Building a Better Wood Furnace

September/October 2006
A version of this article appears in the September/October 2006 issue of Home Energy Magazine.
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September 11, 2006
        Wood has been burned as fuel for thousands of years, and over this time the art of wood burning has been refined from outdoor fires to highly advanced wood furnaces and boilers, or hydronic furnaces.Hydronic furnace, a term adopted by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), describes what was formerly known as a wood boiler. Wood-fired hydronic furnaces create hot water, but not steam. In the past, outdoor wood boilers have given wood burning a bad reputation, since they produce a lot of smoke, clog chimneys with creosote, are highly polluting, and require frequent reloading and cleaning. The designers of a new hydronic furnace, the Greenwood,have attempted to address all of these problems.

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