|Rumford fireplaces are high intensity radiant heaters as described by ASHRAE. They work best in large, open, rooms with high ceilings - even outdoors.|
Rumford fireplaces provide an efficient means of delivering thermal comfort directly to people and surfaces such as floors and walls without having to condition the entire space. Highly efficient thermal comfort can be delivered because radiant heaters focus thermal energy, and therefore thermal comfort, directly on the occupants, rather than controlling room temperature as do other heating systems.
Determination of the amount of heat required to accomplish a desired heating level for any space relies upon an estimation of the space heat loss. The desired inside temperature when using a radiant heating system can be about 10 deg.F lower than one for a conventional warm-air heating system to achieve the same level of thermal comfort. With lower indoor air temperatures, the home's insulation works more efficiently and there is less heat loss through the building envelope. Adequate ventilation is also less expensive in a radiantly heated space because the fresh outside make-up air doesn't have to be heated up as much.
For both reasons - 1. efficient means of delivering thermal comfort and 2. equal comfort at lower air temperature - radiant heating Rumford fireplaces are effective and efficient heaters compatible with good ventilation.
For the calculations and more detail see the Physics of Radiant Heat
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Buckley Rumford Fireplaces
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