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Thread: Wood Stoves

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I think that humankinds' attraction to screens is partially due to eons spent staring into fires.

    I agree that burning wood requires effort, but if one has woodlands, as I do, and is managing them, as I do, firewood is a byproduct that is all but free. Real heating is a matter of real insulation. I can build a home that requires nothing more than a 1500 watt space heater here in the Northeast.

    Insulate, insulate, insulate. Burn whatever you like after.
     

  2. #22
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Halloween n Mika Party 012.jpg

    +1 on the Hearthstone... the soapstone makes for wonderful heat without the peaks and valleys temperature swings.

    pictured immediately post install, before the room was finished. We burn about 4 cords a year on LI.

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by Mabouya View Post
    Wood is romantic, but a pita.
    I enjoy the process. Burning wood certainly isn't the most expedient means to provide heat, but the cutting, splitting, hauling, stacking, and eventual feeding of the stove have never felt like any great burden to me.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    plan to do some "real heating" as well as real bread and pizza making in this beast.
    [IMG]wood stove by Matt.zilliox, on Flickr[/IMG]
    newly installed Masonry heater will heat the home in winter and offer the ability to make bread and pizzas, simmer soups, and much more. 2-3 hr fire does the job for 24 hours. cant wait to fire it up here soon

    wood is fun, we have been heating with qood for 4 years, way better than heat produced with other methods. cheaper too. I enjoy cutting wood 80% of the time.
    Matt Zilliox

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    So it turns out that in addition to keeping most of the nice station wagons for themselves, the Euros also have lots of cool wood stoves that we can't have in the US, e.g. Categories Design freestanding stoves : Rocal







     

  6. #26
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Those are nice looking. Friends out in the Hamptons have a Pivot stove. It is quite a piece. And it does a great job heating the house. They have it hanging between the living room area and the dining area, so when they move from the living room to the dining room, the stove gets turned around accordingly. However, the stove itself gets hot. They use it as a kind of idiot test. People have tried to lean on it, put their drinks on it and even sit on it. None of those things worked out well. Fire is usually a good indicator of heat, so most people know to keep their distance. And they have no kids or animals.

    Jorn Ake
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  7. #27
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    *Side note Jorn. If that is a idiot test than our pig roast is a masters class. There will be pictures, no worries.

  8. #28
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Great stove, but our place is a little too small for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Fire is usually a good indicator of heat, so most people know to keep their distance. And they have no kids or animals.
    Somehow I've never seen a dog that didn't intuitively understand fire.

    I'm leaning toward the Morso 7648. It's not the largest amount of glass, but it has very low clearances to combustibles, which is important given that we're placing a premium on space and think we want to put it in a corner. With double walled pipe, the clearance to combustibles in a corner is only 2.5". The only hearth necessary over the hardwood floor is piece of glass or fireproof mat for spark protection. Pretty slick, and it'll take a 12" log so we aren't playing with mini firewood all winter.

     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Turns out that installing a chimney in the main floor of a two story house built 120 years ago is something of a challenge. I've spent the past couple weeks struggling with installers who would rather sell me a gas stove, or put the wood stove in some strange place, rather than doing all the putzy stuff it'll take to make the chimney work where I want it.

    This may turn into a project that involves winterizing my porch and putting it out there. Having some additional four season space wouldn't be a bad outcome, even if it's more than I intended to take on.

    The bottom line is that I will be able to have a wood fire in my house, no matter what it takes. With a checkbook and a chainsaw I figure I should be able to make it happen.
     

  10. #30
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Any way to run it directly through a wall outside rather than through the entire house?
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Any way to run it directly through a wall outside rather than through the entire house?
    The short answer is "yes," and people do it.

    The long answer is that a bunch of exposed pipe outside isn't ideal and is likely to cause draft problems, especially in a really cold climate like Minnesota.

    To get a good draft, you want a high pressure differential (i.e. temp differential) as close to the end of the flue as possible. Here's a better explanation than I can give, with all the math: Chimney Draft A bunch of cold stovepipe near the stove is likely to kick smoke back into the room as the pipe is warming up. It'll run fine once it's warm, but getting it warm can be a pain. People do it, though. There's a stove on my block vented out of the living room wall with 25 feet of bare pipe outside.

    One common workaround is to build an insulated shroud for the pipe on the exterior to keep the pipe warm. That's a pretty significant construction project though, especially if you want it finished to blend reasonably well with the rest of the house.

    Keeping the pipe inside for two stories has it's own issues, most notably that it occupies physical space, and has to be boxed in on the second floor to meet code.

    I think I've figured out a way to route the pipe through my second story now, which will allow me to keep the pipe inside almost to the peak of the roofline. That'll only leave four or five feet of exposed pipe to clear the peak of the roof by the required three feet. Fingers crossed.

    The house we're putting this in is on the windward side of the highest hill in the city, so I don't want to do anything to provoke the draft gods.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by j44ke View Post
    Any way to run it directly through a wall outside rather than through the entire house?
    My first gas Jotul vented out the wall . It worked fine, admittedly it looked weird and bugged me until we sold the house.

  13. #33
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    the "stack effect" is your friend

    pellet stoves are something to consider as well
     

  14. #34
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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    We ended up delaying this project so that we could get a stove that meets 2020 EPA standards. Despite all the handwringing, the newer stuff is pretty much always better. And for an activity that's optional, reducing emissions as much as possible seems like a good idea, especially in an urban area.

    The higher end Scandinavian stove companies have been making the case that their stoves are carbon neutral or negative for years, i.e. a log burned in their stove emits less carbon than that same log left to decay in the woods. Assuming that's true (it sort of boggles my mind), and that the stove offsets the emissions from my natural gas furnace, a wood burning stove seems like an okay or even good environmental choice.

    But I was recently struck by Bill McKibben's article in the New Yorker arguing against using biomass to produce electricity based mostly on the idea that while biomass can be carbon neutral over the long haul, the long view isn't a luxury we currently have:

    For all intents and purposes, in the short term, wood is just another fossil fuel, and in climate terms the short term is mostly what matters. As an M.I.T. study put it last year, while the regrowth of forests, if it happens, can eventually repay the carbon debt created by the burning of wood pellets, that payback time ranges from forty-four years to a hundred and four in forests in the eastern U.S., and, in the meantime, the carbon you’ve emitted can produce “potentially irreversible impacts that may arise before the long-run benefits are realized.”
    My read of his argument is that is only applies to cutting down living trees for fuel, and not to using dead and down timber, or leftovers from a tree service that are going to be cut regardless.

    But maybe I'm thinking about it wrong. Any thoughts?
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Is there enough scrap and surplus downed wood to go around? To make a stove investment worth while?

    An air source heat pump makes a whole lot more sense...
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    I need to think about this... I burn wood, for my shop, a cabin and my house.. I am conscious and aware-this is a good question.

    Detritus is worse than burning that same wood? I’m having a hard time with that one.. I’d like to know-
    ‘The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those that are killing it have names and addresses-‘ Utah Phillips

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    @guido I'm not thinking of this burning wood at a society-wide level. I don't think there's enough waste wood, or frankly any desire to do it at that level. It's just a few weirdos like me who want to have a fire.

    But for those of us who are interested in burning wood, there seems to be more than enough tree service by-produce and naturally falling timber to go around. I've never really heard of anyone around here dropping live trees for firewood. There's more than enough dead/down timber for the people who want firewood.

    My main question is just whether on an individual level in a context where there's more than enough dead/down/waste timber, it's environmentally responsible to burn it in a high efficiency stove.

    Turns out that there's been a fair bit written about pellets being classified as carbon neutral.

    Smithsonian Article

    Yale E360 Article

    The debate is not clear-cut. Burning wood may be close to carbon neutral in some situations, such as where it is clear that cut trees are replaced with the same trees, one for one; but in others it can emit even more carbon than coal. The trouble is that regulators are ill-placed to tell the difference, which will only be clear decades after the presumed emissions have been tallied — or not — in national carbon inventories.

    ***
    leftovers from harvested trees, such as twigs and branches, would typically be burned in wood mills as waste, or left to rot on the forest floor. They would quickly release their carbon. All agree that burning them for electricity generation would not add to atmospheric CO2, whereas whole trees left standing would continue to grow and absorb CO2 from the air.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    @rowdyhillrambler I recall reading multiple companies claiming in the past that burning in a modern stove emitted no more carbon than natural decay. Jotul and/or Morso stick in my mind as sources. I'll post links here if I can turn them up, but companies have a way of making old marketing claims disappear.

    Looking around now, it seems that everyone's marketing copy is using the EU and EPA decisions that all biomass is carbon neutral, which is hard to really buy given all of the caveats noted in the Yale article I link above.

    As someone ready to have a new stove put in, I'd like to see an analysis for the home woodburner that compares burning wood in a modern stove using dead/down/byproduct fuel to a natural gas/propane/fuel oil furnace.
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    The biomass question is certainly a complex one, but I think the simple answer of carbon neutral is not the correct answer.

    For electricity generation I think certainly not, simply because burning wood is not the most efficient way to make high-pressure steam, and if it's an electricity-only plant that throws away the "waste" heat then the concept started out bad and ended up worse.

    Cogeneration, like at Middlebury College? They've added gasification and "sustainably" harvested feedstock to the mix. Interesting, but not Bill McKibben's favorite.

    Dartmouth College's plan to go from #6 oil (blecch) to biomass has had a major wrench thrown in the works by three alumni with serious cred in sustainability, see
    NHPR: Opponents To Biomass Plant Ask Dartmouth To Consider Other Options
    Their letter is shown in that article, it's a pretty good read. The paragraph that opens "Instead we urge a major effort in energy efficiency for the College's facilities." really resonates with me (full disclosure, it's what I do for a living). Fixing the damn holes is a higher priority than worrying about how you make the heat you're losing through them.

    But burning wood for home heat is nowhere near the scale of those endeavors. And if you've done the work of insulating and air sealing, you're not talking about that much fuel anyway. But if you're going to do a good job of air sealing, the flue of that wood stove is going to give you pause. You'll certainly need to duct in combustion air.

    TH

    Green Building Advisor: All About Wood Stoves
     

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    Default Re: Wood Stoves

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    But if you're going to do a good job of air sealing, the flue of that wood stove is going to give you pause. You'll certainly need to duct in combustion air.

    TH

    Green Building Advisor: All About Wood Stoves
    Yo T I want to read your linked article but it's for members only.

    Second, I'm getting ready to put a woodstove into our kitchen (after heating the whole giant farmhouse with wood during my youth, we took the stoves out when we had the whole place rented). I expected I'd get a unit that ducted in outside air for combustion, because why suck warm air up the chimney? But it looks like there are some fire hazards associated with it and it isn't neessarily any more efficient. I'm surprised. This is the kind of stuff I've been reading; I can't assess how sound it is: A non-commercial service in support of responsible home heating with wood - The Outdoor Air Myth Exposed.

    Third, to go back to Caleb's comment that people don't drop live trees for firewood, that's not consistent with my experience. On any woodlot, there are good trees with long term potential as timber or whatever, and then there are trees that are growing too close, or have forks low down, or aren't in good soil so they are falling down anyway, or are in poor health, and that's what we drop for firewood.

    Anything dead or downed is likely to be rotten anyway or otherwise won't heat worth beans.
     

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