There are many misconceptions about wood stoves, one of them being that wood stoves arenâ€™t efficient. In this article, we will debunk this and show you how wood stoves can be a more efficient choice than traditional fireplaces and other heating styles.
How efficient are wood stoves?
The average efficiency of a modern wood stove is 60%-90%! It can also be higher depending on the model purchased. This makes wood stoves an excellent replacement for traditional wood fireplaces. Open fireplaces only have an average efficiency rating between 10% and 20%, and lose the rest of their heat through the chimney. Thatâ€™s heat that could have been used to warm your home.
How is efficiency measured?
The EPA recognizes 2 types of efficiency, Combustion Efficiency and Overall Efficiency.
â€“ This measures how well a stove converts fuel into heat. In this case, the fuel being wood.
â€”This measures how well a stove transfers heat from inside the stove into your room.
Stove designs have improved over the years to include Cast iron and other heavy medal bodies, controllable air vents and baffle plates to further increase efficiency. A baffle plate is located at the top of the fire chamber. It reflects heat back into the combustion chamber ensuring as much heat as possible is being held in the stove and not released through the chimney.
Controllable air vents can be adjusted, allowing you to control how much air gets into your fire. This controls the temperature of the fire and the efficiency. The more you open them, the more air is let in, and the hotter and faster your wood will burn. The faster your wood burns, the less efficient it is. You donâ€™t want a fire in your wood stove to resemble a bonfire. You also donâ€™t want your fire to be smoldering with little flame. It should burn nice and steady!
Extra efficiency tips
Be sure to keep your chimney clean and as straight as possible, a blocked chimney can kill your stoveâ€™s efficiency.
Consistently check for cracks/damage to your chimney. This can cause efficiency loss and even a house fire.
Use wood with low moisture content. Burning off water can take more energy than just burning wood. Seasoned wood (wood dried for 6-12 months) will burn best.
Have your airways cleaned before every burning season to ensure removal of any buildup.
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