Wood burning fireplaces are notoriously inefficient losing as much as 90% of the heat produced from burning wood up the chimney.
The truth is most brick and mortar fireplaces are negatively efficient meaning they rob heat from your home both while in use and not.
How can that be?
When your fireplace is not in use it is constantly leaking heat from your home up the chimney. This may be minimal or it may be considerable depending on the seal of your fireplace damper.
In most cases leakage is considerable due to warped or broken dampers.
Fire requires oxygen to burn. When you build a fire in your fireplace it draws already heated air from your home into the fireplace to supply the oxygen for your fire to burn. As your fire burns it vents smoke and gases up the chimney along with the majority of the heat produced by the fire.
To actually heat a room you have to burn roaring fires for long periods of time until the brick or stone surrounding your fireplace is hot enough to radiate heat.
But what if you could change all that and start producing heat from your fireplace as soon as a fire is established?
That’s exactly what the 6 Tube Spitfire fireplace heater was designed to do.
Here’s how it works…
Once a fire is established on the tubes you start the blower. Air from your living space is drawn into the blower and pushed through the tubes where it is heated to over 400 degrees F and then blown back into your room through the 6 tubes.
Air continues to circulate from your living space, through the tubes, and back into the room. This is known as convection heat*.*
You’ll continue to receive the radiant heat you’ve always received from your fireplace as it heats up AND you’ll receive the convection heat from the fireplace heater, drastically increasing the efficiency of your wood burning fireplace.
In my experience fireplace heaters are great auxiliary heat sources helping to increase the room temperature several degrees while allowing you to reduce your furnace setting.
A fireplace heater is the perfect solution for those who want to supplement their primary heat source (forced air furnace, electric baseboard heat, boilers, etc) or if you live in a mild climate they are enough to raise the temperature a couple degrees and provide a comfortable room temperature.
They are not enough to be used as a primary heat source and because they require electricity to operate they are not a good choice as a backup heat source.
Keep in mind that every home is built different, the number of windows, the type of insulation, the layout of your home, the building structure itself, and the climate you live in all plays a part in the effectiveness of any heating product.
These fireplace heaters, also known as grate heaters, are a big step up from burning a fire in your fireplace alone however they are not a replacement for your primary heat source.
Installation is simple:
- Remove your existing fireplace grate and place the 6 tube fireplace heater in your fireplace.
- Set the blower on your hearth.
- Attach one end of the flexible air duct to the tube heater and the other end to the blower.
- Plug the blower into a standard 110v wall socket.
- Build a fire directly on the tubes and turn on the blower.
I believe these are great heating solutions for many situations and we’ve sold them all over the country including NY, Washington, California, Michigan, Connecticut, and more.
However, If you’re looking for a more efficient heat source you should consider converting your fireplace to a wood or gas burning fireplace insert.