Out­door fur­naces are catch­ing on

The Glengarry News - Glengarry Supplement - - News -

Out­door fur­naces are hot, as demon­strated by the num­ber of ex­te­rior heaters pop­ping up at homes and busi­nesses across the re­gion.

The stoves, which heat wa­ter that in turn heats build­ings, have many ap­pli­ca­tions, note deal­ers Ernie Maither and Rene Auer.

The peo­ple at Maxville Farm Ma­chin­ery were sold on out­door fur­naces, also known as hy­dronic heaters, be­fore they be­gan sell­ing the prod­ucts.

Dur­ing the Ice Storm of 1998, like many oth­ers, the busi­ness re­lied on wood as its main heat source dur­ing the month-long power out­age. When they later learned of ex­te­rior fur­naces, the own­ers were “thrilled” to in­stall a unit, re­calls Rene Auer, who along with his sis­ter, Irene Bray, as­sumed own­er­ship of the busi­ness from their par­ents, Gertrude and Herbert Auer.

While the Auers pri­mar­ily serve the farm­ing com­mu­nity, since they started the Ag­bert Equip­ment line, they have also been cater­ing to peo­ple who are seek­ing al­ter­na­tive heat sources.

Out­door wood-burn­ing fur­naces are ver­sa­tile, points out Rene Auer, re­lat­ing that a Po­lar Fur­nace unit heats a 10,000-square-foot work­shop at the High­land Road lo­ca­tion.

Cus­tomers use them to heat homes, sheds, garages, and swim­ming pools.

“There are all dif­fer­ent kinds of mod­els avail­able to­day,” ob­serves Mr. Auer. “You can get fur­naces that have oil back-up or ones that burn corn.”

Typ­i­cally, a fully-loaded stove can pro­vide enough warmth for the en­tire day. “De­pend­ing on the size of the fur­nace, you can get 12 to 24 hours of heat from one burn,” says Ernie Maither.

En­vi­ron­men­tally friendly

The in­dus­try has evolved since the first ba­sic units hit the mar­ket, points out Mr. Maither, the co-owner of Maiview Farm, who has been sell­ing out­door stoves for 16 years. “There were con­cerns with emis­sions from some of the older mod­els, but to­day the units are much more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly,” he says.

Com­pa­nies such as Cen­tral Boiler have con­tin­ued to im­prove their lines to meet new stricter en­vi­ron­men­tal stan­dards and to de­liver more ef­fi­ciency and heat out­put than tra­di­tional wood heat­ing.

Cleaner emis­sions are achieved through the use of gasi­fiers, which in­ject pre­heated air around the base of the fire.

With ris­ing elec­tric­ity costs, out­door fur­naces are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar in ru­ral Ontario.

PROVEN: Many be­lieve that wood is the only way to heat.

CLEANER: Tech­nol­ogy and mu­nic­i­pal by­laws have led to cleaner emis­sions.

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