The Lowdown on Conventional Wood Fireplaces
It’s hard to find people who do not take pleasure in the warmth and coziness that a fireplace offers. Sadly, the conventional wood fireplaces seldom come up to the expectations set for them. A lot of these traditional wood fireplaces smoke, are difficult to light and create cold, unpleasant drafts that cause unexpected problems.
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What is Wood Fireplaces
Wood is the most common type of fireplace. Like what the name implies this type of fireplace is designed to use firewood for fuel. Furthermore, a lot of wood fireplaces have a chimney that expels the fume and burned matter up the chimney and out of the house.
These kinds of fireplaces are rather common and have been chosen as the fireplace of choice for a lot of years now. But these fireplaces regularly need maintenance to get rid of ashes and to clean buildups of wood matter in the chimney.
Conventional Wood Fireplace
Conventional wood fireplaces are considered exceedingly inefficient. It has been previously shown in experiments that on cold winter days, the use of traditional fireplaces will in fact result in higher fuel consumption for heating. This inefficiency is primarily caused by the fact that when there’s a fire burning, high levels of heated household air flows through the fireplace and up the chimney.
A conventional wood fireplace will consume up to 10 times the quantity of air needed by a normal oil or gas furnace. Only a little amount of the air drawn into a hearth is actually used for combustion. The rest of the air, which is known as excess or tramp air, escapes outdoors.
The flow of air draws heat produced by the fire up the chimney, instead of letting it transfer to the house. It also causes a high rate of air exchange inside the house, which causes the furnace or other main heat source to work double time to warm more air.
Poor Designs of Wood Fireplace
Poor overall design of most traditional fireplaces are the cause of high volumes of tramp air. But the hitch is that a lot of fireplaces today are not designed for producing useable heat, only for viewing. In general, these traditional fireplaces do not do a good job of gathering heat from the flame and flue gases and push it into the house.
In short, they provide poor heat exchange. What little heat most conventional fireplaces extract goes into the fireplace wall, where a big part of it is conduct outside, instead of being conducted into the house.
While some people install fans in their fireplaces to help with the heat distribution, these fans are most of the time not efficient and, in fact, even use up more energy than they transfer to in the home.
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Another problem is that traditional fireplaces have a big leakage area, which is the chimney opening. It causes heated house air to become lost, or cold air to get in the room. Although the damper may be regarded as the solution to this problem, in actuality, the impact is doubtful. To reduce off-cycle loss of heated indoor air, tight-fitting glass doors should be installed.
These doors may result in higher air demands because of a more intense combustion and higher burning rate. In addition, the doors of most fireplaces use tempered glass to survive the heat, which does not send out most of the infrared radiation coming from the fire to the room.