Outdoor/Outside Wood Boiler/Stove/Furnace Comparison Chart

Outdoor wood burning furnace manufacturers listed here

For the purpose of this comparison, only outdoor wood burning furnace manufacturers 5-years old or more are considered because so many new companies are jumping on the bandwagon and are failing, leaving customers stranded without a warranty. Right now, we see several new manufacturers every year, usually copying a current brand without their own manufacturing facility, no research and development and zero track record, in most cases. Many companies farm out manufacturing and that is not good as there is no control or oversight and quite often they are made in 4 or 5 different locations.

We only list units for residential applications. Although some manufacturers may have commercial units available, they don't fit the mix here, for individual use.

GREEN denotes BEST

RED denotes WORST or undesirable

See this smaller chart to see an overview of the red and green marks, which may help.

  Updated 9/26/2010

 

Model and Manufacturer Firebox Material & Design Firebox Thickness 
Information taken from their website or forums if not found on their website
Water Capacity Qualifies for up to $1500 Energy Tax Rebate? WEIGHT

(tinned or sheltered models)

Ash Pan? Fan?

Yes/No
Front/Back
Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?
(Built-in coil)
Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System
Colors Available Warranty &
Years covered 100%
Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service? Notes and comments Manufacturer/Brand 
Listed alphabetically Why is the metal & design important? Why is the firebox thickness important?? Why is water capacity important? Why is this important?
(besides the money)
Why is the weight important? Why is an ash pan important? Why is a fan important? Why should you pay for a pump? Why is this important? Why would you want a pressurized boiler?   Why is the warranty important? Do you want to crate it up?   Listed alphabetically
Aqua Therm

1983

Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel
(requires anti-freeze)

Round

42-55"

Firebox Thickness

Models 275 and 345 have a 3/16  firebox
Model 145 has a 1/8" (11 gauge) firebox

Water Capacity

48-76

$1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT

  630-1050
1080-1590
Ash Pan?

NO

Auger

Fan?

YES

Back

Is a pump included?

YES

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

Closed

Requires pressure tank and antifreeze

Colors Available Warranty

Effectively 10-years

"Lifetime"
1-5 free,
6th & 7th year - 25%; 8th & 9th year - 15%; 10th year and beyond - 10%.
Warranty

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

Yes, Ship

  Aqua Therm
Central Boiler

1980

Firebox Material & Design

Mild Steel

SCL 6048 & 5036
Stainless Steel

Box

Firebox Thickness

Their website only says "heavy gauge" but forums say 1/4" or .250"

Water Capacity

140-393

$1500 Rebate?

Only E-Classic model
($11,976)

WEIGHT

1350-2450

Ash Pan?

No

Fan?

NO (optional)

(Front)

Is a pump included?

No

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

With $684 kit

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

OPEN

Colors Available

8 + Camo

Warranty

The "Classic" furnace has an optional 25-year limited warranty which covers You have to pay shipping.

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

Yes, Ship

$5490 - 7830 Central Boiler
Clear Flame 

NEW?

Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel

Firebox Thickness Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan?

NO

Auger

 

Fan? Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Clear Flame 
Mahoning Outdoor Furnaces

1988

Firebox Material & Design

Steel

PLATE

Box

Firebox Thickness

(approx 3 gauge)  1/4"

Water Capacity

228-352

$1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT

2350-3300

Ash Pan?

Yes

Fan?

Yes

Back

Is a pump included?

Yes

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Optional

Built-in Coil

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

OPEN

Colors Available

NO

 "Looks like a fridge sitting outside"

Warranty

Only
3-year

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

- Has electronics that WILL fail

-Ugly "Looks like a fridge sitting outside" as one forum writer reports.

- 2" insulation board (Poor insulation)
 
- Hard to access parts inside cabinet

Mahoning

$5695 for a 4,000 sq. ft. model

Freedom Outdoor Furnace LLC

2002

Firebox Material & Design

Steel

PLATE

Box

Firebox Thickness

1/4"

Water Capacity

185 - 291

$1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT

2150-2950

Ash Pan?

Yes

Fan?

Yes

Back

Is a pump included?

Yes

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

OPEN

Colors Available

NO

Also looks like a fridge sitting outside

Warranty

11-year warranty

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Freedom
Hardy Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel

Box

Firebox Thickness

Uses both 14 gauge .0747" 1/16" and
16 gauge
(Firebox, Water Tank, Base, Ash Bin, and Doors)

Water Capacity

100 - 160
Their customer of 8 years,
"They do not have enough water capacity and tend to cycle too often"

$1500 Rebate?

NO
(68% efficient)

WEIGHT

650-1000

Ash Pan?

No

Fan?

Yes

Back

 
Is a pump included?

Yes

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Yes

Built-in Coil

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

OPEN

Colors Available

NO

Also looks like a fridge sitting outside

Warranty

10-year warranty

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

Yes, Ship

Many firebox failures reported due to cracking because the firebox is so thin. Hardy
Heatmaster

2001

Manitoba, Canada

Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel

Round

Firebox Thickness

N/A

Water Capacity

100-150

$1500 Rebate?

NO
-
Only G200
 at $8995 

WEIGHT

1000-1400

Ash Pan?

YES

Fan?

Yes

Back

Is a pump included?

No

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

OPEN

Colors Available

NO

Warranty

Some websites say 10-year warranty

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

Maybe ship - some area have a repair facility

  Heatmaster
Heatmor  Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel

Firebox Thickness

10 gauge  .1345"

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan? Fan? Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty

"Lifetime" but they only pay 70% at year 6 and 40% at 9 years, 20% at year 9

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Heatmor 
HeatSource 1 Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel

Firebox Thickness Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan? Fan? Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty

10

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  HeatSource 1
Hydro Fire Firebox Material & Design Firebox Thickness

10 gauge  .1345"

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan? Fan? Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Hydro Fire
Lil'House Outside Wood Heater Firebox Material & Design Firebox Thickness

16 gauge  .060"

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan? Fan? Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Lil'House Outside Wood Heater
Portage & Main

Since 1973

Firebox Material & Design

Mild Steel

Round

Firebox Thickness

1/4"  (.250")

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan?

Yes

Fan?

Yes

Back

Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Portage & Main

Since 1973

Empyre Wood Burning Furnace 

Pro-Fab Industries

Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel

Firebox Thickness

10 gauge  .1345"

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

Only EMPYRE PRO SERIES Wood Gasification
Qualifies

WEIGHT

Website only says, "large"

Ash Pan?

YES

Fan?

NO

Is a pump included?

NO

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Empyre Wood Burning Furnace 

Pro-Fab Industries

Shaver Outdoor Wood Furnace

Since 1972

Firebox Material & Design

Mild Steel

Round

Firebox Thickness

Thicker than 1 Gauge. 3/8" (Optional 1/2")  

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

YES

WEIGHT

1600-2600

Ash Pan?

Yes

Fan?

Yes

Back

Is a pump included?

Yes

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Yes

Built-in Coil

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Open

Colors Available

20

Warranty

20

On-site warranty

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

NO,
On-Site

  Shaver Outdoor Wood Furnace

Since 1972

Taylor Firebox Material & Design

Stainless Steel

Square

Firebox Thickness

Models 275 and 345 have a 3/16  (0.1875") firebox, and the model 145 has a 1/8 (.125")

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan? Fan?

Yes

Front

Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Yes

Built-in Coil

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Taylor
The Homesteader Firebox Material & Design Firebox Thickness

7 gauge or approx. .1793"

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT Ash Pan? Fan? Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water? Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  The Homesteader
Wood Master

Northwest Manufacturing, Inc.
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750

Firebox Material & Design

Mild Steel

Round

Model 4400 available in  Stainless

Firebox Thickness

1/4"  (.250")

(3/16" on 6500 model)

Water Capacity

100-112

(500 on 6500 model)

$1500 Rebate?

NO

WEIGHT

1340-2100

Ash Pan?

NO

Fan?

YES

Front

Is a pump included?

No $231 each

Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

OPEN

Colors Available Warranty

Only a 10 year warranty with only 70% covered in 6th year.  Ninth year is only 10%

On-site

Warranty

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Wood Master

Northwest Manufacturing, Inc.
Red Lake Falls, MN 56750

 

Wood Doctor Firebox Material & Design Firebox Thickness

1/4"  (.250")

Water Capacity $1500 Rebate?

NO

Only
WD HE 8,000 BP Gasification furnace qualifies

WEIGHT Ash Pan?

No

Fan?

YES

Front

Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?

Only with sidearm and anti-scald valve
($300)

Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System

 

Colors Available Warranty

30-year warranty

Furnace needs to be shipped back for warranty service?

 

  Wood Doctor
Model and Manufacturer

Listed alphabetically
Firebox Material & Design Firebox Thickness 
Information taken from their website or forums if not found on their website
Water Capacity Qualifies for Tax Rebate? WEIGHT

(tinned or sheltered models)

Ash Pan? Fan?

Yes/No
Front/Back
Is a pump included? Heats Domestic Hot Water?
(Built-in coil)
Open or Closed 
(Pressurized)
System
Colors Available Warranty &
Years covered 100%
Furnace needs to be shipped for warranty service?   Manufacturer/Brand 

 


Adobe 
  
Northland 
Greenwood 
Royal 
Woodchuck 
 
Crown Royal Stoves 


Global Hydronics 
Johnson Stoves 
Mahoning 
Portage & Main

                         

 

Why is the metal & design important? A round firebox requires only 3 welds to build, compared to 12 welds with the less efficient square box. Leaks often happen at welds. Fires like to swirl around the round box, but don't like corners.

Mild steel is better than stainless steel. Several companies don't make stainless steel furnaces any more because of all the warranty claims. Stainless steel is expensive, so it's made thin - real thin. Some fireboxes are up to 6 times thicker at 3/8". Steel boilers have been around for 100 years and have proven themselves - unlike stainless steel. Stainless steel gets stress cracks that spread into large unrepairable cracks.

"Boiler Plate" is not better than mild steel and in fact is is virtually the same. See next box.

Why is the firebox thickness important? Obviously the thicker the better, for shear strength and longevity.

Heat transfer through either steel or mild steel is virtually the same. Some people think that the thicker the steel, the harder it is to heat and takes longer to heat up. That is not true except for the very first time you heat it up assuming you have an ash pan so that you don't lose your heat every time you open the firebox door to clean out the ashes.. It  Once the metal gets hot, it stays hot.

"Boiler Plate" is simply a sales tools and only refers to the tensile strength of the point at which steel with tears, which only makes a difference in an actual pressurized boiler.

Why is water capacity important? When a furnace has too small a water capacity, you have no reserve (of BTUs), the furnace has to work non-stop most of the time to keep enough hot water ready to heat your home. On those really cold days, you could be caught short.

On the flip-side, too big a furnace wqastes heat and wood just like a hot-water heater wastes so much energy keeping all that how water hot, that you never use!

Qualifies for Tax Rebate?

Any furnace that has been tested and certified to be 75% efficient or better allows you the opportunity to claim a max. $1500 tax rebate (30% up to $1500). Make sure the manufacturer has a certificate on their website (Federal Law) to get the $1500 Federal Tax Credit (or up to 30% of the purchase price including installation)! If there isn't a certificate, don't be fooled, it probably doesn't qualify, despite what the salesman says.

WEIGHT The heavier it is, the more steel there is.
Ash Pan If you don't have grates and an ash receptacle, then you have to kill the fire, clean out the ashes and then restart a fire, in the dead of winter. A separate door allows you to open the ash "pan" or receptacle area and clean out the ashes without losing all of you precious heat and having to mess with the fire, Avoid augers which tend to be cheap and will jam. Many forums talk about how bad they are,
Fan? Without a fan, you have to depend on a natural draft. That's like trying to get a fire going without blowing on it. You will end up with un-burnt pieces of wood, according to folks I've talked to.

 A fan induced flame is always better. Having the fan in back is better again because it blows air up through the grates, just like a blacksmith's forge resulting in better burning, less ash and total wood consumption. Having a fan on the front door usually results in burning a hole through the pile of wood (incomplete).

Is a pump included? Needless to say, it a pump is not included, then you have to purchase one in order to pump the water to your home, at a cost of over $200 in some cases.
   
   

 

 

 

 

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