Myth Busted: Open Fireplace Will ONLY Lose Heat

Burning wood in a small Superior KC-38 fireplace right now. When I started at 8 PM December 4th 2010 the temperature of the house was 65 degrees. We turned the furnace completely off and according to WTHR it’s 27° outside. 4 hours later the temperature in the room I’m sitting in is 72.7 degrees (an increase of 7.7 degrees) and the temperature of the opposing side of the house is 68 degrees. It actually feels hotter thanks to the radiant heat of the fireplace. I love to see how hot it’d be in here if we had one of those 140,000 BTU heat exchangers. I’d probably have the window open right now.

Please keep in mind that I’m not saying the fireplace is efficient. Given the amount of wood I’ve burned, it’s obvious it’s horribly inefficient. I’m just saying it’s an effective zone heater and the people that say your house will lose more heat than it gains are flat out wrong. You can complain that the rest of the house hasn’t warmed up much (only 2 degrees) but at least it hasn’t dropped any according to the critics claims. I consider that quite a feat since so much hot air is going up the chimney on a chilly 27 degree night.

Also, I had a log that was flat and wide and I stood it up on end. All I can say is there was a very large increase in heat. I’ve been told that consumer reports claims the wall of fire and texas fireplaces aren’t as good as they claim. My personal experience would suggests otherwise.

The only lights or electric heat sources are 4 LED candles, a refrigerator and my HP Compaq nc6400 laptop.

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