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Basic Tips for Maintaining Outdoor Wood Furnaces It’s undeniable – an outdoor wood furnace is costly. But don’t worry. It’s a long term investment that could last even longer with the right care. Keep these three basic tips in mind for outdoor wood furnace maintenance: Regular Cleaning
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The unit generally has to be cleaned out at least monthly, sometimes more often, depending on how much wood you are burning. There are units that come with an inbuilt auger system that is used to get rid of the ashes. But auger usually just removes the ashes around it and not those that 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. Using a shovel, move all the hot coals to one side of the firebox. Scoop the ashes out and into a metal garbage bin. 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. Once you’re done, your firebox will be free of ashes and still have some remaining hot coals so you can 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 It is important to treat the water inside the unit so as to prevent corrosion. Untreated water can substantially diminish your unit’s longevity. There are various providers offer water treatment services today. For many people, tinted water treatment is highly preferable. This works by adding the tinted treatment until the water inside the unit acquires the 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. Other treatments work as well, such as those where you use a test kit to make sure the water is treated properly. 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 Units generally have an anode rod which can be accessed on top of the furnace. Because it is the target of rust and corrosion, the water jacket is spared. 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 not, replacement is easy.