Heating our homes efficiently is crucial these days. It helps us save money, and it’s better for the environment. In Australia, we use a lot of wood to keep our homes warm – between 4.1 and 4.2 million tonnes of it each year, in fact! That’s a lot of trees and a lot of energy.
But what if we could get the same warmth and comfort from less wood? The good news is, we can. By making our wood heaters more efficient, we can get more heat from each piece of wood. This means we can use less wood, save more money, and be kinder to the environment. This blog will tell you how. But for us to learn how we must first understand how wood heater works.
How wood heaters work
Wood heaters, often called wood stoves or fireplaces, work on a simple principle: you light a fire, and the heat from that fire warms up your home. But there’s a bit more going on behind the scenes. When you light a fire in a wood heater, it burns the wood and creates heat. The heater then uses either natural convection or a fan to spread this heat around the room.
The efficiency of a wood heater depends on how completely it burns the wood and how well it transfers the heat to the room. The more completely the wood is burned and the better the heat is spread around the room, the less wood you need to use.
There are several types of wood heaters available, each with its own benefits and levels of efficiency:
- Traditional wood fireplaces: These are the ones you might imagine when you think of a cozy, crackling fire. However, traditional fireplaces are inefficient because much heat is lost through the chimney.
- Wood stoves: These are standalone units that burn logs to provide heat. They are more efficient than traditional fireplaces because they are closed, which keeps more heat inside the unit and pushes it out into the room.
- Wood fireplace inserts: These units fit into an existing fireplace to make it more efficient. They work by sealing off the fireplace’s combustion from the home, which increases the fire’s temperature and leads to complete combustion.
What is a good efficiency for a wood heater?
Efficiency ratings for wood heaters are given in percentages. A higher percentage means a more efficient heater. As a guideline, a good wood heater will have an efficiency rating of around 60-70%, which is also required in some states, such as NSW and Queensland. Some of the most efficient wood heaters, such as Quadra-Fire’s high-quality wood fireplace inserts, can have up to 80% or more efficiency ratings.
Tips for improving wood heater efficiency
Getting the most heat from your wood heater isn’t just about the design. Here are some practical tips to keep your heater working efficiently:
Engage a professional
While it may be tempting to try DIY, hiring a professional like Quadra-Fire for your wood heater installation, maintenance, or upgrades can ensure the job is done right. Professionals have the knowledge and skills to ensure your heater is set up for optimal performance. They can also spot any issues that might be hindering your heater’s efficiency and address them appropriately.
Select the right heater
Look for models with high-efficiency ratings. If you have an open fireplace, you might want to install a fireplace insert. These are designed to fit into your existing fireplace and can improve its efficiency by containing the heat and directing it into the room.
Another excellent option is slow-combustion wood fireplaces. These units are designed to burn wood slower, making them highly efficient and economical. The slow burn allows for a steady release of heat over a longer period, reducing the amount of wood needed and thus saving you money.
Choose the right wood
Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and birch are denser and burn hotter and longer than softwoods, making them a more efficient choice. It’s also important to use dry, seasoned wood because fresh or ‘green’ wood contains a high amount of moisture, leading to more smoke and less heat when burned.
Maintain and clean regularly
Routine cleaning and maintenance of your wood heater are also essential. Over time, soot and ash can accumulate, clogging vents and reducing the heater’s efficiency. Similarly, regular chimney sweeping is crucial to prevent the build-up of creosote, a byproduct of wood burning that can obstruct the chimney and lower your heater’s efficiency.
Contact Quadra-Fire for fireplace servicing and maintenance assistance.
Explore efficient heating with Quadra-Fire
Experience the future of efficient home heating with Quadra-Fire. Our range of wood heaters, which includes cutting-edge fireplace inserts and freestanding wood stoves, boasts an impressive average efficiency rating of up to 85%. This means you get more heat from less wood, providing both warmth and savings.
What sets Quadra-Fire apart is our innovative technology. Our patented Quadra-Fire Four-Point Burn System produces intense rolling flames, maximising heat output and creating a mesmerising visual experience. This advanced technology, coupled with our unwavering commitment to quality, ensures you get a heating solution that’s efficient, reliable and aesthetically pleasing.