More heat, less fuel, for longer
Besides the wonderful ambiance it creates, a fireplaces is a great way to heat a home effectively, especially if you live in an area where wood is plentiful. Whether built-in or freestanding, closed combustion fireplaces win hands down every time on every possible metric.
So what exactly is closed combustion?
Closed combustion, also called slow burners, refers to a fire burning behind a sealed glass door. The units are generally fitted with adjustable air controls so that you can regulate the amount of air flowing into the combustion chamber (and to some extent control the flame and output of the fireplace).
Closed combustion fires use approximately one third of the wood and transfer 85% of the heat back into the room.
Why is it more effective than an open fire?
In an open combustion fireplace (no glass) there is no control over combustion air. As your fire heats up, it consumes more air, most of which goes up and out the flue outlet resulting in heat loss.
Additionally, closed-combustion fireplaces recirculate the hot air before allowing it to escape through the flue, and burn at a high enough temperature to re-ignite the recirculated air.
So in a closed system, most of the heat generated remains in your home as the flow of hot air up the chimney is very low and the need to suck cold air in from outside, to replace the escaped hot air, is negated.
Top 10 reasons to choose closed combustion.
1. Lifespan: Most slow combustion stoves have a very long lifespan, normally in excess of 25 years if not abused. So even if they are a little more pricy at the start they are more efficient, more effective, last longer and require less maintenance than open fires.
2. Efficiency: Closed combustion is 70% – 80% effective, compared to open fires which are rated around 10% – 35%
3. Environmentally a good choice: Being +70% efficient, the wood stoves are fully acceptable as environmentally friendly. Carbon emissions are extremely low are long as the correct dry hardwood logs are used. In fact a tree gives off less carbon dioxide when burnt in a stove than if allowed to decompose naturally. Certain models with cast iron grates and ash-pans are suitable as multi-fuel burners and can also burn Anthracite. The ash content is higher, but it allows for a longer burn time.
4. Less mess: The ash content of dry hardwoods is usually around 1%, so only clean max once per week. The ash is great for the garden.
5. Economical to run: Most slow burners use very little wood and can keep burning on one or two pieces of wood per hour. In fact, on average closed combustion, slow burners, use one third less wood than open hearth fires.
6. Adds value: As efficient wood stoves are the sensible choice now and for the foreseeable future, whatever you spend now will not only add true value to your home, but give many years of wonderful warmth through the winters at extremely low cost.
7. Slow burn, warm mornings: With your controls set correctly and after placing a number of logs into the unit late in the evening the stove will continue to give heat for up to 8 hours which means you will wake up to a warm home. What a pleasure, don’t you think?
8. Safety: Closed system fireplaces are much safer than open fires, because there is no risk of sparks igniting nearby fabric or carpet.
9. Low smoke emissions: Closed system fireplaces are designed to be used in smoke free zones. Because closed system fireplaces are sealed, you won’t have to deal with smoke filling your house.
10. Non-reliance of electricity: Power outages won’t leave you “in the cold”
11. PLUS – a BONUS point is that fire place and stove technology has improved so much that you can now get almost any colour, size, shape and output.
So, to sum it all up:
MORE HEAT LESS FUEL FOR LONGER
Closed system fireplaces are the most effective way to heat your home as they only allow enough air into the fireplace to fuel the fire, thus creating an 80% heat retention in your home, versus a traditional open fireplace that has an 80% heat loss.