Recently we have had many discussions around wood heat. We have talked about various appliances that are associated with wood heat, such as wood-burning inserts as well as pellet stoves.
People often choose wood burning stoves as heating methods for their homes for various practical reasons. Often they wish to become more self-reliant. Then there is the desire to increase energy security and to decrease energy bills. Many people also love the aesthetic appeal of a wood-burning stove.
Whatever your motivations, it is important to look out for certain factors regarding the best stoves. Keep an eye out for factors such as energy-efficiency, burn time, heat output and the stove’s reputation. Keep in mind too, the amount of square footage area you want to heat.
This article provides you with a review of a few highly popular wood stoves. As a potential wood-burning stove owner you will acquire all the crucial information you may need, before you make your big decision.
How Does a Wood Burning Stove Work?
Essentially a wood-burning stove works to produce heat in the home. But there is more to it than just that. How does the stove actually work? The primary way the stove works is to control the air that is brought into it. An air control valve controls the amount of air brought in. This determines the size of the fire. More air means a bigger flame and less air means a cooler flame.
Some stoves use convection air to distribute the heat evenly throughout your home. This works by drawing the cooler air present in the room, heating it up and then releasing it into the environment, making the space more comfortable.
An air-wash system is used to ensure the glass parts are kept clean. The system consists of two vents, one for drawing in cool air and the other for letting the warm air out. This prevents any dirt or soot from ruining the glass.
The stove’s different features while allowing it to work efficiently also maintains its good condition.
Different Efficient Models of Wood Burning Stoves
The more recent wood-burning stoves are designed to ensure maximum efficiency and they also aim to reduce emissions.
While it is a great idea to use wood as fuel since it can be cost-effective, you also want to do this in the most efficient manner possible. These modern wood-burning stoves will estimate the amount of wood you need to put in. They also have the ability to warm your area while keeping it smoke-free.
Currently there two leading kinds of wood-burning stoves on the market:
Catalytic Wood Burning Stove
The catalytic stove, even though it is more expensive, burns fuel very efficiently. It has a more complex design which enables it to burn the wood for a longer time while giving off a steady heat.
Catalytic combustion allows any particles that don’t burn up to be used as fuel. A downside to a catalytic system is that its combustion element has to be replaced over a two or three year cycle.
Baffle Wood Burning Stove
This type of stove has a baffle plate barrier that prevents intense heat from coming into contact with the top of the stove. The barrier is located between the upper part of the stove and the fire chamber. It reflects smoke, heat, and any unburnt particles back into the stove’s fire chamber.
The baffle stove preserves the heat generated for a longer time and it is able to control the heat distribution in the room. But because baffle plates are directly exposed to intense heat, they will need replacing.
How to Make a Wood Stove More Efficient
The main thing you can do to make your wood-burning stove more efficient is to add a fan. Other than that you can also do the things listed below.
Use Dry Wood
To improve the efficiency of the stove, ensure that the wood you use is sufficiently dry; there should only be approximately 15% moisture.
Burning wood that is not properly dried will reduce the efficiency of the stove due to the wood being too moist to burn properly. Keep in mind that wood that is freshly cut usually contains around 65% moisture.
Add Wood Properly
Make sure you add the wood to the stove at the appropriate time. This affects the efficient functioning of the stove. Add the wood while the remaining embers are still burning slowly.
Prior to adding the wood, you can rake the burning embers a bit and then carefully place the new wood on top. Do not add too much wood; only add what you need. An excess amount of wood placed in the stove will hinder the combustion processes.
Regularly Clean your Chimney
Smoke deposits can over time gather on the surface inside the stove’s chimney. These deposits interrupt the way air flows into and out the chimney. Interference with the airflow results in the wood stove burning wood less efficiently.
You should clean the inside surface of the chimney regularly because a dirty chimney interferes with your stove’s performance.
Position the Chimney Properly
The efficiency of the wood-burning stove is also determined by the positioning of the chimney. To ensure that smoke is removed from the stove effectively, ensure the chimney is positioned over two feet beyond the building’s roof.