Image by hardworkinghippy : La Ferme de Sourrou
With the back boiler in the caldron we heat our water (Tied in with the solar system which uses the same plumbing) and two radiators upstairs. The system works by the fact that hot water rises, so we don’t need a pump for it to operate.
With very little wood, we can have a shower and a toasty warm bedroom in about half an hour from lighting the fire.
The hearth stays warm for a long time because it’s packed with stone to form a thermal mass which leads to a narrow chimney which bends at just the right angle to retain the heat in the drying cupboard upstairs.