Friday, February 1, 2013

Three Wood Stove Myths

We've rounded up a few myths about using wood stoves to help clear the air for those of you who read our blog.

Myth: Different types of wood burned in your stove give off different types of heat.
It doesn't matter if your wood is hard wood or soft wood, the type will not determine whether your wood will give off more or less heat. All wood has the same energy to mass ratio. The difference that you will come across in hard vs. soft woods is how long it takes to burn and the total heat energy that is supplied for creating useful heat vs. heat being wasted during combustion. Hard woods burn slower while your soft woods will burn longer. Your total heat energy will be the same, it is just the time it takes to use up all of the wood's energy is varied. The type of wood will only affect how often you need to put wood into your wood stove. Keep in mind that regardless of your wood type your wood should be seasoned, read more at How to Season Firewood

Myth: It is beneficial to starve a stove for adequate air combustion.
A starved fire will become overly smoky. This is caused by incomplete combustion which will cause more unburned particulates and gaseous air pollutants to be created than a hot fire that has adequate air supply will make. Poor combustion can also cause more build up of creosote in your chimney which is a fire hazard. Carbon monoxide build up is also a concern with incomplete combustion.

Myth: A wood burning stove is not any more efficient than an open fireplace.
If you have a quality wood burning stove it should operate between 70-85% efficiency when the door is closed. This means that just 15-30% of your heat is lost. When you have an open fire in a fireplace the efficiency is about 20% which means more than 4/5 of your heat is being lost through your chimney.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know that both soft and hardwoods have the same energy to mass ratio, I was always told that hardwood gives off more heat, there's something new that I've learned. I'm looking for wood burning stoves for sale as I really want to update my own. Thanks for this interesting article, it's very informative.


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