Warmth, comfort: Heating stoves that warm our hearts on cold days

With the evolving technology and heating solutions today, heating stoves, which have become nostalgic objects, are still primarily used to meet heating needs. However, they are also occasionally used for cooking.

More commonly found in towns and villages compared to cities, heating stoves are widely used and sometimes even serve as clothes dryers.

Throughout history, people have met their energy needs through fire, providing essential activities such as cooking, washing, heating and heating water.

In the past, people used to dig a pit in the middle of a house or room, light a fire and warm themselves. With the emergence of two-story structures, a new design was developed and the fire, originally lit in the center of the room, was moved to the walls, leading to the discovery of fireplaces.

The first heating stove in history was recorded in 1490 in the city of Alsace, France. This heating stove, including its chimney, was entirely made of brick and faience and was used for cooking.

Research and development continue to focus on heating stoves that are safer and emit fewer emissions. In 1743, American scientist Benjamin Franklin invented a completely metal fireplace to increase efficiency. In rooms heated with five-plate heating stoves, he believed that the stagnant air was unsuitable for human health due to the lack of airflow and circulation.

Although six-plate heating stoves could evenly heat the entire room when installed near the center, these types did not fully meet his criteria for comfortable and healthy heating because there was no indication of a fire inside – according to him, seeing the fire while heating was necessary.

Furthermore, Franklin was concerned that if the fire could not be seen in the heating stove, people would be unable to predict when to feed it with wood. The Franklin Stove he invented can be considered the most remarkable and perhaps the most important innovation among wood stove inventions up to that time.

This design, with its chimney, which draws air down first, has provided much more effective ventilation and, due to its design, offers better heating thanks to the heat convection it possesses.

Its cast iron body retains heat for an extended period after the fire is extinguished, preventing a sudden drop in ambient temperature and providing a more comfortable and efficient heating experience.

Heating stoves are typically positioned in the center or corner of a house or room. People gather around the heating stove for warmth and to spend time with family, engaging in enjoyable conversations and playing games, creating a cozy and social atmosphere.

In addition to its primary function, the heating stove is an item that adds value to family life. While adults are responsible for maintaining the heating stove, carrying fuel materials, coal or wood, etc., for the heating stove is an almost unwritten rule designated for children. This activity strengthens the sense of belonging and the ability to take responsibility.

Although heating stoves were widely used in the past, the prevalence of natural gas and healthier heating methods has led to a decline in heating stove usage, replaced by electric, solid, liquid and gas-fueled models. With the widespread use of natural gas, gas stoves have also increased.

To give a few examples of various stoves:

A kitchen stove is a kitchen appliance designed for cooking. Kitchen stoves operate by burning wood, charcoal, crop residues or coal to generate heat. These stoves are used in areas where natural gas and electricity are not abundant. In cities, they have been replaced by built-in cooktops.

A wood stove is a heating appliance that burns wood-based fuels such as logs and sawdust. It typically consists of a combustion chamber, retained by an outer layer made of cast iron or steel and a pipe system established to vent the smoke produced by the fire.

As stoves became more widespread, iron became an inexpensive material used by all segments of society. While initially a product owned by wealthy families, stoves gradually spread among the general public.

Coal stoves have been the most commonly used heating stoves in the industrial world for almost a century and a half. Coal stoves are produced in various sizes and shapes.

Coal burns at a much higher temperature than wood, and coal stoves need to be constructed to withstand the high heat levels. A coal stove can burn both wood and coal, but a wood stove may not be suitable for burning coal.

In the nostalgic memories of the heating stove from our childhood, which was not just a heating device, we can summarize the following:

A boiling kettle on top, clothes hanging on a wire attached to the upper iron, a kitchen-style heating stove with a tray of food, toasted bread for breakfast and chestnuts cooked to accompany tea, everyone checking if one is cooked and half-eaten through this process.

In addition to its functionality, the scent emitted by placing orange peels on top of the heating stove seems to heal the soul. Reading a book by the burning heating stove and curling up to sleep on a cold winter day next to it are almost therapeutic experiences.

While using heating stoves in cities is challenging today, they are not entirely relegated to history. However, they are no longer preferred not only due to the difficulty but also because of the air pollution they cause.

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