How Does a Wood Boiler Work?

A wood boiler burns firewood to create energy for heating homes, businesses, and institutional use. Heating with a wood boiler can be much easier and more controlled than using wood stoves and furnaces. Using wood means having a smaller carbon footprint compared to using coal, gas, and oil. 

But how exactly does it work? Get a closer look at the process so you can use choose a new wood boiler with confidence.

Learn the 4 Steps to Using a Wood Boiler

1. Installation

A good installation will begin with a properly sized boiler.  Together with you and/or your installer, Tarm will suggest the best product for the use. Professionals have learned their trade throuh many years of practice and perfection. Generally speaking, professional installation ensures getting the full benefit of your new equipment.  Having lower maintenance and a long lasting system are also important. After right sizing the boiler and deciding how best to integrate a new boiler, an installation technician will set up your boiler to work with your home's heat distribution system, whether that be forced hot air, radiant floor heat, or radiators. There are multiple components to a wood boiler installation.

A key installation component for Fröling wood boilers is thermal storage.  Professional installers will ensure your boiler system is laid out according to available space with due consideration for all necessary components.

2. Fuel Preparation

Wood boilers work best with the right size, dry wood.  It is important when purchasing a new boiler to make sure that the right fuel will be ready when it is time to fire up for the first time.  For people completely new to wood burning, it will be helpful to consult with other wood burners about wood preparation and storage.

3. Operation

As thermostats call for heat, hot water is moved from the boiler system through radiators and/or pipes, which results in cooler water moving back to the boiler system in a cycle.  When the wood boiler system is depleted of heat from warming the structure, more wood needs to be added.   Usually, a wood boiler is visited once or twice per day for refueling.  Depending upon how much wood is burned, ash will be removed at different intervals.

4. Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance are typical aspects of operating a wood boiler.

Removal of ash is the most common maintenance item.  Ash is comprised of unburnable minerals that exist naturally in wood and are unavoidable.  Ash is removed by rakes and brushes typically.  

Modern boilers do not create creosote that requires any removal or maintenance.  Some boilers include the ability to clean the heat exchange area with a simple swipe of a lever each time the wood is loaded, which saves significant labor and keeps the boiler room much cleaner.  Because heat exchange surfaces are essential for maintaining high efficiency, having these surfaces clean is important. 

As with all boilers, annual maintenance is recommended.  Annual maintenance involves a more thorough cleaning, adjustment of doors to keep gaskets tight, and visual inspection of wear parts like grates and the ceramic refractory combustion chamber.

Find Your Perfect Wood Boiler With Tarm Biomass

At Tarm Biomass, we carry a range of boilers from Fröling, an industry-leading manufacturer. With our selection of products, you can find an automatic boiler that boosts efficiency and offers exceptional ease of use. Contact our team to learn more.