The cost of residential heating can be reduced by the installation of a wood burning stove. The price of a cord of wood varies, but there is always great flexibility in purchase options. A comparison of the various wood heating methods will yield a viable solution for the question of installing either a traditional wood heater or a stove built into an existing fireplace.
Like other heating options, wood heating is usually categorized as either radiant or convective. A radiant wood stove has one layer of thick cast iron housing and heat naturally disperses in all directions. A convection stove is constructed with two outer housing layers separated by an intervening space. Although usually categorized as one or the other, most wood stoves effectively function as a mixture of both methods.
A radiant stove is the most basic design and radiates heat outward in all directions. The second housing layer of a convective heater results in a quality referred to as cool to the touch. A fan is used to circulate air from the space between the two layers. For residences that lack the space necessary to install a freestanding stove, a better option might be to install a wood heater customized for your open fireplace.
Custom fireplace insert
A wood stove built into your fireplace utilizes the open space in the hearth. Fireplace inserts are usually constructed with two outer layers and primarily produce heat in a convective manner. Air is heated between the two housing layers, and it exits near the top of the insert. The exiting of the warmed air causes cooler air to enter through an opening near the bottom of the insert. A fan is also used to assist the process.
Adding an efficient chimney liner
Whether you select a freestanding model or a fireplace insert, a flue lining is necessary to efficiently direct combustion smoke to the top of the chimney. The chimney liner is a tubular conduit constructed of metal or clay. The liner works in conjunction with the damper and is appropriately sized to provide you with optimal control over the effectiveness of the heating process.
A custom fireplace insert can enhance the appearance of a room in addition to providing home heating. The tempered glass used on wood stove doors provides attractive lighting along with radiant heat. Contact a wood stove contractor like Alpine Fireplaces for further information on how to cut your energy bills with a wood burning stove.