There is nothing like a wood fire – whether it is from a fireplace or a wood stove. Yet how do you get more heat out of the two to heat your home or cottage? The following deal mainly with how to get more from a wood stove to heat your areas to supplement your furnace heating.
In this day and age optional accessories and fittings are available to make wood stoves basically more efficient and effective in throwing out heat – more like a furnace. Not long ago these tools and add ons were simply not available in the heating trades’ marketplace.
Two of the most widely recommended by heating trades people and heat and furnace contractors are what is referred to as a “heat extractor” and a stovepipe oven. Heat extractors work by salvaging and scavenging heat that would otherwise be lost up the chimney flue. Stove-pipe ovens will adapt these wood stoves for baking as well. Both can be said to be utilized in a most safe manner if a concurrent stack type thermometer is utilized to monitor temperatures.
In terms of the heat extractor devices the most common varieties that you will find – either recommended by your trusted heating tradesman or at local big box hardware home renovation stores essentially consist of a metal box, with two short stovepipe connections, that is designed to replace a standard 24 inch section of stovepipe that is close to the fire box. The metal box has between 10 and 14 collector tubes running through it horizontally. Flue gasses flowing through the box and around the tubes make them very very hot indeed. When they reach a temperature of in the ranges of 150 degrees Fahrenheit, room air is blown through them by a small electric fan simply activated by a thermostat.
Nearly all newer stoves and the vast majority of older models can benefit from such an addition. The average wood burning stove it seems can send intense heat – between 750 degrees and 1150 degrees Fahrenheit into the collar of the flue that is the area just above the firebox. If you can just harness some of this wasted heat output, your stove thermal output and heating efficiency can be boosted up to the range. One case in point to watch out for – an exception are the what is referred to as “airtight stoves’ which are designed to control the heat that they generate within their fire boxes so that all in all relatively little waste heat escapes into the chimney flues. Indeed just to prove the point of where the heat is going – in the home rather than heating up the outside – the collars of flues of these airtight variety of stoves only register on thermometers in the range of 300 degrees to 550 degrees maximums.
One last point about the safety of using heat extractors. Overall you are further ahead in terms of safety and household fires as the duct system runs much cooler. Yet on the other side with the chimney pipes and flues running cooler residue – especially creosote soot buildup is a concern. Previously running much hotter these residues and surface coatings either never occurred or were “burned off”. Take the time and attention to basically double your chimney cleaning efforts – that is reduce the time intervals by 1/2 or double the amount of cleanings per year. Next also add to the cleaning routines that the tubes in the extractor also be cleaned.
By following these procedures and adding these devices to your wood stove heating system you will find that your home or cottage is more comfortable with less raw wood heating costs all in a fire safe manner.