A wood burning stove is an energy efficient heating appliance capable of burning wood, gas or biomass fuel, including sawdust particles. In general the appliance comprises an air-tight metal closed firebox, surrounded by cast iron grills, and usually lined with fire brick. A chimney or flue connect the appliance to outside air.
Although an open fire place's heat close to the user, a wood burning stove distributes heat more evenly. The heat in each room is distributed over a greater area by the fact that the appliance is located so close to the burner that heat is evenly distributed throughout the room. The fireplace starts from the bottom of the flue, but may rise up through the chimney or top of the fireplace. The burner is also situated high enough above the fireplace so that air must travel under its hot gases to reach the user. It is the part of the heater that causes most of the smoke produced by the fire to be inhaled.
Some wood stoves are designed so that a separate venting system is provided in case of excess smoke is produced. However, most wood stoves are vented through the air intake of the appliance. The exhaust system is usually attached directly to the outside of the flue. Wood heaters are vented into an ash container which must be constantly emptied or the ash will fill the chimney. It is recommended that the ash be replaced at least once a year.
The emissions from a wood burner are relatively high in volume but low in composition. There are very little sulfur and carbon dioxide in the emissions. Because of this it is considered an environmentally friendly type of heater because there is little chance of significant pollution. The ash and particles of burned wood are so small that they are inhaled by the user with little or no effect. The combustion process also uses a large amount of water, which saves a great deal of water in the process. It is estimated that a wood stove in use for two people produces up to 40% less smoke than an electric cooker does.
A wood burner is a great way to warm up the house during the winter months when the furnace might not be working properly. This type of heater is also a good choice for keeping an area warm after the heat of the house has been turned off. There is very little chance of fire due to the low smoke and gas emissions. There is some noise from the burning fuel but this is not usually noticed. It is important that you read the instructions that come with your heater to ensure that you use the proper amount of fuel and that you do not overfill the tank.
There are many benefits to owning a wood burning furnace. They heat the home efficiently and effectively without causing significant pollution. They are cost effective when compared to electric or gas heaters and can be used for cooking as well. You will get very warm very fast and you can enjoy the warmth for a long time when you have a chimney top fireplace insert.