Radiant or convection heating?

Wood fires release their heat through a combination of heat radiation, which heats objects, and convection which heats the air. The amount of each varies with some models being predominantly one type or the other.

There are many factors to consider when installing a wood fire and ensuring you select the correct size and type of heating for your home and heating requirements is key. A large fire is not always the best option as a model that is too big for the space you are heating will have to be turned down, which reduces efficiency, creates more emissions and produces unburnt contaminants (from incomplete combustion) which over time can damage the firebox and flue system. The right size Metro fire with correct operation and good dry firewood will provide you many years of warmth and reliable heating.

Choose a suitable model for your homes size, age and the area you are wanting to heat. If you have a medium sized well-insulated home in a region that experiences a mild winter climate, then 10kW of heat should be adequate. A larger home, or the same-sized but less well insulated and draughty home, particularly in a colder climate, will require more heat output. In non-open plan homes there’s no point overheating the living area while the rest of the house stays cold. Installation of a heat-transfer system will use the excess heat at ceiling level and distribute it to other parts of your home. This warm air then circulates to create a dry, healthy environment throughout your home from the one heat source – your Metro fire.

Measure the area (m2) you wish to heat and compare it to the heating area detailed with each model. Homes with a high stud, lack of insulation or the installation of a wetback or heat transfer system may require more heating capacity. Your Metro agency and installer can provide assistance with choosing the best fire and flue system and the additional heating accessories you may need. Selecting the most suitable installation location for your new fire is also important to ensure specified clearances, floor protector requirements, flue installation and optimum heat distribution are achieved.

radiant heat diagram

Radiant heat

Radiant wood fires release heat into the room by ‘radiating’ an infrared heat directly from the outer surfaces of the appliance onto any object in close proximity. This results in more heat being retained lower in the room. Ideal for older less insulated (or draughty) homes, and homes with high ceilings or large open plan areas. All radiant models can also be used for cooking on as well as heating.

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convection heat diagram

Convection heat

Convection wood fires draw in air from floor level, that then gets heated and rises away from the fire into the room. This cyclic convection air-current means that the hottest air in the room rises up to the ceiling with the warmer air remaining in the lower part of your room. Convection fires are best suited for insulated homes with standard height ceilings. They heat more evenly throughout the home by eliminating the localised intensity of a radiant wood fire and operate with cooler cabinet surfaces.

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