Wood Stoves are often referred to as Slow / Combustion Stoves, Wood Burning Stoves, Closed Combustion Fires or Closed System Fireplaces.
Wood Stoves offer the following benefits over open hearth fireplaces:
General Efficiency of Wood Stoves:
70% - 80% Compared to open fires of around 10% - 35%
An ample future supply of fire logs is available at realistic cost of +/- R1,000 per ton, cut to size, below 20% moisture content hardwood, delivered to your home.
Non-Reliant on Electricity:
Power outages won't leave you "in the cold"
As these fires are totally sealed, no smoke or sparks can escape into your living space.
Safe to operate when out of the home. Many owners keep them fueled-up to keep their homes warm when out or when they retire to bed (up to 8hrs refuel). However, children and the elderly should be made aware of the outer surface high temperatures when in operation.
For the past few generations Europe and those in colder climates have experienced their economy, efficiency and warmth as the primary source of home heating - an assuring record of "Best 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.
The ash content of dry hardwoods is usually around 1%, so only clean max once per week. The ash is great for the garden.
Cast Iron and Steel:
Cast Iron models heat up and cool down slower than steel models but both types have the same heating capacity formula i.e. 12m2/kW (standard 2,5m ceiling) or 30M3/kW, assuming normal home insulation, curtained windows, north or east facing, etc.
General long term durability is about the same - all with heat output air controls - primary and secondary air.
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.