The notion to build your own outdoor wood furnace is a romantic one. The image of a backyard furnace (perhaps set in a rustic shed) providing hot water for heating, bathing and other household needs is compelling. The reality, however, is somewhat different.
Build Your Own Outdoor Wood Furnace: Some Considerations
An outdoor wood furnace system has several major parts. The boiler (which consists of a water-jacked firebox and insulated container) is where wood is burned to heat water. An external shed protects the boiler from the elements. A water tank, pump and underground pipes store hot water and move it to your home. Various adapters (heat exchanger, water heater adapter, etc.) allow the hot water to be used to heat your home and provide domestic hot water. All of these elements must be constructed to operate safely and in harmony with each other. Here are some of the details: