WOOD - SLOW COMBUSTION
A slow combustion heater can
be one of the most economical
forms of home-heating.
A genuine Combustion Heater incorporates:
Such features allow safe, efficient and effective heating, by a process of controlled combustion.
- Air supply regulators.
- An 'airtight' firebox of sufficient size, often
with some form of secondary burning
- Airtight door(s) with or without heat-
- Heavy duty construction.
Plus for safety:
- A fire system with shielded ceiling/roof penetration.
- A non-combustible hearth.
Slow combustion heaters are safe, reliable, require little maintenance and have the ability to heat from one room to a whole house. However, their initial purchase price (which is substantial) makes it advisable to choose wisely and operate the appliance efficiently.
Selecting The Appliance
Before you go shopping, you should know where you are going to put your heater for effectiveness and safety.
It depends partly on what you expect from it. If you want the heater to heat your whole house, then a large free-standing unit, or inbuilt unit with a fan-boosted rear outlet, may be desirable. For maximum heat this should be located as centrally as possible. Usually the living-room is a good location, but it depends on your floor plan. A long, narrow style of house may be almost impossible to heat with one heater; a house with a wing also presents a problem. Sometimes this can be overcome by strategically placed fans or heat shifters .
Appearance is also a factor in heater placement. If a wood heater standing out in the middle of the room is going to be a worry, you may prefer one that sits on the hearth, or even entirely within the fireplace. If you don't want to lose the look of the fireplace, you may want to buy an inbuilt model.
Other questions to ask yourself are:
- Do you want to cook with your heater?
- Do you want to obtain your hot water supply?
- Do you want to heat hot-water radiators?
- Is the woodpile reasonably close to where the heater will be?
(In a new house you may be able to build a wood-box with access
- Will installation of heater and flue be straightforward?
(Remember that the cost of installation can add considerably to the
cost of the heater; check, in particular, the proposed placement of the
flue through the ceiling and roof.)
- Do you want to connect to solar?