Wood Burning Stoves
Wood burning stoves are a popular way to supplement or provide heat for your home during the winter months. Wood burning stoves are nothing more than a heating system that uses airflow to control the amount of wood burning that takes place. However, in order to get the full benefits of heating your home with a wood burning stove, it has to be an energy efficient and relatively modern unit.
Wood Burning Stove Construction
The material that the stove is constructed of is quite important in how much heat is radiated out into the room. Cast iron and steel are the best metals for heat conductivity. The color of the finish is also an important factor, with black being the best color.
Types of Wood Burning Stoves
There are many models and designs of wood burning stoves to choose from, but there are really only three basic types:
1. Box Wood Burning Stove
This type of stove uses vents in the door to take in air for combustion; there is no damper control, and gases are released up the chimney.
2. Airtight Wood Burning Stove
This stove controls the air intake through the use of a manually controlled damper, allowing for a slow burning heat that lasts for a long time.
3. Pellet stove
The pellet stove uses wood pellets that are electronically fed into the combustion chamber of the stove; these models provide a steady source of heat.
The Importance of Right Kind of Wood For a Wood Burning Stove
Using the right kind of wood will also help your wood burning stove work more efficiently to provide heat for your home. Hardwoods such as oak burn the hottest, and are the most efficient in providing the most heat. They also emit the fewest pollutants into the atmosphere, a concern in some parts of the country.
In general, the wood must be properly air dried and seasoned to burn well. Seasoning refers to a 6 to 9 month period in which the wood dries out. The drier the wood, the more efficiently it will burn, which is better for you and the environment.
Purchasing a Wood Burning Stove
When buying a new stove, always look for one that says EPA Certified Phase II on the label. Another consideration is to purchase the correct size wood burning stove needed for the area you are planning to heat. A stove that is too small will not provide enough heat and work too hard. Conversely, one that is too big for the space will not be working at its full potential.