Wood burning fireplaces with their glowing warmth have been the gathering place in homes for centuries. Christmas Holidays are always remembered with a photograph in front of the fireplace. Wood burning fireplaces are a great source of heat.
As a sole heating source (heating an entire home) a fireplace has a difficult time. Centuries ago before the invention of the wood stove, homes had several fireplaces; Many had a fireplace in every room. When a fireplace burns wood it produces heat, heat rises up the chimney and out into the cold air. The hotter the fire the more heat is pushed up the chimney. A wood burning fireplace pulls hot air from the other rooms in your home and the hot air masses in the fireplace room before it goes up the chimney. This leaves the rooms farthest from the fireplace cold. Having a wood burning fireplace at either end of the home tends to pull the heat from fireplace to fireplace spreading the warmth through out the entire home. A fireplace in every room created a very warm home.
Today most homes only have one wood burning fireplace. The best way to heat an entire home with wood is called an insert. This is a wood burning stove that is inserted into the fireplace. A wood stove is a slow burn. You are able to control the burn with dampers and air controls. By allowing a little air in and closing down the damper heat is generated back into your room where it will spread through out your own home.
Wood stove inserts have increased in prices over the years. The demand for alternative heat has been fueled by higher natural gas and heating oil costs. Wood stove inserts are running from $ 750 to a high of $ 3,000. Shop around for the best prices and do not be afraid to ask when the next sale is.