Any wood-burning stove owner knows the dramatic effect it has on the warmth and cosiness of your home. Using a woodburner fan with your stove will only enhance that.
Because woodburner owners also know that a woodburner does not deliver that sudden, intense rush of heat that you get from an open fire. A fire in a wood-burning stove heats the metal around it, and the hot metal then radiates the heat around the room.
The result is a more efficient fire and heat that spreads over a wider area than you would get from an open fire, but it’s by no means an immediate process.
Using a woodburner fan allows to aid the process by causing the warmth from your stove to spread further and more quickly than would otherwise be the case.
A quick think back to school science lessons will tell you that hot air rises, and the hot air created by your woodburner is no different. The outward thrust provided by a stove fan causes the hot air to circulate into the room and not just up to the ceiling.
How does a woodburner fan work?
A woodburner fan is no different than any other fan in that its blades rotates to encourage the flow of air. Whereas we are more accustomed to seeing this technology deployed to create cold air to cool us on a warm day, in the case of a woodburner fan it is the heated air that is being pushed around the room (and even into adjacent rooms).
Since the air directly around the stove is the hottest in the room, circulating this around the room causes it to heat much faster, so you feel the benefits sooner.
Saving you money
Since your home gets up to a cosy temperature more quickly and more efficiently, a woodburner fan can actually save you money by reducing the amount of fuel you need to burn.
Less fuel means less refuelling, so a stove fan can also save you time on tending to the fire.
How much does it cost to operate a woodburner fan?
Absolutely nothing. The heat from the stove will drive the woodburner fan. The more intense the temperature from your appliance, the faster the blades will turns. As your stove cools down, the woodburner fan will slow down. When your stove goes out, the fan will shut itself off (so you don’t have to worry about a draught being created).
There are no batteries or mains electricity involved: the heat from your woodburner provides all the power that’s needed.
Where do you install a stove fan?
A woodburner fan sits on top of the stove, usually as far back as possible (and always to the rear of the flue pipe). Placing the fan at the back of the stove means it is able to blow the full extend of heat being created across the top of the stove in an outward direction. This is particularly useful if your woodburner sits within a recess or inglenook.
Also, the cooler air flow from behind is essential for the fan to be able to power itself. The downward movement of the cooler air when it encounters the warmer air is what drives the blades of the stove fan, so correct placement is essential.
Other stove fan benefits
Some people also use a woodburner fan to combat dry air in their homes. Carefully placing a metal tray of water on top of the stove prior to lighting will cause the water to quickly evaporate once the stove is lit. The evaporated water will be circulated around your home by the stove fan to ensure there’s plenty of moisture in the air.
Are stove fans safe?
Yes, as long as they are being used properly, stove fans are perfectly safe. You should not touch a fan when the stove is in use (firstly, because the blades will be moving and, secondly, because the fan itself gets very hot from being on top of the stove.
Most stove fans have a handle which can be used to adjust the direction of the fan when it is in use. It is safe to use the handle with the use of a stove glove to ensure that the fan is circulating heat where you want it to go.
Given the design and function of stove fans, they can only be used with freestanding stoves and are not suitable for use with inset stoves.
Buying a woodburner fan
The basic principles behind stove fans are the same for them all. They come in different heights, different numbers of blades and slightly different designs. It’s most common for a stove fan to have two blades.
The most important factor is that there is enough room within your stove recess or the area around your stove to accommodate the height of the fan and the diameter of the blades.
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