Heating System Guides

Consumer Buying Guides to Home Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

How Do Wood Stoves Keep a Whole House Warm?

When some homeowners think of a wood stove they picture the old fashion cast iron stove that made the kitchen too hot and didn’t adequately heat the rest of the house.

While radiant-heat stoves are still in use, the Consumer Energy Center explains why many wood stoves are now being used to heat the entire home, providing a balanced, comfortable climate in every room.

This home heating system guide discusses the types of central heating systems that use wood as a fuel source.

Wood stove with a blower fan – This is the simplest type of wood fired central heating system is definitely one with a blower fan.  The stove transfers heat through a heat exchanger and the heated air is dispersed with a blower fan. It is designed for smaller homes with an open floor plan and is a popular choice for single-story homes and open A-frame type homes.  Ceiling fans are often installed to assist with the circulation of the heat in order to balance temperatures.

Wood stove and ductwork – In larger homes, the furnace may be installed in a basement or even outside.  Again, wood is the most common fuel source but wood pellets and corn are also popular and coal can be used in many of them too.  As the fire burns, heat is transferred through one or more heat exchangers and is then forced into the rooms of the home via the ductwork.  A blower fan in the wood stove may push the air or an air handler may be used.

Wood boiler systems – These units are becoming more popular each year.  There are several types of designs for boiler systems, but they all share common elements.  These large wood stoves heat water which is pumped into the home via a circulating pipe or set of pipes.  The pipes distribute heated water through in-floor tubing, radiators or baseboard convectors, or through a heat exchanger in an air handler.  Most of these wood fired home heating systems are installed outside the home.  They use wood, coal or other combustible solids for fuel.  Many also heat the home’s hot water supply.

Finally, you need to decide if a wood stove home heating system right for you?  If you live in an area where hard wood for fuel is free or inexpensive, they can be extremely affordable to operate and the equipment costs are competitive with other central heating systems.  The technology is far superior to what it used to be and these wood stove central heat systems can supply comfortable, efficient and dependable heat for any home.

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