For years now i have always wondered why my fireplace never puts out as much heat as my father in law's and also my uncles'. My fireplace always seemed to burn wood faster than theirs and never put as much heat into the room.
I just always attributed it to the fact that their's was designed better than mine. But after observing my father in laws one more time over thanksgiving it sort of dawned on me. He always burns his with out a screen or doors, just a fire open to the room.
I have always burned mine with my cast iron screened fireplace doors closed. I figured it wouldn't matter because like i said, they are screened. So anyway, last night i decided to try with the doors open compeletly and just fire exposed directly to the room.
Wow! What a transformation. The effect was nearly immediate. The room quickly grew to an almost intolerable temp. Anyway i repeated the procedure today and the findings are conclusive. It was 80F in there today and i had to put shorts on.
So now i ask why? I know that obviously there is more heat going into the room. Also the wood is burning MUCH slower than before. But why would a set of iron doors with mesh screen make such a huge difference? What is the scientific basis for what is going on here?