length depending on the model purchased. This translates into less chain sawing, wood splitting, and loading times!

Note: The Northern Stoker Outdoor Wood Furnace is designed to burn wood only. Never use Gas, Oil, Naphtha, Diesel Fuel, Tires or Garbage in the Northern Stoker. This is exceptionally dangerous and could damage the Northern Stoker and will not be covered by our Warranty.