This blog is not comparing makes of burners but compares the two primary types of wood burners – the normal one and the room sealed products. Those who sell non room sealed will not normally make the distinction unless you ask.
The Normal Wood Burner
This type of stove simply burns the wood in a general combustion chamber and sends the smoke up a chimney. It sits in your room, and by law has to have an open air supply to provide the combustion air to burn the wood.
The Room Sealed Wood Burner
This is quite different as although there is a combustion chamber, it must be sealed to the room so should be (almost) airtight. No combustion air can enter the chamber from the room, but is supplied directly from outside the house by a pipe which is fitted to the bottom or back of the stove and which penetrates the wall to get to the outside air. Now there is not only no need for an internal air supply – it shouldn’t be there, and if there is one in the room it should be totally blocked – but see below.
Please see the drawings for both.
In order for the normal stove to work, all the air going up the chimney has to come into the house somewhere in order to reach the front and bottom of the stove. In the middle of winter this is a lot of very cold air, and will come from the easiest place which may well be the hall – which is coming from other rooms where the air is coming in as a draught. This means the room (central) heating going on it the rest of the house is also heating the air that is going into the fire to be sent up the chimney. It also means that in the room with the fire, the heat coming from the fire is being opposed by the cold air coming into the room.
But of course the normal stove with the open ventilator lets lots of cold air into the house even when the wood burner isn’t burning so the house is always colder. And as the air in the chimney warms to room temperature and as warm air rises, there is a natural circulation taking warm air from the room and sending it up that chimney. Very inefficient I think you will agree.
The room sealed version draws no air from the house, so other heating is simply heating the rest of the house and all the heat from the fire is gained. No negatives. And further, these stoves are usually much better engineered and burn the wood much more thoroughly leaving nothing but pure fine ash. So the wood used also provides more heat. And because it is sealed it doesn’t draw cold air into the room when it isn’t working.
The efficiency difference is simply huge, and nothing but room sealed kit should be fitted. Hopefully there will be a range from Tranquility but you won’t be surprised to hear they will only be room sealed.