- How to Buy the Right Wood Stove
- Discount Woodstoves from Obadiahs
- Napoleon Wood Stove package deals wood stoves
- Wood Stoves
Wood fireplaces warm the coldest days, brighten the darkest nights and fill your home with the gently, radiant heat only wood can produce. With styles and installation choices for every room in your home, fire helps you declare yourself free from high heating bills.
All wood fireplaces manufactured are certified by the EPA and are designed to emit only a fraction of the smoke that older, non-certified stoves produced. Burning wood omits no more carbon dioxide into the environment then would normally be produced from the same wood if left to decay in the forest. You can feel confident to know that burning wood is truly Carbon Neutral to the environment and a responsible and sustainable way to heat your home.
The expense of heating your home with oil, gas or electricity just keeps going up. Did you know an old, inefficient wood fireplace can generate as much as three pounds of pollutants into the air each day? New wood fireplaces are E. A certified and emit as little as 1.
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And because wood is a renewable resource, fireplaces are so efficient they use substantially less wood than other stoves to get the same amount of heat output. Wood fireplaces have the option of adding an Outside Air Kit , which allows the stove to pull combustion air from outside rather than from inside the home. This prevents the stove from pulling in and removing the already heated room air for combustion and protects your indoor air quality. Many models have cooking surfaces so you can warm soup or cider or fry bacon and eggs for breakfast.
A warmth like no other Wood heat soothes and radiates and nothing does it better than a wood stove. Most stoves give off radiant heat that only warms objects within the room. A five-sided convection chamber system circulates air around the stove and then pushes the warm air through the room to other areas of your home. A fireplace insert is more than five times as efficient as an open fireplace and features a built-in convection chamber to circulate and distribute warm air throughout the home.
Installing a wood fireplace into your inefficient fireplace is a great way to incorporate a beautiful heating appliance into your home.
Typically the fireplace is located in the heart of your home, so adding an insert is ideal for heating the area of the home you use the most. By using the optional convection fan, you can quickly heat your entire home, use your insert to heat where you need it most. Studies indicate that zone heating can provide energy savings of 20 — 40 percent.
Good conditions for combustion include high temperatures, so the baffle and some other internal parts will need replacement from time to time as they deteriorate with the heat. So, which is the better stove, a cat or a non-cat?
It appeared until recently that the market was slowly turning in favor of non-cats as some mainstream manufacturers actually switched in that direction. But cats are making a comeback, mainly due to more stringent emission rules by the EPA, and some of the most popular high-end stoves use catalytic combustion. Both options have their benefits and limitations, as well as legions of loyal users who swear that their cat or non-cat is far better than those silly cats or non-cats.
And both burn roughly 90 percent cleaner than older conventional stoves. Back in the late s the U. EPA established a mandatory smoke emission limit for catalytic wood stoves of 4. These new limits reflect improvements in technology over the years, but also create big challenges for some manufacturers. The result has been some very clean burning stoves, although these changes have meant a significant price increase.
How to Buy the Right Wood Stove
Still, the lower the emissions, the more efficient the stove can be, which means that over the life of the stove, the increased cost is earned back by the need to buy and process less firewood. The EPA certified emission rate is a reliable number that can be compared from one model to the next. Mind you, a small difference in smoke emissions is not relevant to the user in the real world of every day home heating.
A few stove manufacturers take advantage of the fireplace exemption loophole by building leaky non-airtight, ungasketed stoves and selling them cheap. The trouble is they don't heat worth a hoot because they are uncontrollable and they burn a lot of wood. These are stoves that perform like those sold 50 to years ago. In the old days people put key dampers in the flue pipe to slow down combustion, and now buyers of these cheap exempt stoves are forced to do the same.
This, of course, undermines the objectives of the EPA regulation and makes a lot of smoke. Note that at least one manufacturer offers these dirty burning stoves AND flue pipe key dampers for sale on the same web page! Don't make the mistake of buying one of these. You get what you pay for.
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The far higher efficiency delivered by advanced, certified stoves is definitely relevant in day-to-day use. On average, the new stoves are at least one-third more efficient than the old box, pot belly, or step stoves of yesteryear. Although this higher efficiency is a by-product of mandatory emissions limits, it has made the EPA rules a winner for both the environment and stove users. Along with the regulatory change to emission limits, EPA also began to require stoves to be tested for efficiency. The result is that manufacturers are now starting to compete for higher posted efficiencies, a trend that can have drawbacks.
An overall efficiency much higher than 80 percent is not desirable if the stove is to be connected to an uninsulated masonry chimney that runs up the outside of the house, a venting option that is still perfectly legal according to building codes. But this figure is misleading. Second, the average medium-size house needs only 5, to 20, BTUs per hour of continuous heating power, even during cold weather.
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Some manufacturers use the heat output rate from EPA testing, which uses softwood fuel, and others use the results of their own tests using hardwood fuel which can produce a much higher peak output. Another way these figures can be misleading is that non-cats tend to produce a higher peak heat output, but this doesn't mean they'll produce more heat over an eight hour burn cycle, which is a more relevant performance indicator.
The result is that you can't easily compare the heat output of stoves because the ratings can be misleading. Stove makers usually state how many square feet of space the unit will heat.
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Some of them wisely give generous ranges like to sq. The reason for the big range and vague figures is that a particular stove might heat sq. Not only that but an old house might have twice the heat loss of a new house of the same size in the same climate zone. Also, if your house is divided into many small rooms, you probably won't be able to move the heat around the rest of the house, so the square footage rating is useless to you.
And finally, a stove burning softwood like spruce will put out much less heat per firebox load than it will burning a hardwood like maple. Obviously, heating capacity ratings based on square footage are unreliable. In practical terms, considering all the variables, wood stoves come in only three sizes; small, medium and large. The shape of the firebox affects its useable volume so there can be some exceptions to this very rough guideline.
Of course, all size considerations must take account of your house type, climate zone and standard fuel. Correct sizing of stoves for particular objectives and conditions is one area where the advice of an experienced wood stove dealer is particularly useful. How long will a given stove burn on a single load of wood? The only reasonable answer is: It depends. Burn time depends on wood species and moisture content, and on how much heat is needed during the burn. My experience is that a medium or large stove sized correctly based on all the issues discussed here will give a reliable overnight burn with enough coals remaining to kindle a fire in the morning.
Stoves in the small category may or may not give an overnight burn, but they tend not to be practical for whole-house primary heating. One advantage of catalytic stoves is that the good ones can deliver a lower burn rate over a longer period than non-cats and yet still burn clean. But the disadvantage of these long burn times is that the door glass tends to get dirty at very low firing rates.
In other words, a stove that has a claimed burn time of ten hours may not be better or more convenient to use than one that delivers an eight hour burn. On the other hand, knowing the maximum log length is useful because for convenient loading, the firebox should be about three inches bigger than your average piece of firewood. There are many other features that you might wish to consider.
These include whether the stove has an ash pan, a cooking surface, whether it can be operated open with a fire screen in place, and aesthetic matters like plated doors and trim, pedestal versus legs and color options. None of these affect heating performance but can influence your enjoyment of the stove.
The way the logs are oriented in the firebox has a big effect on how they burn and on how much heat the stove can put out over an extended burn.