Ignite the Flame: Wood Burning Technology for Efficient Home-Heating Systems

Karissa A

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Over the last few decades, wood burning systems morphed from a simple heating method to a redefined technological innovation centering on a focal point of reducing emission and increasing heating efficiency. When choosing a wood burning appliance, factors such as placement, sizing, installation, make-up air and maintenance are carefully taken into consideration to achieve the maximum efficacy of the home heating system.


Advanced Technology Fireplaces
As the name suggests, energy efficiency of advanced technology fireplaces (zero-clearance fireplaces) rises up to 70% as compared to the conventional fireplaces. Through the central heating capability of this new technology, two sources of preheated combustion air follow a distinct path from the fireplaces to the ducts of a house. Efficient home heating is achieved firstly with its directional aim at the burning wood while the second technique aims to be placed above the heat source to capture the combustible remnants that would otherwise escape into the chimney. While conventional fireplaces are inefficient as they do not include any emission reduction technologies, they can be installed with a fireplace insert which will include a stainless steel liner running from the flue collar to the chimney's top.


Outdoor Wood Boilers
For an outdoor boiler to work, it usually requires a jacket water cooling system which will envelop the combustible chamber of firebox with substantial cast-iron doors. This water jacket prevents the firebox of the outdoor wood boilers and hydronic systems from overheating. The heat transfer process will run from the fire source such as wood, pellets, fuel or electric heating coil, resulting in the water medium which can then be distributed to the building's insulated pipes through hot water, heat exchangers or heat emitters.


Pellet Stoves
Considered as the most efficient home heating system, pellet stoves make use of organic materials such as wood chips, bark and sawdust which are then transformed into low-moisture, high-density pellets. Pellet burning appliances provide a hopper for the container of the pellets until such time that they are fed into the motorized systems. This pellet feed rate can be controlled by a thermostat. Usually run by electricity, the transferred fuel yielded from the auger of the combustion chamber moves to the venting system through an exhaust fan. Distribution of the air from the system is then achieved through the integration of circulating fan and heat exchangers into the room. Micro-apartments can make use of this small wood burning technology.


Masonry Heaters
Earning its reputation as an expensive heating system, masonry heaters are as efficient as they can be. For a short time, the wood that is fed into the system is burned very hot, providing cost-efficiency with fuel and resources. The large wood stoves comprising of thick-lined reinforced masonry materials and fire-resistant lining inside the combustible firebox absorb the heat energy of the burnt wood, which turns into a dormant heat for 24 hours after the fire cools down. Exhaust gases are then distributed through chambers or a baffle which is a heat-preventing dispersion system helping in the system's 90% efficiency. With its raw-textured brick material, masonry heaters provide a beautiful embellishment to loft apartments.


What other types of heating systems have you applied in your home? Feel free to share your knowledge in the advances of wood burning technology by commenting below!


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