Making the most out of your wood, multi fuel stove
If you have a wood burning or multi fuel stove in your home you know how well it heats a room and makes it special. Gas and electric warm a home, a fire makes it cosy. However the heat will tend to rise to the ceiling and in places like the hearth it will get very hot and most of it will be wasted out the chimney. If you have an open fire 70% of your heat is lost up the chimney where as if you have a stove you lose about 45% you could reduce that if you circulate the heat away from the stove.
A back boiler connected to some radiators will turn a feature in to a utility, and drastically reduce your costs over the years as you are using your stove to heat the rest of your home too, you may also want to supplement your hot water as you can save even more, you should always seek professional advice if you go down this route.
If you can’t connect a back boiler, another way of circulating heat is to use an eco fan to move the hot air from the top of the stove to the rest of the room. This has a twofold effect of reducing your fuel consumption and warming a room quicker. This is quite pricey to start off with however it will pay for itself in a few years. Ecofan fans are excellent value, narrow boaters use them a lot and swear by them, not like a lot of eco devices which you swear at! It uses two different elements that when heated they produce an electric charge so you have no need for batteries or mains cables. It should pay for itself in one season (depending on the usage) and that is an excellent saving.
Ecofans generate its own electricity through the difference in temperature. The base must make contact with a heat source i.e. the stove; the top of the fan must remain cool. The fan needs to draw cooler air in from behind in order to operate and circulate the air around the room. Using the eco fan is as simple a lighting your fire, it will commence working as soon as it gets warm and stop working when the fire cools down sufficiently. Benefits include no batteries to change or any costs after you get one. It is a cheaper and easier alternative to warming an area however unlike the other options this can only heat one room.
An alternative is to make your own eco fan with a cooling fan from a desk top computer and a large 6 volt battery, While cheaper in the short term it will cost more to run in the long run, it does not look as aesthetically pleasing to the eye and is not as efficient but it will give you an idea of what a purpose built Ecofan will do.
Warm air circulation using a fan and lots of pipes from the stove area to other rooms in the house may require professional guidance.
Some people use an ordinary fan at the door to the room to push the air though the house, this works reasonably well in a bungalow or flat but not as well in a house.