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What is a Fireplace Heat Exchanger?

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A furnace centrally heats most homes today so their fireplace does not need to be the main heat source.
If more heat output is required then homeowners should look at a fireplace with a fireplace heat exchanger or glass front.
These allow more heat into the room based on their design.
A fireplace heat exchanger can be for either a wood burning or gas fireplace.
The United States Department of Energy indicates that by using an exchanger you can increase the overall heating performance of the fireplace by five to ten percent.
They recommend that this feature be added during the initial installment of the fireplace, but not all contractors agree with this statement.
A fireplace heat exchanger uses a fan to heat the air by pushing it through hot tubes.
The tubes then allow the heated air to continue to circulate rather than relying on the process of natural convection.
It is important that the exchangers be cleaned frequently because soot accumulates in the tubes.
This accumulation will affect the performance of them.
Another term for a fireplace heat exchanger is a blower.
The heat exchanging tubes wrap around the fire.
The blower will draw the room air in and then returns the fire heated air back into the room.
This apparatus will fit into the existing fireplace and if needed can be adjusted by using a trim kit so that it fits properly.
If you do not know whether you need a chimney liner for the exchanger then consult your local building codes accordingly.
As mentioned earlier, both gas and wood fireplaces can use a fireplace heat exchanger.
The natural gas style fireplace circulates heat by convection and radiation.
Radiant heat transfer heat to solid objects but not the air around you.
When referring to solid objects, that means anything such as people, walls and furniture as well.
Radiant heat allows you to feel warm but the air around might not feel warm.
Therefore, the hotter your fireplace gets, the more radiant heat will circulate.
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