We have been discussing all of the benefits of heating with wood but how many of you really know about the history of heating with wood? Humans have been heating with fire by burning wood for over a million years. Over the many years the process of heating with wood has really evolved.

So today we are going to take a look at the history of heating with wood. I actually found it very interesting and thought that I would share it with you, our readers!

The History of Heating a Home with Wood

It all began thousands of years ago when cave dwellers dug fire pits inside of their homes. Essentially they were inside campfires. As humans became more sophisticated so did the heating appliances, from indoor fire pits to very basic, rustic fireplaces with very minimal ventilation.

Then in 220 A.D. the first cast iron wood stove was produced in China. This was a big step in the history of heating with wood. The wood stove trend finally made its way to the US when the first foundry making wood stoves opened in 1646.

In 1744 Benjamin Franklin developed his very own cast iron wood stove design. His Pennsylvania fireplace surpassed all other inventions in efficiency. David Rittenhouse improved the design of the Franklin Stove in 1772 by adding an “L” shaped exhaust that would cut down the amount of smoke that escaped into the home. The Franklin Stove is still a trusted and popular heating stove that is used today.

During the 1800’s, the wood stoves began to offer better airflow and also started to include baffles. Baffles are a section of heavy gauge metal installed in a wood stoves firebox just below the stove’s top. It is a safety feature that helps to deflect heat away from the top of the stove. However even with the great strides in improvement these stoves would still be unacceptable to use in some areas now days.


Today’s Wood Stoves

Today’s wood stoves have strict guidelines that they have to meet in order to be approved for use in a home or garage. Not only do they have to be approved by your homeowner’s insurance but they also have local and state codes that have to be met before they can be ready for burning. All components have to meet these requirements and that includes the exhaust system.

One requirement that is most common is that the wood heat appliances have to be EPA certified. To be EPA certified the stove has to have extremely low emissions. The stoves that are EPA certified are able supply the burning wood with ample oxygen. This allows the fire to burn at high temperatures so that the combustion gases are also burned up before they are exhausted.


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