Heating Your House With A Cast Iron Stove
Almost everyone likes the idea of an warming, cheery fireplace in their home. However, open fires are very inefficient at converting fuel to heat, with around 70 percent of the heat they produce going straight up the chimney of the house.
Modern cast iron stoves can provide the look and feel of an open fire, providing a comforting focal point in a room, whilst at the same time using fuel much efficiently than open fires.
Stoves can burn many types of fuel such as wood, peat briquettes, turf and coal and a kilogram of fuel burnt in a stove will produce at least three times more heat than when it is burnt on an open fire.
An open fire will keep drawing warm air from the rooms of your house as long as the rooms are at a higher temperature than the air outside your house. So all the heat produced by an evening fire is lost because the open fire is constantly drawing in massive amounts of air from the room. Open fires can also remove all the heat generated by other heat sources in your house such as night storage heaters or hot water radiators and waste it straight up the chimney of your house.
A modern stove can heat the room it is fitted in and, as the heat rises up through stair wells and landings and travels through floors, it can help to take the chill out of bedrooms. This heat will be absorbed into the walls of your house, which act as heat reservoirs.
A stove can go a long way to heating a whole cottage, or allow you to turn down your central heating thermostat. The air entering the stove can be regulated and this allows control of the speed of the burn and the temperature output. The stoves themselves are often designed so that the fire is routed through baffles which heat the stove before all the heat is lost up the chimney. This results in the stove radiating the heat back into the room.
Your fire can remain lit at a low setting overnight, and then be easily stoked up in a short time the next morning. With an energy efficiency of up to 76 percent, stoves have the potential to halve the cost of your house heating bills. In today's environmentally aware world, their carbon monoxide emissions are as low as 0.25 percent.
These stoves can often be retrofitted in existing chimneys, with or without flue liners.
If you are using wood to fuel the stove and heat your house, you should always burn dry wood. The drier the wood you use, the less you will require to heat your home. Dry wood also creates much less creosote than damp or green wood. Stack wood so the air circulates around it. Dry wood is easier to split into smaller pieces that will fit into your stove. The best place to dry wood is a wood shed, basement, or garage.
This article is only intended as a basic general summary and you should always seek professional advice where necessary.
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