Should I get a stove fan?
Winter is coming; we will in a few weeks start to rely on the central heating. One comfort I have is that once I get home, I can put my feet up and feel the warmth from my wood-burning stove. It is really cheap to run and saves me plenty of money compared to turning the central heating on.
Pre-stove fan problems
The problem is that if I don’t position myself fairly close to the stove and singe my eyebrows, I don’t really feel the warmth. This is because most of the heat generated heads straight up to the ceiling and then the floor above due to convection. Although this is lovely when I get to bed, it is far from ideal. So this led me to try a stove fan.
What are stove fans designed to do?
Designed to rapidly improve the circulation of heat from the stove, and therefore reduce hot and cold spots throughout the house, stove fans aim to not only improve comfort but also improve the stove’s efficiency and reach.
So how did it work for me?
The main concerns I had before I tried it were noise of the rotation, aesthetics and actual effectiveness. Much to my surprise, as I’m a northern cynic at heart, I found it to be quiet, blend in to the stove and actually increase the comfort and ‘effective warmth area’ of the room. No longer did I have to sit close to the stove to feel the heat! Result!
While the main benefits are clearly aimed at comfort rather than payback and money saving, the stove fan does reduce the heat demand of the stove. This means that it requires less fuel to heat the room, and consequently lowers my bills. Another key point to make is that as the stove fan uses heat from the stove itself to spin, it doesn’t need batteries or any other power source to run – the Phoenix stove fan I also tested starts spinning when it reaches a temperature of just over 450c.
How do they work?
The heat from the stove drives their motion, which allows for a seamless and quiet operation. The start up temperature varies depending on the make and model, but I’ve found that it’s pretty quick from the initial flame. Be careful to have a look at the maximum temperature as some models have to be taken off the stove after a while (using heavy duty heat proof gloves of course) – the maximum for the Phoenix stove fan is 3400c, so no such problems here!
Instead of the heat rising vertically with a standard stove, the stove fan uses its blades to divert the warm air horizontally. This means it will heat the part of the room you are sitting in, rather than just the ceiling. The extra movement of air will help warm the whole of the room, not just the area near the stove.
The fan starts very quickly in the video; this is due to the temperature of the stove at the time! If the fan is just sitting on the fire as it is lit, it will take time to warm up sufficiently to start spinning.
Should you get a stove fan?
If you want to increase the efficiency of your stove, have a more comfortable heat throughout the room and remove hot and cold spots then I can honestly say that a stove fan is absolutely the energy efficient gadget for you.
Benefits of the stove fan?
- The stove fan results in quicker dispersion of heat
- Reduction of hot and cold spots
- Reduces stove heat requirement (and therefore fuel cost)