To understand how closed combustion fireplaces work it is essential to know how a traditional open fireplace works. Open fireplaces are very inefficient, burns more wood and produce much more ash. Open fireplaces create an upward flow of warm air into the chimney; this results in almost a 75% heat loss with a 25% heating efficiency.
Closed combustion fireplaces
In comparison, closed combustion fireplaces are the exact opposite with heating efficiencies of between 70–85% with the heat loss at approximately 15–30%. They use almost a third of the wood than the wood used in an open fireplace which makes it much more environmentally friendly and economical. Furthermore, wood is burned in a sealed chamber behind a glass door without the risk of having sparks and smoke entering your room. Cleaning is easy as less as is produced and is done weekly.
How does it work?
Closed combustion refers to a fire burning within a sealed chamber. Closed combustion fireplaces work by regulating the air flow that goes into the fireplace. The flame uses the oxygen and wood optimally thus burning slower, hence the word slow combustion. This directly results in better heat output.
Do I need flue pipes?
Flue pipes form an essential part of closed combustion fireplaces to extract smoke. Flue pipes installed correctly creates an upwards draft, extracting the smoke from the fireplace ensuring that the fireplace works optimally.
Will smoke and soot stain the glass?
Most closed combustion fireplaces have primary and secondary air flow controls. The secondary air flow controls will typically be air inlets at the top of the door to allow air to enter the closed combustion fireplace behind the glass creating an air curtain pushing away the smoke and soot from the glass door. Always use ceramic glass cleaner to clean the glass if staining occurs.
What type of wood should I use?
Use well-seasoned wood. Closed combustion fireplaces work best with dry wood. Try and use a mixture of hard and softer types of wood when starting the fire. Sekelbos and Blackwattle is a good choice.