Do heating stoves really help your heating bill?

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That sucking air is a myth. A fireplace may not heat a whole house but in a room that is occupied most often will save on heat costs as the t-stat can be lowered and the chill will not be noticed. I wouldnt buy a house without a fireplace.
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Could you elaborate a bit?
Fires need oxygen to burn. Exhaust gasses are vented up an open chimney. Make up air has to come in from some place. Sure some heat is radiated back to the room, but how can you be sure that more is radiated back than goes up the chimney? Keeping in mind that there is always an exception to any "rule", and that generalities are generally wrong, perhaps a bit of explanation would help here. Myth all the time? Some of the time? None of the time?
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Testing a fireplace is relatively simple. On a cold day with the house temperature around 70, turn off your primary heating system, start your furnace, monitor the change in temperature. Limit the heating are by closing of the room(s) with the fireplace. Compare with another test with similar temperatures but don't run the fireplace.
We have a fireplace that was built with the wrong dimensions and it sucked heat out of the house. The solution was to add a glass fireplace screen. No more negative effect. Added a heat exchanger (basically a box with a fan and connecting tubes to move room air through the heated box) and efficiency was vastly increased. However the fireplace was still a poor heater compared to our wood stove.
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If the house is at the same temperature as the outside, lighting lighting a fire in the fireplace will make at least that room warmer. Some heat will be radiated out the of the fireplace, and not all of the air thus heated will be ejected up the chimney.
Cold air will be sucked in from outside to replace the exhausted air, but that can't be colder than the room was to start.
If, on the other hand, the room is heated by some means other than the fire, then the amount of heat needed to heat the replacement air may exceed the amount of heat radiated into the room. This depends on the temperature of the outside air, of the pre-heated inside air, and on the design of the fireplace.
If your house is heated to the cannonical 72F, and the outside temperature is below freezing, then running an open fireplace is likely to be a net loss. Unless you've got a really big fireplace.
A glass or even wire firplace screen can be used to restrict the amount of air into the firebox to that needed to actually run the fire, but most people aren't interested in doing that much management.
of course, if you're designing your house, one of the easiest ways to fix this problem is to supply the fireplace with combustion/exhaust air from somewhere that's not in the heating envelope. I don't know if you can do anything using the ash-pit in fireplaces built with them or not.
--Goedjn

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snipped-for-privacy@backpacker.com wrote:

Not a myth at all. At least in my personal experience. I installed a Heatilator (tm) recirculating fireplace back when. On a cold, cold day I had a fire going. Thermostat was off. Kept chucking wood in and watching the thermometer. It kept going DOWN.
Fireplaces are good only for two things.
a. Romance. b. Getting rid of firewood.
They are no good at all for heat other than directly in front of them.
Harry K
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Well, suppose your fireplace puts out 60,000 BTU and your house is losing 80,000 BTU.
You are using free firewood for 60 and the other 20 are being supplied by your furnace. Lets see now, you're paying for 20 instead of 80. Is that cheaper?
--

Christopher A. Young
You can\'t shout down a troll.
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On Thu, 12 Oct 2006 14:58:03 GMT, "Stormin Mormon"

Depends on what your house looses when you're NOT running the fireplace. Or would loose, if you didn't have one which is likely to be even less.
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Goedjn wrote:

In my case. by shutting down the fireplace, the furnace could keep the house warm. That was the last season I used that fireplace. Went to a stove and kept the house toasty with almost no oil at all from then on. Summary comes down to I was burning wood for a heat loss through the fireplace, i.e., efficiently getting rid of firewood.
Harry K
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Ok to me the long and short of it are as follows:
Do you want to be able to heat your home even without electricity? Are you in an area that sometimes loses power? Wood or some gas stoves will work for that.
Are you able to put wood/kindling in the firebox or would you rather light a gas stove? (most gas stoves have peizo lighters that work with the flick of a switch)
Is cheap or free wood available where you live (is [propane or natural] gas available and how expensive is it?)
After considering all those questions, I opted for wood heat. I bought an airtight wood stove that uses denser, outside air (does not draw heated, less dense air in from the house) I have ready access to wood and I feel it's good for me to cut and split it (kind of feels good too, even though I have a bad back/neck it's satisfying on some level) and when the power goes out we're still warm.
The only gas available here is propane and I estimated it takes about 1/2 gal of propane to heat my home for 2-3 hours. At around $2.00 a gallon that would cost me about $3-4 per night or more if I used it during the day as well. That could cost far more than wood - a half cord ($35 here) lasts about 2-3 months. You do the math.
Jeff
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