Wood-burning stoves are an efficient source of supplemental and/or zone heating. Their energy efficiency rating is 40-65 percent of available usable heat; by comparison, most furnaces operate at about 70 percent efficiency. About 70 percent of a stove’s usable heat comes from radiation; therefore, it is important that it be made of a metal with […]READ MORE
Heat must be generated from a fuel source-coal, wood, electricity, gas, etc. It must then be transferred to the objects or areas to be heated. This happens in a combination of three ways, with one predominating.Conduction heat moves from warmer to cooler areas through another material, such as glass or metal. Convection heat moves as part of another substance, such as air or water. Radiation energy is collected and emitted as heat from one surface to be absorbed by another, such as from a hot stove surface to a human being.
Cooling a home involves drawing warm air outside and dissipating it. Many consumers purchase alternate heating appliances-including wood-burning stoves, kerosene heaters and electric space heaters-to supplement their central heating system. Homeowners may also use zone heating, in which unused portions of the home are shut off and only the spaces in use are heated.
Depending on climate and energy costs for the central system, many homeowners have found that alternate heating methods do provide substantial savings on their energy costs.
Fireplaces and wood-burning stoves are common alternate heat sources, but their energy efficiency must be considered. Energy efficiency is defined as the percentage of energy generated by a heat source that is converted into usable heat.According to The Wood-burners Encyclopedia, stoves average 40-65 percent energy efficiency. Standard masonry fireplaces average 5 to 15 percent energy efficiency when burning, and -5- (a 5 percent heat loss)10 percent energy efficiency if the fire is dying out and the damper is open.
More recent developments in fireplace construction are improving these energy efficiency ratings. In addition, there are heat-recovery items such as heat extractors, heat exchangers and glass enclosures that aid energy efficiency.
Likewise, in the summer, consumers buy alternate cooling methods such as floor and window fans, ventilators and attic fans to supplement or reduce the burden on central air conditioning.
A space heater is the answer to those chilly days or evenings in spring or fall when it is not cold enough to start the furnace. It can also be used in extremely cold weather to raise the temperature of one room to a comfortable level while “dialing down” the remainder of the house. Portable […]READ MORE
Setback devices for furnaces and, in some cases, central air conditioning, evolved as a way of reducing energy consumption in the home with no loss in comfort. All of the units operate on the principle of a timer that turns the heat up or down automatically at predetermined times. This allows the user to turn […]READ MORE
Cold air holds little moisture. When it enters the house and is warmed, the air in the house becomes uncomfortably dry. This dryness, in addition to causing personal discomfort such as respiratory distress and dry skin, can wither house plants, loosen joints in furniture and even crack paintings. It is also the prime cause of […]READ MORE
It has been estimated that 90 percent of the heat generated by a conventional masonry fireplace goes up the chimney. To help make fireplaces more energy efficient, accessory items recover lost heat and return it to the room. HEAT-RECOVERY SYSTEMS One type of heat-recovery system looks like a glass fireplace enclosure but actually generates heat through convection. […]READ MORE
With the arrival of cooler weather, it is essential to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Fireplaces and wood burning stoves offer convenience and comfort to keep your family warm through the colder months. There are many different fireplace options out there from electric and gas to wood burning and pellet stoves. Here at […]READ MORE
In addition to items that help the energy efficiency of fireplaces are those that are necessary to its operation or that add to its decorative value. Fire screens, andirons, grates, fire tools and gas logs fall into this category. With the exception of gas logs, there are several factors that are common to fireplace furnishings, […]READ MORE
As environmental issues continue to pick up steam, many consumers are turning to fans as a lower cost and environmentally safe cooling alternative. Fans, as a whole, use little energy compared to other cooling methods, and their low price point attracts cost conscious customers. WINDOW FANS A window fan can add greatly to the comfort of a […]READ MORE
Excessive dampness in a home can cause damage to walls, floors, carpets and even plumbing. It is especially prevalent in basements, basement apartments and storage areas. A dehumidifier takes excessive moisture out of the air by blowing humid air over cold evaporator coils in a refrigerator system. Quality is closely related to the amount of […]READ MORE
Window air conditioners cool, circulate, filter and dehumidify air in the house. They range in size from small units with a cooling capacity of 5,000 BTUs (enough to cool a small room) to as high as 32,000 BTUs (sufficient to cool a small house with adequate airflow). It is crucial that you purchase the right […]READ MORE