Outdoor Furnace

Hi Everyone,

I’m trying to help a friend make an informed decision regarding outdoor furnaces.

I was warned thouroughly this weekend that these outdoor fireplaces are prone to premature failure of the firebox. I heard the manufactures corrected this by using stainless steel for the firebox.

If any of you have experience with these units please provide me some pros and cons.


One of the senior instructors for the wett program ( Wood Heating (WETT)
Brian Palmateer
City of Peterborough
He is also head Inspector of Peterborough township has no use for them .
They are band in some townships within a certain distance of any dwelling due to their incomplete combustion of fuel . they also are prone to develop liquid leaks and this can add toxic fluid to the aquifer . He is a great guy and will try and help you all he can . Have more names if needed . Roy Cooke

Funny you should mention this because I just spent 5 days with Brian completing the WETT certification,… excellent instructor, very knowledgable and worth every penny. He actually made me aware of some of the issues so this is why I want to know more.

“Outdoor” wood furnaces or boilers are also on the market.They may appear attractive, because they will burn low cost material you would not think of putting in an indoor appliance and can burn for long periods between refueling. They can be low on efficiency and high on emissions. If you still want to consider one, it’s advisable to check with your local municipal building officials and your local Ontario Ministry of the Environment office (see Blue Pages of your phone book or Chapter 10) regarding acceptability for the location you have in mind.


You’ll find that they are often treated as incinerators which is often a major factor in their failure.

Paul Hinsperger
Hinsperger Inspection Services


With the high cost of fuel, especially those using Propane Gas, these outdoor Furnaces / Boilers are a hot market.

Yes, many communities are banning the use of such systems because of the emissions problem. However, those living in the rural areas are still installing the devises.

Another BIG problem I see, is people actually using up all their forest for fueling the systems. I have actually seen places where these systems were installed, two or three years later, all their forest is gone.

In our local area, several townships have now mandated no new homes on less than 5 acres, strictly due to this fact.

With the average yearly cost of propane fuel to heat a home here being between $3 / $4,000 per year, these Furnaces / Boilers are in big demand.

The boiler system is the system that he wants to install. There are no code or municiple laws limiting it use where he wants to install the unit as it is a 3 acre rural area property.

I can understand how the system can be a pig.

Knowing what you know now with only a couple of hours looking .
Would you install one at your place.
This what you know and the best you can do is tell him what you feel and know .
I would also phone or send email to Brian and ask him for the good and the
Roy Cooke

Hi Roy, as I indicated I was in the WETT course the last few days, Brian was the instructor and he actually mentioned some of the potential issues with these types of units. I explained this to my friend, however all it takes is for one or two people to tell him that “we love ours” or “I’ve had mine for ten years now with no problems”, and hes not convinced that there could be a problems with these things.

So, I would really like to hear it from the horses mouth,… if anyone has first hand experience with these units, please let me know the good and bad. (i.e. how long have you had the unit, how often do you use it, has it every had a problem, if so, why?). You input is very much appreciated.

Did you read **Confessions of an outdoor boiler manufacturer Valuable lessons, learned the hard wayI read with interest the reactions to outdoor wood furnaces. Let me give my background so you know where **

Roy Cooke
Added Below



This is good information…


Glad you found it . Roy Cooke


I’ve had one for 5 years and absolutely love it. Since I live in a rural area there is no problem with the emissions and bothering neighbors. With the way propane has went thru the roof I couldn’t imagine heating my house without one. The life expentancy is arguable, but depending on the material used for the firebox it can be quite long. My stove happens to be stainless and I is warrantied for like 20 or 25 years…although I truely don’t expect it to last that long. I do know several other people that heat their homes and domestic hot water with outdoor stoves and all love it. In fact, when my propane water heater went out this year I replaced it with electric so I can be completely free of propane!

Anyway, one of the best stoves on the market is from Central Boiler. I would recommend you visit their site (i’m unsure of the address) as they have a lot of info regarding these types of stoves.

One thing is for sure, outdoor stoves are a way of life. They are definetley not for everyone!! I cut my own wood, for the most part, and stack it as a way to get much needed exercise. When you go out of town during the cold months you must either switch back to another fuel source or have someone load the stove periodically for you. The cost savings for me personally was tremendous since I bought mine before the price of metal was driven way up a year or two ago.

Now, I read earlier in this post that someone saw the forest disappear due in large part to these woodstoves is ridiculous. The forests are disappearing beause mills and such are buying up the wood, not because of wood stoves. My stove, an average size stove, uses at most 10 pulp cord a year.

Anyway, I gotta run for now but if you want more info please email me at


Thanks for your input Dave. I heard that you can’t just though what you want in there (i.e. garbage) or you can deteriorate the unit faster. If yours has a 20 year warrantee and it does break before hand will the manufacture replace it, or repair it?

Although it is a rural property I believe the smoke issue may be a concern for the neighbors as well, since he is on a 1 acre lot with homes on either side of him. Like I said he is convinced this is the best thing for him.

I am glad he is not my Neighbor .
Not a lover of smoke too many do not burn their fire hot enough and send a lot of unburnt fuel up the Chimneys .
Whitehorse in the North west territories has frequent air inversion like some parts of California where the smoke and fumes just do not move.
They have had to pass A law on what type of heating equipment you can have .
We have some one who thinks it is OK in town to have a burning barrel and tries to get rid of Plastic .
It almost kills me when the do .
Roy Cooke

You can visit www.centralboiler.com to find out more about a typical warranty. Like I said before, having an outdoor stove is a big commitment…not to mention a big investment. Burning wood is certainly not for everyone so your friend had better think long and hard before making such a big purchase. I love it, my wife hates it when I am out of town and she has to fill it twice a day…but at the same time she can keep the heat at 71-72 degrees without me turning it down to 68-69 all the time.


(Let it be known I don’t endorse Central Boiler in anyway…although it is my opinion they make one the best outdoor stoves on the market)

Consumed all the trees in 2 years? That’s not a “forest”. That’s a “clump of trees”.