Stove Fans- do they benefit?
Posted on 08 February 2017
Stove fans have be designed to rapidly improve the circulation of heat from your wood burning stove, therefor reducing hot and cold spots throughout the house. Stove fans not only improve comfort but, also improve the stove's efficiency and reach. Instead of the heat rising vertically with a standard stove, the stove fan uses its blades to divert the warm air horizontally.
Many people's concerns raise the questions of will there be a noise from the rotation of the fan blades, aesthetics and their actual effectiveness. Truth be told most of the fans out there are indeed quiet. They blend well into the stove and do not look unsightly at all. They will increase the comfort, as well as effectively warming up areas in your home which were otherwise cold. While the main benefits are aimed at comfort rather than money saving, the stove fan does reduce the heat demand of the stove. This means the stove will require less fuel to heat the room, and therefor lowers costs of expenditure of wood.
The stove fan itself uses the heat from your stove to spin, needing no batteries, or power source to operate. It requires a minimum temperature before it starts to operate, these temperatures can be anything from 45-100 degrees celsius, depending on the make and the model.
How do they work?
The fans are powered by electric but, they produce their own electricity using a method known as 'thermoelectric power'. By using the heat from the fire, and the cooler air from above to produce its own electric which powers a small motor which turns the fan. The hotter the stove, the faster the fan turns.
It is the heat from the stove which drives their motion, and allows for a seamless and quiet operation. The start up temperature will vary depending on the make and model but, most are pretty quick from the initial flame. Always be careful and check what is the maximum temperature allowed, as some models have to be taken off the stove after a while. Be careful if you do need to move the fan, and always use heavy duty heat proof gloves to avoid unneccesary accidents.
Positioning the fan is important, they must draw cooler air from behind the stove to function correctly. For this reason they must be placed at the rear of the stove. They do have an upper temperature limit, and there is a bimetallic strip on the underside, which will lift the base up higher if they get too hot, this will then reduce the temperature of the fan. This failsafe will only protect the device up to a point, and if the stove pipe reaches 345 degrees celsius they should be removed to avoid permanent damage.
The picture of the 4 bladed fan featured with this blog, is one of the stove fans which StovesWorld retails. The 4 bladed fan has a fast rotation spin of 700rpm. These blades are designed and made specifically to increase the efficiency from your wood burning stove. It has a low start up temperature of 50 degrees, which means heat from your fire can be pushed out into your room and surrounding areas almost instantly. This fan will increase the efficiency of your wood burning stove even more, with an average of 16% cost savings for burning fuel.
It maybe a good idea to purchase a thermometer when buying a stove fan, as not only can you control the amount of fuel you are burning and improve the overall efficiency but, you are able to see if the stove has reached a temperature too hot for the fan to be used.
A thermometer will substantially reduce fuel consumption and ensure that you're getting the best heat output, even lengthen your stoves lifespan.
A stove thermometer shows three easy to read zones:
1) The stove is burning too low- this causes creosote deposits in your flue, which can lead to chimney fires.
2) Best operation- when stove and fuel are performing to optimum usage and fuel efficiency.
3) Too hot- burning too hot is wastage of fuel but, more importantly it can lead to cracking of a cast iron stove and certainly shorten the lifespan of your wood burning stove.
Overall, if you want to increase the efficiency of your stove, have a comfortable heat throughout the room/house and remove hot and cold spots, then the stove fan is the energy efficient gadget for you.