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Basic Tips for Maintaining Outdoor Wood Furnaces It’s a fact: an outdoor wood furnace is pricey. But don’t let that intimidate you. It’s a long-term investment and lasts even longer with proper care. Below are three basic tips for outdoor wood furnace maintenance: Regular Cleaning
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Depending on the amount of wood you are burning, the unit normally needs to be cleaned out once a month at least, sometimes more frequently. There are units that come with an inbuilt auger system that is used to get rid of the ashes. But auger usually only removes those ashes around it and leaves those which are stuck to the sides.
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When it’s time for cleaning, allow the fire to burn down and reduce to a few hot coals. All the hot coals have to be moved to one side of the firebox with the use of a shovel. Scoop out the ashes and place them in a garbage bin made of metal. When you have cleaned one side of the firebox, get the hot coals, pushing them to the opposite side of the firebox and removing all ashes remaining. When this step is done, you will have an ash-ree firebox with a few hot coals to restart your fire easily. 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. There are various providers offer water treatment services today. Tinted water treatment is preferred by a lot of people. The tinted treatment is added until the water in the unit gets a similar tint. When this happens, the process is complete. You only need to keep an eye on the water’s color and add more treatment if necessary. There are also other treatments that work, like those that require a test kit to make sure the water has been successfully treated. You decide which treatment you want to use as it is all a matter of preference. Just make sure the water is properly treated, whatever treatment you choose. It’s also important to maintain the right water volume in the unit to prevent damage. The furnace must have a gauge that lets you check the water level easily. Corrosion Prevention Most units come with an anode rod that is accessible on the top portion of the furnace. Because it is the target of rust and corrosion, the water jacket is spared. Anode rods are often used in water heaters and are meant for the same purpose: to make the unit more durable. The anode rod must be checked at least once a year to make sure it is still in great shape. If not, replacement is easy.