What is a Heat Reclaimer?
Having a fireplace in your home is something that not only provides charm and atmosphere along with added value, but it acts as a heat source in the event of power outages. The main purpose in olden days was as a primary source of heat.
Today, very few fireplaces are designed to act as a sole heating unit for home. Most often fireplaces and wood stoves serve as supplemental heat. They most often are used in conjunction with gas forced air furnaces, oil burners, and radiant type heating systems.
Large older homes such as farm houses and multi-storied residential dwellings may have many fireplaces strategically located throughout.
Back when fireplaces were designed as the sole heating method, ways were developed to store and retain as much heat as possible traveling up the flue. This was achieved through storage and passive radiation.
A flue constructed of stone would have additional layers of stone encasing it creating a thermal mass that would accumulate heat and slowly radiate it back into the room
This stone flue would pass through several rooms with as much exposure as possible. This was the only method at that time for capturing the wasted heat the traveling up a flue. It was certainly not the most efficient method, that method would come at a much later date.
Nowadays, one often sees fireplaces and wood stoves that compete to be the most efficient in their class. A great deal of engineering goes into the design and fabrication of wood stoves.
Incredibly well designed fire boxes with double or triple walls are used, insulated doors with double or triple panes of fire glass for safety are artfully employed.
Compression locking doors that ensure proper closure and many other fine safety features are incorporated. So much effort goes into this that the most important part of why a homeowner has a fireplace is over-looked, which is energy savings.
The modern-day answer to the age-old problem of how to capture and use all that wasted heat traveling up a flue has been accomplished by the use of a heat reclaimer.
This is a unit constructed of metal and ceramic that has been designed to capture, and re-distribute this heat. There are several styles and designs that will allow most any heat reclaimer to be suitable for your application.
They incorporate an electric fan to draw in and circulate the cooler air around the flue pipe. When in operation it emits a steady stream of even heat that previously was traveling up the flue and out of the home.
Installing a heat reclaimer is not a difficult process or a costly one. One is likely to achieve savings greater than the initial cost well before the first winter season is over.
Magic Heat – Quality Craftsmanship
If you want a high quality heat reclaimer to heat your home you need to get a Magic Heat. Made in the United States Magic Heat products are designed to a very high standard. Because it will need to withstand very hot temperatures Magic Heat units are built out of a high quality rugged steel.
Because a large stove pipe can often be a focal point in a room, this brand is designed to be functional but also very stylish. You will generally find that most are finished in a matte black with a silver grate. You can be assured of a very well designed and well built product.
The amount of heat that is recovered from the unit will depend upon the type of fuel that is burned and the type of heating appliance that you use.
Most Magic Heat units are designed to fit either a six inch flue or an eight inch flue.
Other sizes are available but simply not as common.
Mainly this brand will fit on wood, oil, or coal stoves. You may be able to find a reclaimer that will work on other styles of stoves but you will generally only want to use this product on the aforementioned stoves.
Immediately after installing this product you will start saving money. The whole purpose of this unit is to save you money.
A normal stove will regularly vent warm air outside. This is a large waste of money. You are using expensive fuel and a large portion is going to waste. This is where the heat reclaimer comes in.
When the thermostat inside recognizes that the flue is hot, a fan will turn on and force cold air across the internal heat exchanger tubes. This will force warm air into your home. Simply put you will be able make your home warmer by using much less fuel.
This may sound complicated to you, but it is very easy to use and very easy to install. If you are looking to save money on your heating costs, a Magic Heat heat reclaimer is the perfect tool to use.
Vogelzang Heat Reclaimers
Vogelzang heat reclaimers are built to a very high quality standard, and are made in the United States. Headquartered in Michigan, Vogelzang is generally known for making high quality wood and cast iron stoves.
When people buy stoves they are generally looking to save money and one way to do that is with a heat reclaimer. Vogelzang recognized an opportunity and built a high quality reclaimer to fit their stoves as well as other flues.
Most Vogelzang heat reclaimers are built to fit either a 8 inch diameter flue or a 6 inch diameter flue. This reclaimer will not take up much space and is very easy to install.
Generally a reclaimer will be 10-12 inches wide 8-10 inches high and 13-15 inches deep. All Vogelzang reclaimers come with installation instructions, but generally they are very easy to install. Installation generally requires very basic household tools and approximately an hour of your time.
This brand generally only works on wood or coal stoves. If you are using a gas stove it may not work properly, and/or damage your stove.
A Vogelzang heat reclaimer is built to reclaim lost flue heat that escapes into the air outside of your home.
With its four built in heat exchanger tubes and thermostatically controlled, whisper quiet fan.
You will now be able to circulate the warm air into your home instead of forcing it outside. Constructed out of heavy duty steel you are guaranteed a long productive life, and a black matte finish and decorative brass trim will look great in any home.
Wood Stove Reclaimer Information
Do you have a wood stove? Do you want to save money? If yes then you need a wood stove heat reclaimer. The benefits of this small addition to your flue are huge. One of the main benefits is you will see is a large increase in the efficiency of your wood stove.
When you add a reclaimer to your wood stove pipe, exhaust gases heat the pipe to approximately 280 degrees Fahrenheit. When this happens the thermometer inside the reclaimer turns on. The electric powered fan forces cold air to circulate around internal tubes heated by hot flue gases.
Now the warm air is pushed into your home by the fans. What this all means is a small wood stove heat reclaimer will be able to reduce the amount of wood you use to fuel your stove. Because less heat escapes out the flue your home will feel warmer without having to continuously add more wood.
There are two main brands of wood stove heat reclaimers. Vogelzang and Magic Heat. Both brands are made with high quality materials to withstand very high temperatures. Both brands are made in the United States so you are assured quality craftsmanship.
Before you buy a heat reclaimer you need to know how big the flue/stovepipe is. Most wood stoves have a flue with a diameter of 6 or 8 inches.
If you do not know the size of your flue you can measure it without taking your stove apart. First take a string and measure the circumference of the flue. If the result is slightly over 25 inches you have a 8 inch flue diameter.
If your measurement is slightly under 19 inches you have a six inch diameter flue. If you have a different measurement divide the result by (pi) and you should see how many inches your flue is.
A heat reclaimer can easily be installed by one person with basic household tools. It will plug into any 110V outlet and will be thermostatically controlled. If you want to save money and use less fuel you need to buy a wood stove heat reclaimer.
Heat Reclaimer Frequently Asked Questions
What is the minimum clearances between the unit and combustible materials?
This may vary with different local codes, but generally you need to keep 18″ of clearance between your heat reclaimer and combustible material. Also you should keep the cord at least 12″ away from the stove.
How many watts does a heat reclaimer use?
It will vary from brand to brand and also depends on the size of the reclaimer, but generally you can expect 10 to 20 watts.
Can the heat reclaimer be used with double wall pipe?
No you should only use a heat reclaimer on a single wall stove pipe.
Does the heat reclaimer require a power source?
Yes a heat reclaimer will need a standard 110V outlet to operate. This should remain plugged in as a reclaimer is thermostatically controlled and will turn on when it gets too cold and turn off when it gets warm.
Can I install more than one on a stove pipe?
You may be able to, but you should not. Heat reclaimers are engineered to be installed one per stove pipe. If you were to install a second one above the first it would very rarely turn on because the lower unit will be properly adjusting the flue temperature.
Can I still clean the stovepipe with a reclaimer installed?
Some units have a built in cleaner to scrape and clean the tubes, but you can also very easily remove the unit and clean the stovepipe as you normally would.
How loud is the fan while running?
This will vary depending on what brand or size reclaimer you buy. However most fans will create a noticable sound but it will not be very loud.