Fans Might Boost Wood-Stove Efficiency

Those fans that sit atop wood stoves and take advantage of temperature differences to create their own power are more than cute. Turns out they might make a whopping difference in your home-heating costs.

That’s the not-surprising news from a company that manufacturers such fans — but Caframo, based in Ontario, Canada, says it has research that proves its claim. The company says a study done with the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering Department at the University of Waterloo found their Ecofans reduce home-heating fuel costs by 14 percent.

Caframo Ecofan, wood burning stove fan

image via Caframo

These fans go for about $100, so — assuming the research is correct — it’s easy to imagine recouping their cost in the course of a winter or two.

Caframo says researchers did the testing in a room set up like a typical living room, “with a wood stove, a couch, finished floors, ceilings and walls.” A surrounding room controlled outside temperature. What they did from there was feed the stove to maintain a constant temperature of 72.5. And they found that it took a lot less wood when their Ecofan — generating its own power using the thermoelectric effect — was whirring away.

Looking for green gadget gift ideas for this holiday season? We have you covered with our annual Green Gadgets Holiday Gift Guide – check it out now!

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

Be first to comment