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Efficiency Ratings

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by brakatak, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. brakatak

    brakatak Member

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    How important are these? and what do they mean exactly? Comparing 2 inserts, I see one rated at 84.7% (enviro boston), and the other at 76.9% (lopi freedom).

    Does this just mean that using a higher efficient insert will take less wood to get the same amount of heat?

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Not super important. There are different ways of measuring efficiency. One being how cleanly it burns and the other how much of the fire's heat is delivered to the room vs up the chimney.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I agree and most tend to overstate it. I recall going to stove shops that claimed from 90 to as high as 98% efficient. Naturally I wrote off that stove shop right away. ;lol Most will also tend to over-rate how large of a home the stove will heat. They also won't tell you that you should already have your wood well before you buy the stove! This is extremely important.
  4. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    A bit simplistic, but that's the idea.
    I'll follow up on this a little. The efficiency rating you normally see in ads is normally a blend (the product, actually), of the combustion efficiency (how clean the burn) and transfer efficiency (heat transferred to the room), based on a standard test protocol in an EPA accredited facility. Of course, these tests are done with the stove operating under optimal conditions, conditions that most owners rarely meet in real life, since there are a myriad of factors at work.

    All EPA stoves can be considered high efficiency with little practical difference between models. However, catalytic stoves are generally considered to be more efficient than non-cat stoves when operated properly, although even there, the differences can blur.

    Edit: Just to be more precise, combustion efficiency is how much of the available energy in the wood is released by combustion. How clean the burn is, would be the grams/hr rating.

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