Wood burning stoves are appliances used for heating and cooking purposes using wood as fuel as well as wood pellets. The construction of wood burning stoves involves a steel or cast iron fire chamber that is closed, a base of firebrick, and an air control system that is adjustable. A well-designed wood stove system can provide an even and steady heat for a living area in a more cost effective manner those other heating systems.
Stove pipes that are ventilated to a flue or chimney when once the fuel ignites will fill up with the hot gases of combustion. Since the gases from combustion are hotter than the outside air, they will be drawn up the chimney and to the outdoors. There is a damper located in the chimney that is used to control the airflow. The airflow is important to keeping the fire burning and moving the smoke and gases up and out of the chimney.
Many newer stove designs will feature an outside air source, which eliminates air having to come from the living space. This process creates a more efficiently run stove with less need for damper adjustment.
Regular ongoing maintenance of wood stoves is necessary for safety and operational purposes. Emptying ash from the stove, regular cleaning of the stove chimney and pipes is important. Creosote can build up in the chimney and can eventually cause spot fires that can spread to the structure of the home itself. Soot can block the flow of air through the stove and cause the backup of smoke.
The type of wood burnt in wood burning stoves is significant. Hardwoods and softwoods will provide approximately the same energy content, but the difference is noted in the rate that the firewood burns. Consequently hardwoods will take longer to burn, thus providing heat for a longer period of time. Softwood will burn more quickly and is more suitable for cooking.
It is also important to keep in mind that other combustibles such as coal, oil, kerosene, or gasoline must never be added to wood burning stoves as the fire produced may suddenly overwhelm the stove and the pipes and create a fire in the house.
With rising costs of energy many people have looked into alternative methods of heating their homes and the use of wood burning stoves has proven to be a very effective alternative. Today we find this method of heating in over eight hundred thousand homes.
There are methods where a wood burning system can be used to heat an entire home, but most stoves are used as supplemental heating for sections of homes and living areas. Once a wood stove gets fired up and running the thermostat can be adjusted which will save overall heating costs.
The wood burning stoves available on the market can be purchase as stylish, attractive centrepieces in a room and can become a conversation piece, adding to the allure of the living space. If a person doesn’t mind the maintenance of running such a device, the savings and the steady heat can be a real advantage and a great alternative-heating source.