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How to Maximize Heat From a Wood Burning Appliance: 5 Tips

Updated on December 1, 2011

Maximizing Heat Tips

Wood burning appliances manufactured today are cleaner burning and powerful enough to heat an average-sized modern home. Such appliances include stoves (see photo), and fireplace inserts. But how do you keep it operating for maximum heat output?

Below are 5 suggestions to get the most benefit from your wood burning heater:

1 - Newer models - Modern wood burning appliances are designed to be more energy efficent than the older models. Consider a newer heater that is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These newer heaters have a catalytic combuster which helps to generate more heat.

2 - Use the right type of wood - The right type of wood will make a difference. Avoid wet wood as it uses a lot of energy. Wood should be properly seasoned without any green. The moisure content should be about 20% - 25% by weight. Wood that is too dry will smoke and create creosote.

3 - The right size - The wood heater should be the appropriate size to heat the space. A too large heater can release too much heat, which may require a reduction in the air supply entering the stove. This can reduce the efficiency of the wood burning stove.

4 - A blower - A blower or fan can help air circulation. Hot air needs to circulate throughout the room or heat can be lost to the outside. The blower can be placed in front of a stove to help distribute warm air. You can also install a heat reclaimer to capture heat that usually goes up the chimney.

5 - Cleaning - Heat transfer can be reduced by as much as 50% - if just 1/10th of an inch of soot is not cleaned from the appliance. Clean thoroughly with a wire brush after each use.

For more information about heating a home, including an outdoor wood burning boiler, see links below:

wood burning fireplace
wood burning fireplace


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    • whitton profile image


      8 years ago

      There is a lot of useful information here. They are definitely an acceptable alternative to fireplaces and have some added features and bonuses. Thanks for posting!

    • prasetio30 profile image


      8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Another great information from you. My friend, you always come up with useful information and your tips are really work. Thank you very much. Rating up. Take care!


    • cvanthul profile image

      Cristina Vanthul 

      8 years ago from Florida

      Great tips, informative hub. Nicely done.

    • BkCreative profile image


      8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I wonder if anyone ever bothers to clean that little bit of ash. But now that we know if can reduce efficiency by 50% - well, yikes!

      Thanks a million for the tips. I'll certainly pass them on!

      Rated up!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      8 years ago from Georgia

      Voted it up! Lot's of useful information here. Thanks.


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