I put one of these into a patio fireplace, and I was very pleased by its
efficiency. Starts easily, burns clean, and radiates heat in a nice wide
arc. Because it draws so well, you build a fire a little differently than
you would with a conventional fireplace - you make a sort of tall pyramid of
kindling and logs, leaning against the back of the firebox.
I'm planning on building an outdoor Kiva fireplace in the Rumford fashion.
I'm finding the site www.rumford.com to be helpful with plans and such.
I've also found a local supplier of the parts that is adding great advice.
I personally think this is the way to go in terms of building a fireplace.
If you're after pure heat, put in a pellet stove.
Rumford's fireplace has never been _efficient_, even when he first
studied the design. It's intended to draw well and to not let smoke
into the room, which it does well. There are any number of later
designs which work as well or better, the concept of the "smoke shelf"
being important and worth keeping, but Rumford's proportion rules can be
improved for modern room sizes.
if you want efficiency, go for a closed box stove. If you're burning
wood you really do need this closed box, and you want good baffles too
so that any resin content burns efficiently.
In some localities there are also relevant building regulations you
might be forced to obey, particularly for lining the flues of
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