How Wood Stoves Distribute Heat

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

How wood stoves distribute heat


Radiant Stoves


Simply put, radiant heat is infra-red radiation, emitted by a hot surface that strikes objects in its path. 

A radiant stove is a stove that distributes heat by emitting infra-red radiation. Fire heats the stove, and the stove emits infra-red radiation (which heats you.) 

Circulating Stoves


Wood stove distributes heat - CHIMNEYS.COMSimply put, circulating wood stoves distribute heat by heating the air. Heat is transferred to air moving across the hot surface. The air heats up, and rises. The rising air draws more air up after it, causing circulation of air. 

A circulating stove uses panels spaced out from the firebox, allowing air to circulate between the firebox and the panels. 

So, what’s the difference?


The fact is, all stoves produce both radiant and circulating effects. There are always air currents around any hot object. And hot objects always emit infra-red radiation. 

The distinction is that a stove in the radiant category does not have panels designed to increase air circulation around the firebox, while a circulating stove does. 

Which is better: Radiant or Circulating?


This depends on the installation. One advantage of circulating stoves is that the temperature of the outer panels is much lower than the surface temperature of a radiant stove. (Because, of course, air is circulating between the firebox and the jacket, drawing heat away.) And the amount of infra-red radiation emitted is lower, as well, since the outer jacket absorbs some of it. This allows for closer clearances to combustible materials in the home such as Sheetrock or wood walls. 

On the other hand, many people prefer the look of more traditional, cast-iron stoves, which tend to be designed as radiant heaters. 

Both types are effective heaters in the distribution of heat. In the final analysis, installation safety and personal style preferences are more important factors than radiant vs. circulating design. 

~ Todd Woofenden

~ Asking for Chimney Information ~

After reading an article, you can ask a question about that article. Replies will come from Chimney Professionals, and sometimes from homeowners, who are giving their answer based on the information you provide. Remember that they are providing answers SIGHT and SITE unseen! 

CHIMNEYS.COM recommends that you use these comments to better inform yourself to discuss your chimney and venting issues with a professional whom you call to your home to evaluate the issue.

To read more like the article above, click on the topic below...

0 0 votes
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Looking for a Chimney Sweep?

Click to find…

Your Chimney Pro

Scroll to Top