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New generation stoves just keep getting better, and in astonishing ways! Half the wood consumption represents just
one of many major improvements. These are mostly unknown to the public, and rarely explained when shopping. Most shoppers
use outdated criteria to buy stoves. Unskilled and overworked sales people are little to no help. The 'best' stoves of
the past are now more than a poor choice. They are considered by many unethical to sell. The reasons are thoughtfully
explained below, intuitive, and worth reading...
Wood Topics Covered:
- Why stoves use half the wood of 'air tight' stoves of the past. Seven times cheaper than oil or gas.
- Other areas of significant savings and benefits in addition to half the wood consumption.
- How easily the above benefits are often permanently lost when you choose certain popular brands.
- How to identify a stove that will provide a lifetime of trouble free service without the big price tag.
- New reasons why fully seasoned wood is important, and how to season your 'seasoned' wood.
- Time saving tips for wood management and how to start the fire and keep it going overnight.
- Why stove brochure specs are often misleading.
- Reasons why new generation stoves are now safer than conventional heating.
- Four types of installation pipe, their applications and cost.
- Myths, half truths, and past truths that are now invalid.
- Options and tips for do-it-yourself installers.
- Homes with Electric Heat - Smart Alternatives
- Fireside’s Unique Flash Combustion Demonstration
Why stoves use half the wood of the 'air tight' stoves of the past...
- Wood expense, stacking, carrying and ash removal is now cut in half compared to 'efficient' air tight
stoves of the past. Quality new generation stoves, with fully seasoned wood, burn all the smoke in the fire
box, creating a stunning fire view. Smoke literally ignites before your eyes. Your chimney stays clean for years too!
Other areas of significant savings and benefits in addition to half the wood consumption...
- With higher efficiencies come several other benefits. The air wash system keeps the glass front clean. You'll have 24/7 fire views, and never need to open the door to see if you need to add wood. With the smoke burning, your chimney stays clean and safe. Save on yearly chimney cleaning expenses.
- Many new generation stoves include shielding on the back and sides. Expensive wall protection is rarely needed, saving lots of money. You can now put the stove inches, not feet from the wall. As a result, they take less room space too.
- Certain stoves, such as the 'Country' stove line, by Lennox, are designed to hold up for life with repeated over firing. In other words, for the same or less money as a fragile cast iron stove, you'll have a lifetime investment no matter how frequently over fired.
- Longer burn times due to smoke combustion make it easier to keep the fire going 24/7. If it's still going when you wake up or returning home, then it's more likely to stay on 24/7. This keeps the furnace off and there's more time to spread heat to remote places in the house.
How easily the above benefits are often permanently lost when you choose certain popular brands...
- Cast Iron stoves are extremely leak prone. Therefore, what is promised in the sales literature is valid only until the stove is over-fired. Here's why. When the required dry, seasoned wood is used, and the air intake is great, red hot temperatures reduce these fragile and expensive stoves to past generation performance. Often un-repairable, they permanently lose temperature control, overnight burns, and the ability to burn smoke fuel. The reason this happens is simple.
- Cast iron stoves have 12 furnace cement seams that crumble with over-firing. They also have poor quality glass retainers, fragile door hinge pins, and small door gaskets. Excess air leaks in, causing excessive heat and reduced burn time. Secondly, air intake leaks cause the loss of firebox vacuum. This stops the flow of secondary combustion air. Potent smoke fuel now goes unburned. Efficiency and burn times can be cut in half. Repairing fragile seams today cost more than the stove is worth You're then stuck with a permanent reduction to half performance, and your warrantee is worthless. Once popular brands to avoid are Vermont Castings, Jotul, Hearthstone/Soapstone, Waterford, etc. The stove seams, up to 25 linear feet of them, are not metal. They are furnace cement or fiberglass.
How to identify a stove that will provide a lifetime of trouble free service without the big price tag...
- With cast iron ruled out, what remains is steel construction. Reject any stove body thickness less than Ľ".
Look for seamless steel unibody stoves. Some have cast iron doors and legs with rounded unibody corners.
A door gasket size of 3/4" to 1" diameter is a big plus, as well as a complete frame holding the glass tight, rather than a few small clips or washers.
The 'brains' of the stove are the ceiling retainers and secondary combustion tubes. They must be stainless steel.
Steel stoves are more attractive than ever. Most provide larger fire views, and a wide variety of contrasting
door and leg finishes. Quality steel stoves are economical and will handle frequent over-firing without total loss
or damage, and maintenance is minimal. The best quality stoves are by Lennox, their 'Country' stove line.
Others such as Lopi, Avalon, and Quadrifire are a bit lesser in quality, and cost more.
New reasons why fully seasoned wood is important, and how to season your 'seasoned' wood...
- Two pieces of wood the same kind and size can vary in weight several pounds. Since each pound of water is a pint, there can be several pints of water entering the stove with each log! When the secondary combustion system is undermined, then you lose the benefits listed in paragraph 1. 'Seasoned' wood off the truck will never be fully seasoned. It takes two years when covered and split. You must hold onto it for a year before using it, and another year if fresh cut ('green').
- Using this definition of seasoned wood, you will insure the following:
- Much less wood consumption. (Water keeps smoke fuel from burning.)
- Much less wood toting, ash removal, and mess.
- Much longer burn times that also help the heat to spread out more evenly.
- Long burns allow fewer restarts, and the furnace turns on less.
- Much faster heating and heat larger areas.
- Cost of wood is less when bought a year in advance.(inflation)
- Lighter wood to carry and load. Much easier start-ups.
- Cleaner environment and happier neighbors.
- Safe and economical 'stay clean' chimney.
- Allows the new air wash system to keep the class clean.
- You lose all these benefits using unseasoned or partially seasoned wood.
Time saving tips for wood management and how to start the fire and keep it going overnight...
- When you buy wood a year in advance to season fully, you'll actually have two years wood
on hand. I keep it dry using a tarp that covers the top and a couple feet down the sides. If some rain hits the ends, it dries quickly. It's beneficial to allow air to pass through, rather than cover it to the ground and trap in the moisture. If possible, stack it conveniently close to the entry door.
- A 'DuraFlame' type fireplace log can be broken into hundreds of little fire starters. Just one lights my kindling, which is just sticks or pallet wood. Some stoves, like the 'Country' or 'Lopi' brands, provide a little air jet near the floor in the front that acts like a bellows. I place the fire starter chunk there with kindling on top. Then load as much wood as the stove will hold. If your stove holds 20" logs, and you load 16" logs, then the fire box is really not full, and you will lose beneficial burn time. Initially, set the air intake control to get the stove hot before turning it down low. Never move the air control to either extreme (high or low). If to little air, the smoke can suddenly stop burning. If all the way open, the efficiency starts dropping. Remember, stoves typically leaked badly in the past, especially over fired cast iron stoves. When you purchase a quality stove that won't leak, you can pack wood to the ceiling and adjust it to give just the right amount of heat while going hours before needing to reload.
Why stove brochure specs are often misleading...
- BTU ratings may be accurate with gas heaters, but with wood it is inconsistent.
Get a rough idea using the 'square foot capacity'. Never match the area of your home to the max the stove puts out. For example, choose a 2000 sq ft stove for a 1000 to 1500 square foot home.
Reasons why new generation stoves are now safer than conventional heating...
- Wood fuel can not leak and explode like oil or gas can. With smoke burning, creosote buildup will not occur, so chimney fires would not occur. Stoves are much more clearance friendly too.
Four types of installation pipe, their applications and cost...
- There is chimney pipe, stainless steel stove pipe called liner pipe to go up your existing chimney, and connecter pipe inside the house to connect the stove to your masonry or metal chimney.
Myths, half truths, and past truths that are now invalid...
Options and tips for do-it-yourself installers...
Home Owners with Electric Heat. Comprehensive Guide.
- There are new heating options that keep getting better year after year.
If you've read 1-11 above, then you know how wood heat has advanced.
It is 6 times cheaper than electric and oil.
Electric heat is expensive, but the initial cost to install it saved you a lot.
Each room can be heated independently with its' own thermostat.
Gas stoves are in-between in fuel cost of wood and gas/oil. Propane fueled stoves are for homes with no natural gas piped in from the street.
- A fuel efficient stove with a fire view is the perfect compliment when used with electric heat. Placed in the main living area, it can heat the entire house. The electric heat could balance temps if it was necessary, and barely be used. However, during winter power outages, electric heat and furnaces fail, and pipes can freeze and burst. Gas stoves are great heating security. Unlike gas furnaces, stoves convert heat energy to electric to power the safety system, and the wall thermostat. Stoves do not fail during power outages. This is especially important if you are on vacation. They also provide a realistic fire view that some consider the centerpiece of the home.
- Selling your home with just electric heat can be a turn off for home buyers.
However, with a stove, you can list gas heat as your main heating fuel, and electric as a back-up and zone heat. In addition, list it with a freestanding fireplace. Most home buyers want non-electric heat and a room with a fire view. If you add gas heat and a fire view to your listing, you'll get more for your home. You'll more than double your return on your initial stove investment.
- Fireside’s unique flash combustion demonstration is a case of ‘seeing is believing’. It’s amazing. Many eye opening improvements are demonstrated and made easy to understand.
- Words alone fall short, but here’s a brief summary:
The ‘air tight’ & ‘catalytic’ wood stove is a dinosaur, virtually extinct. This is the era of the ‘flash combustion’ stove. Wood heating at the oil cost equivalent of 50 cents a gallon means incredible economy! It doesn’t take long before savings pay for the stove. But there’s more. With seasoned wood, even sappy pine, you’ll never need a chimney cleaning! Instead, smoke that flash combusts amounts to half of the beautiful flame display and heat! Today’s new stoves promise this, but few deliver it beyond the first few over firings.
- Here’s why: All cast iron stoves have non-metal seams and poor quality door components. Most are the trusted popular brands of the past. Then, a crumbled seam meant over firing. This could be somewhat limited using a stove pipe damper and unseasoned wood. It wasn’t a big loss back then. Repair was possible for about $600. That’s not the case with today’s new cast iron wood stoves. Now, the seam repair costs including the uninstall, re-install, and shipping both ways is more than it’s worth. Forget the warranty. It’s worthless since you over fired it. It’s now a total loss! Why is that so?
- Leaks now mean a 45% loss in efficiency, heat control, & burn time! Furthermore, wood handling, ash removal, and chimney cleanings greatly increase. This is demonstrated in store with the burn model. As a result, my last few cast Jotuls and VC’s wouldn’t sell even at wholesale! They shipped out of state to those who insisted they didn’t need a demonstration. For the same money, they could have bought a stove that’s easier to use, cheaper to install, with more features, including a lifetime guarantee... even if over fired!
- I wish competitors would demonstrate this as well. Shop around and see. Most unknowingly mislead. So do brochures. Too many make a poor choice based on out dated criteria and lose their investment.
- Please call the owner, John Debar, to set up a demonstration any time until 7 pm. At Fireside, everyday discounts on quality stoves come with a low price guarantee on both the stove and the options. In addition, an ash removal pan is included.
- Please call before visiting. This is important to promptly assist you, and to verify the burn model stove is fired up for your demonstration.
- John Debar, Fireside Stove, 52 Main St, Wakefield. 783-6054