Let’s talk for a moment about an unconventional heating system for your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home, especially if you live in a rural area. There are situations where an outdoor furnace with a central boiler can be a good choice.
What we’re talking about
If you ever spent much time on a college campus you know many of them have separate heating plants where a boiler heats water or in some cases creates steam. The hot water or steam is carried in underground pipes to heat multiple buildings. What Merts Heating & Air Conditioning is talking about is a residential version of that system. Here are some of the particulars:
- The central boiler and outdoor furnace are typically located 30 to 200 feet away from the home but can be as far away as 500 feet.
- The outdoor furnace (more on fuel choices later) provides heat for the boiler. When the water is hot it’s circulated to your home and/or other buildings through insulated underground pipes.
- The central boiler and furnace are designed to work with any existing heating system. When the hot water is transferred into the house it can be circulated through radiators or radiant floor systems. It can also use a water-to-air heat exchanger to provide heat for a traditional forced air system.
- You can save money by using the central boiler to provide your domestic hot water, allowing you to turn off your old hot water heater.
- Another advantage to an outdoor furnace is the ability to heat more than one building. This is why it’s so good in rural settings. The hot water can heat a garage, workshop, greenhouse, barn, or any combination thereof. It can even be used to heat a swimming pool or hot tub.
Choosing your fuel
Traditionally outdoor furnaces burn wood and you can still buy wood-fired furnaces. If you’re not interested in being a lumberjack or unloading and stacking firewood, natural gas is a much more environmentally sound choice. Propane and heating oil are also options but of course will require a large storage tank on the property.
Merts is ready to help
If you would like to explore this home heating option, call Merts Heating & Air Conditioning to learn more about furnace options and central boiler for your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home. We will be happy to compare and contrast it with more traditional HVAC choices. As always, we will provide a free no-obligation estimate. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.