Known for steady, radiating heat, there are several types of central heaters known for providing gentle warmth and security when living in colder climates. From masonry heaters and outdoor hydronic heaters, furnaces, and boilers, these products are often found in rural areas where wood is affordable and easily obtained. Contact your local specialty retailer for more information.
Among the cleanest and most efficient wood burning technology options, today’s masonry heaters have their roots in traditional European designs with state-of-the-art engineering. A small, hot fire generates heat that is absorbed by a high mass of masonry. The stone mass then radiates the heat as it is released slowly over time. Although more expensive and requiring a solid foundation, masonry heaters are ideal for colder climates as they have to be fired once or twice a day.
Hydronic Heaters, Boilers and Furnaces
Also known as outdoor boilers, hydronic heaters uniformly heat an entire home without a mess. Generally, the heater burns wood or gas in an outdoor shed a short distance from the home to heat water. This type of hydronic system circulates hot water through warming baseboards, radiators and/or radiant tubing in floors or ceilings of the home and any related buildings such as barns and greenhouses.
Warm air furnaces, that use duct work to circulate heat throughout the house are also available that burn either cordwood, wood pellets, or corn.
Given their rural applications, wood is generally used as it is a renewable, inexpensive fuel source. However, there are options to use gas or other biomass as fuel (such as corn or wood pellets). Some communities have strict rules about the use of these products, so consult your local specialty retailer.