BURNING QUALITIES OF POPULAR WOOD SPECIESRead More
Wood Fuel HEATING VALUE OF COMMON WOOD SPECIES
HEATING VALUE OF COMMON WOOD SPECIES
Kuuma VaporFire Wood Gasification Furnace - The VaporFire 100 and VaporFire 200 are indoor hot air furnaces designed to eliminate wood smoke, creosote and air pollution at the same time AND provide more heat to your home for each pound of wood burned. Click for info.
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces UPGRADING YOUR EXISTING FIREPLACE
Upgrading your Existing Fireplace - Glass Doors, improved dampers, Firebacks and Heat Exchangers can help.
Ah, the Fireplace....that icon of luxury and relaxation that represents an escape from the pressures of everyday life. The flickering flames mesmerize and make one forget that most fireplaces add significantly to the cost of home heating! Yes, that big hole in the wall can be responsible for your having to work HARDER to pay your energy bills...and very few folks enjoy higher monthly bills.
Open fireplaces can vary greatly in their efficiency, typically being anywhere from -20% (meaning they lose a lot more heat than they gain) to as much as +10-20% positive.....which indicates that they deliver a small portion of the wood's heat back into your home.
You could certainly convert your fireplace with a fireplace inserted stove, but this can be an expensive proposition (approx. $3,000). Occasional fireplace users also may not want to change the look of their decor with such an installation. There are, however, some less expensive steps you can take to assure you are getting the most from your existing fireplace.
Having a good fireplace grate can increase the efficiency of a fireplace AND make fires easier to start and tend. Some grates are specially designed to make the wood fire radiate better into the room. An example is "The Grate Wall of Fire", which uses clever design to make the glowing part of the logs project heat forward. Note that this type of grate works best with open fires, when a glass door is either not installed or left open during the hottest parts of the fire.
An example of a high quality standard grate can be found in a product called The Self Feeding Fireplace Grate. These grates properly cradle the wood and allow for air to enter from underneath. The rounded design allow the wood to...
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces FIREPLACE INSERTS - A SHORT INTRODUCTION
FIREPLACE INSERTS - A SHORT INTRODUCTION
Fireplace Insert (Jotul)
If you enjoy using your fireplace but don’t like the associated energy costs, you might want to consider purchasing a fireplace insert. An insert is basically a wood stove designed to fit into a conventional open fireplace. Like wood stoves, new inserts must be EPA certified, making them clean burning and highly efficient.
Inserts are made from plate steel or cast iron and most have glass doors so you can see the flames. These appliances fit into the opening of the fireplace, with some models protruding onto the hearth. An insert which is extended out may be more efficient because the sides, top, and bottom provide additional radiant heat. Inserts often have blowers, which can significantly improve efficiency and the heat circulation. Blowers are usually mounted in the front or along the sides of the insert. Some blowers are controlled manually, while others are regulated by a thermostat.
In the past, most installers placed inserts in the fireplace without any chimney connections. This method, in some cases, allowed creosote to build up inside the fireplace, presenting a potential fire hazard. To prevent this, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) now requires that inserts be installed with at least (minimum) a positive connection to the chimney. Inserts must have a connector between the appliance outlet and the first section of the flue liner. This sends the smoke and gases up and out of the chimney more directly, minimizing combustible deposits that condense in the fireplace. Most fireplace insert installations will benefit from a full relining of the chimney, because the smaller pipe size will provide a better draft as well as an added margin of safety.
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces WOOD STOVE SHORT INTRODUCTION
Wood stoves are wood-burning appliances that sit on the floor of the room, usually away from the wall. Some of the newer models may now be placed as close as 8 inches from the wall. Because they must be certified by the EPA, most newer wood stoves are clean burning and have relatively high heating efficiencies that range from 63 to 80 percent.
Wood stoves are available in a variety of styles that vary from contemporary to traditional-looking models. They are usually cast iron, plate steel, sheet metal, soapstone/tile or a combination of these materials. Some manufacturers have altered the appearance of the traditional cast-iron stove by applying different materials to the outside of the stove. Stoves are frequently enameled in a variety of colors and some are covered with marble or stone. Steel-plate stoves are generally made of 3/16- to 1/4-inch thick plates cut and stamped to shape. Cast-iron stoves are made of cast parts bolted together. The parts should have detailed lines and clean surfaces free of grains. The characteristics of steel and cast iron are not significantly different, therefore you can make your choice based on size, budget and the design of the stove.
The following article compares common stove materials:
You can tell if a wood stove is well-made by checking for clean castings, smooth welds, tight doors, smoothly-operating draft controls, and the appearance of good workmanship. Most stoves also have firebricks or metal plates to prevent burnout. These materials increase both the life of the stove and, to some extent, the thermal mass (the heat’s storage medium). After the fire is out, a 500-pound stove radiates heat several hours longer than a 250-pound stove. Stoves may have doors on the top, on the side, or both.
Many of the new wood stoves...
Wood Stoves and Fireplaces INTRODUCTION TO FIREPLACES
Purchasing a fireplace can be one of the most beneficial additions that you can make for your home. As one of the top investments for remodeling, a fireplace can return as much as 130 percent of the initial cost when you sell your home. About 78 percent of prospective home buyers in the nation seek homes with fireplaces, and many looking for homes costing over $200,000 see the fireplace as the most appealing amenity.
But what about the Energy Equation? Luckily, many fireplaces of today can provide welcome heat from the wood. In fact, some newer units match the efficiency of the best woodstove and central heaters!
Fireplaces are a more traditional type of wood-burning appliance. In the past, most people chose to install a fireplace for the aesthetics and recreational enjoyment of the hearth, rather than for heating purposes. Of all the wood-burning appliances, fireplaces offer the largest view of the flames. With new contemporary designs, some are available with 2-, 3-, and 4-sided views.
Until recently, most fireplaces heated the home inefficiently. Some of them, such as most masonry (brick) fireplaces, are still this way. The flue of a masonry fireplace allows warm indoor air to escape up the chimney. Conventional masonry fireplaces can lose between 80 and 100 percent of their heat plus an additional 10 percent of the heat already in the room. They can actually remove more heat than they supply.
New, energy-efficient, factory-built (sometimes called zero-clearance fireplaces) can often provide more heat than their traditional masonry counterparts. One of the most redeeming features of these fireplaces is that they require low clearance between themselves and other combustible surfaces. For example, they can be placed between 1/2 and 2 inches away from walls with wood studs without any danger of fire. Instead of a brick chimney, these fireplaces use a stainless steel lightweight metal flue. This means much lighter foundation...