Emissions: Rumford fireplaces are among the cleanest-burning wood-burning appliances. They have been tested by an EPA certified laboratory and found to meet EPA standards for certified Phase II woodstoves by an equivalency appropriate for fireplaces. Rumford fireplaces are approved in the State of Washington and many areas in California, Arizona and Colorado that regulate fireplace emissions. For more information about emissions, see the "emissions" page.
Draft: Apples to apples, Rumford fireplaces draw better than any other fireplace. The streamlined throat and efficient air flow makes it possible to build the Rumford fireplace opening about a foot taller than other fireplaces. And we do build them tall (usually as tall as they are wide) because we can and because tall fireplaces heat better and look better. Then they don't draw any better than regular low fireplaces. The point, of course, is to heat - not draw better than they need to and waste heated room air. There's a lot more about how fireplaces draw in the JLC article about Rumfords and how they work in very tight houses and what to do to fix "smoky" fireplaces in the "technical Discussion".
Heating efficiency: Rumford fireplaces are the best wood-burning high intensity radiant heaters ever developed. They heat people and surfaces like sunshine and like the infrared heaters you see in outdoor restaurants, aircraft hangers or UPS garages where it's difficult and inefficient to try to heat air. Rumfords work best in open areas, big rooms with vaulted ceilings or even outdoors. Radiant heat raises the mean radiant temperature of surfaces and makes people feel comfortable at cooler air temperatures, just like the sun, so Rumford fireplaces are a good way to heat even with the windows open in moderate climates like those of England, the west coast or the midwest in the spring and fall. More about radiant heat and efficiency in a tech note.
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