Some questions about wood/coal burning stoves

We have a big[gish] multifuel stove in our lounge which is seeing a lot of use this year with the recent cold snap. We have lots of our own wood so it's pretty cheap to run (until we've chopped down all the trees we don't want - we're considering growing some for firewood).
However a couple of questions have occurred to me:-
Why don't these stoves have lots of fins or similar ways of maximising their surface area so that as much heat as possible gets into the room? I realise a certain amount of heat needs to go up the chimney to keep a draught going but once heated up it feels like it should be possible to suck more heat out into the room. Is it just a style thing - i.e. the triumph of form over function or am I missing something obvious?
When we 'damp it down' for the night, i.e. pile up some fuel (often some coal for overnight) and shut the air inlets so it burns slowly, is it burning the fuel very inefficiently? Since we're starving it of air there is presumably more unburnt carbon monoxide going up the chimney and also more soot being deposited. Are there not more efficient ways of slowing things down?
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Chris Green

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On 16 Dec 2008 10:12:24 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

You can get fans that sit on top and blow the hot air out into the room sterling engine? http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001525.php or peltier http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001525.php or http://www.gyroscopes.co.uk/d.asp?product OFAN2

Put it out. :) Don't know. We don't leave ours on at night - but I know if we turn the vents down too much it just goes out.
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On 16 Dec, 10:12, snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

We let ours go out now - I think it's a bit of a "stovie's dream" this "keep it in all night and turn it up in the morning" thing. Without enough air for proper combustion you are in effect making charcoal, and sending all the flammable gases (that would heat your stove up!) up your chimney unburnt. Friends across the valley told us we got an "oil rig pilot light" out the top of our chimney when we tried to get it to stay in by shutting the vents etc - presumably that was caused by the hot flammable gas reaching oxygen at the chimney pot and spontaniously combusting?......
hope it helps JIm
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Our keeps going through the night without problems, I don't think it's glowing in the dark outside! :-)
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Chris Green

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