Woodstoves are basically a metal container that contains a fire for producing heat. Made from cast iron or brick-lined, welded plate steel, a woodstove has an inlet for combustion air and a metal chimney (pipe) for combustion gases/smoke. Woodstoves are primarily used for supplying heat to a home or specific area and some woodstoves can also be used for cooking.
Modern stoves are very airtight and allow precise control of the amount of combustion air that feeds the flame. This control allows a woodstove to burn far more efficiently than a traditional open fireplace & therefore uses far less wood & produces more heat. Early woodstove designs had efficiencies from 50% to 60%. Those built today have 75% to 90% overall efficiency, which means 90% of the heat is delivered to the home and only 10% is loss up the chimney. The newer efficient woodstoves also require far less cleaning of the stove & chimney since they produce less creosote & smoke. Therefore, purchasing a new advanced woodstove makes more economical sense than buying an older used woodstove.
Since woodstoves are located in the room (verses in the wall like a fireplace), they require a lot more space of that room. When designing your new home, this additional space needs to be taken into consideration.
The picture to the right is an example of a simple woodstove.
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