Before the invention of electric heating systems, a wood heater was used to keep the home warm. However, wood fireplaces in Melbourne have not lost their relevance for myriads of reasons. Firstly, they are versatile and can fit into different areas of the room. They also come in breathtaking designs that elevate the elegance of your home.
Inbuilt wood heaters are usually installed in existing fireplaces to allow you to harness more of the energy from burning wood to heat your home. They are classified into four design styles; sleek, rustic, traditional, and modern. Considering a large number of wood heaters available on the market, picking the right one for your home can be a serious challenge.
How to use a wood heater
Wood heaters are easy to use. In fact, using a wood heater is similar to open wood fires. However, you need to follow some guidelines to improve efficiency. The steps for using a freestanding wood fire heater are as follows;
1. Prepping the fire
To help the woods to light up faster, you need to prep the radiant wood heater. Clear out excess ashes leaving behind a layer of 1 inch to provide insulation for the fire. Then, toss in old newspapers and small wood splinters to serve as the base. Place the wood in a crisscross manner on the top of the newspaper bedding.
2. Heat the flue
Heating the flue above the potbelly stove helps the fire to start burning quickly. To help the flue and stove to get to room temperature, leave the door of your heater open for a while. Also, you can hover a heat source close to the flue to warm it up.
3. Light the wood heater
Open all the air vents on the stove before lighting. Then, light the fire at different points across the bed to help quicker and even kindling. Once the wood begins to burn, close the door of your potbelly stove while leaving all the vents open.
What to do if your wood is burning so fast
Your freestanding wood fire should burn evenly and gradually. If you notice that your wood is burning fast, it is due to one of the following reasons;
- The door is open, or the door seal is no longer working properly
- The air vents are too open
- You are burning softwood rather than hardwood
- Using small logs
- The damper is too open
- The stove needs to be replaced.
The first thing you should do to get your heater burning appropriately is to close the vents. If, after checking all the aforementioned factors and your heater continues to burn out of control, it is time to shop for a new inbuilt wood heater.
Things to consider when buying wood heaters in Melbourne
When you are ready to shop for a radiant wood heater, there are a few things to keep in mind. However, the two critical features to consider are the size of the wood heater compared to the size of your home the heat output. Below are some of the things you should pay attention to while making your choice.
1. Insert or freestanding
Firstly, you need to decide whether to buy a freestanding or insert a wood heater. The freestanding is portable and flexible. You have greater flexibility on where you can place it. Some freestanding are designed to use different fuel sources (wood, electric, or gas). On the other hand, the insert wood heater can only be used in the existing fireplace. It is meant to fill up an existing fireplace.
2. Type of material
The type of material used for the production of a wood heater will determine how it functions. There are two main materials used in the production of wood heaters, namely cast iron or steel iron. Steel heaters release the heat faster so that your room warms up quickly. Cast iron heaters, on the other hand, radiate their heat at a slower rate. Also, cast iron heaters can retain heat and keep radiating even when the fire is out.
3. Size of the heater
Buying a heater of the right size is paramount for efficiency. When you toss a small stove into a large room, you risk losing the heat too fast. This may lead to over-firing and deterioration of your heater. Likewise, if the stove is too big, it may produce too much heat that makes the room uncomfortable. The only way to control this will eventually lead to underutilizing of your stove.
4. Efficiency rating
Wood fireplaces come with official efficiency ratings. The rating tells you how efficiently the heater burns the wood. A higher efficiency rating means better performance in generating heat from wood. Also, a higher rating ensures a smaller amount of heat is lost through the flue. It pays to shop for wood heaters with higher efficiency. Nevertheless, expect to pay more for them.
5. Look for heaters with a certification of approval
Inhaling soot from burning wood is not healthy. Therefore, there is always the fear that using a wood heater might expose you to soot. To make sure that your wood heater is safe, it is crucial to shop for heaters that adhere to the Australian Standards (AS/NZS 4012 and 4013). The best Wood fires are designed to produce the most heat from less firewood. The higher efficiency also lowers ash and smoke production.
6. Wood heaters with air-wash system
Wood heaters with air-wash systems maintain their aesthetics even after prolonged use. Also, it saves you the stress of having to clean the glass door of your heater after every use. The inbuilt air-wash system works by ensuring a constant flow of air inside the glass. This prevents particles and ash from depositing on the glass and obscuring your view of the fire.
7. Heaters with blower
While a blower is not a critical feature to consider, its presence helps to blow heated air into the room. It helps to spread the heat generated by the heater faster. However, the best wood heaters will still warm up the room just fine without a blower.
Once you have found a suitable wood heater for your home, the next huge consideration is the installation process. You need to make sure that your heater installation complies with local regulations, specific manufacturer’s instructions, as well as the Australian Standard (AS/NZS 2918). Even while the fitting of wood heaters seems pretty straightforward, it is advised at The Architecture Designs that you invite a professional to do it for you.