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Basic Outdoor Wood Furnace Maintenance Tips Let’s admit it – owning an outdoor wood furnace is expensive. But don’t let that intimidate you. It’s a long term investment that could last even longer with the right care. Below are three basic tips for outdoor wood furnace maintenance: Periodic Cleaning
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Depending on the amount of wood you burn, the unit must be cleaned out monthly at least, sometimes more recurrently. Some units are equipped with an auger system that utilizes auger for eliminating the ashes. But auger usually just removes the ashes around it and not those that are stuck to the sides.
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During clean out time, the fire must be allowed to reduce to a few hot coals. Using a shovel, move all the hot coals to one side of the firebox. Scoop out the ashes and place them in a garbage bin made of metal. After cleaning one side of the firebox, push the hot coals to the other side of the firebox and remove all remaining ashes. When done, you can have an ash-free firebox with some remaining hot coals you can use to easily restart your fire. Putting the ashes in a metal garbage container allows them to cool safely, and you can spread them in your garden (or anywhere you want) a few days later. Water Treatment The water inside the unit has to be treated so that corrosion can be prevented. Untreated water drastically reduces the lifespan of your unit. Water treatment is widely available these days from various providers. Tinted water treatment is preferred by a lot of people. This works by adding the tinted treatment until the water inside the unit acquires the tint. At this point, the process is considered complete. You just need to watch the color of the water, adding more treatment as needed. Other treatments work as well, such as those where you use a test kit to make sure the water is treated properly. Knowing which treatment method to use is all up to you as this is all mainly an issue of preference. Just make sure the water is properly treated, whatever treatment you choose. The right volume of water in the unit should also be maintained to avoid damage. You want the furnace to have a gauge so that it’s easy for you to check the water level. Corrosion Prevention Most units come with an anode rod that is accessible on the top portion of the furnace. It is the target of rust and corrosion, thus sparing the water jacket. Anode rods are typically used in water heaters and deliver the same purpose – boost the unit’s durability. The anode rod must be inspected at least once yearly, ensuring it has remained in good shape. If it’s not, it is easy to replace it.