1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

OAK - My dealers perspective.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by gerryger, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. gerryger

    gerryger Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    93
    Loc:
    CT
    I know the validity of OAK's are a big topic on these forums and I for one am still on the fence. I did call my dealer today to discuss the need for an OAK and I just about finished the question when I was told there is ABSOLUTELY no reason to install an OAK except for situations where air flow is a problem (lazy flame) due to improper installations by DIY'ers. She clearly stated to me that heating zero degree air makes no sense and will reduce heat output and lose efficiency. Makes sense to me. She also stated that her business could make a lot more money if they recommend installing an OAK on all their pellet stove purchases but choose not to because they want to be honest and up front to their customers that an OAK has no advantages.

    These are her words not mine. Just thought I'd share that.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Trickyrick

    Trickyrick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    280
    Loc:
    Western MA/ Eastern NY
    Physics ABSOLUTELY disagrees with her. But obviously she understands thermodynamics better than anyone else. Hey We are all going to do what we want and what we believe in but if you suck air out of your house to use for combustion then air must enter your home to take its place. That air is the same temp as the outside air. In order to keep your house at a given temp you then must heat that air to room temp. I think I would prefer to not add any more leaking air to my home.



    The question is what is the larger waste of heat. Raising the temperature of the air for combustion, which you do in the process of combustion or raising the temperature of the air you feel in your home as it enters through all those little cracks....


    You could ask her how much more she makes sellign people extra pellets?
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    12,227
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    You might want to check with the US national labs that have conducted many combustion tests on pellet stoves.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with DIY'ers ....
  4. doghouse

    doghouse Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Messages:
    209
    Loc:
    maine
    Ask her to show you the math. Ask her to explain the difference in using 0 degree air as opposed to using 68 degree air. Betcha she says its 68 degrees warmer. ;-)
  5. ghandy131

    ghandy131 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Messages:
    133
    Loc:
    Central MA
    My 10-CPM mandates an OAK.
  6. jmart

    jmart Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Loc:
    central Maine
    I would think it would also help with draft during a power failure.
  7. defrob

    defrob New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    CT
    The thing I've noticed about OAKs is that everyone is right. It is all situational. The OAK will drawn in cold, moist air that takes more energy to heat and can cause rust. If you have a drafty house it will be a great benefit because without it you will pull cold air into your house rather than in your stove. If your house is sealed well it won't be necessary unless the room it is in is too small. In that instance there won't be enough air flow and you'll get a lazy flame.
  8. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Evidently the dealer knows much more about burn air than Englander, Harman, Travis Indust, Enviro, and other manufacturers who recommend/require an OAK.

    I can't think for the life of me why these companies would even bother to add the OAK inlets if they didn't do anything, or made the stove burn colder.

    And her argument makes no sense anyway, since you're not HEATING the incoming air....you're using it for combustion. The only air that is getting heated is the existing room air that goes through the convection blower.
  9. defrob

    defrob New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    CT
    Are you using an OAK? My dealer talked me out of one and am wondering how many XXV owners use one.
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Once again, these dealers know WAY more than the stove manufacturers. I guess that Harman just figured it would put this on P.10 of the XXV owners manual just for laughs:

    "Harman home heating and hearth & home technologies strongly recommend attaching outside air in all installations, especially lower level and main floor locations."
  11. defrob

    defrob New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    CT
    I worked in engineering at Pratt &Whitney; and can speak from experience that things often work better in theory than practice. It is worth noting the advice of dealers and installers. They see so many units and learn a thing or two.
  12. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,488
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    This zero degree air is another myth I plan on busting! When I get my data logger that is. I'll measure exhaust temp at the tee. With and without OAK each for 24 hrs. Probably should also figure out how to measure the temp in the burnpot!

    If a hot rod would much rather have cold(oxygen filled) air intake, Why wouldn't a fire(combustion)?
  13. defrob

    defrob New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    CT
    Wouldn't colder combustion air create a weaker flame?
  14. jmart

    jmart Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2011
    Messages:
    80
    Loc:
    central Maine
    Yes, my dealer recommended it although, I had full intentions of installing an oak before talking with him.
  15. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Heating 0* outside air by a flame thats over 1,000* has little or NO effect. Than the 70* air it would burn inside your house. So my Flame is only 1,000* and yours is 1,070*.. I will take my 1,000* and heat my bedroom, kitchen, bathrooms. All the while you are filling those rooms with cold air, to heat it, then send it out your flue.

    I will keep my OAK and the warm air that my stove heats. And keep it in my house. Cold air comes in my stove, not my bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen. Do what you want. But think about it....

    Think about how hot a flame actually is..... Its over 1,000. That was just a # I threw out for differences. Either way your combustion air is somewhat preheated in any stove. Some designs are better than others.

    This is a long debate as to whether to OAK or not. Much like to run vert or direct vent horizontal???

    Or even better....If you have a Magic Heat???
  16. imacman

    imacman Guest

    Jay, I don't think you even have to go to that extreme. The dealer in the OP's first post stated that the OAK "will reduce heat output and lose efficiency".

    I think all you need to do to is to measure heat output into the room. Then, while the stove continues to burn, remove the OAK and read the temp....if the heat output stays the same when you remove the OAK connection, myth busted.
  17. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Cold air is more dense and can hold more O2... Like j-takeman said. High horsepower motors DEMAND Cool air for better combustion.. The colder the air. The more dense it is. Add that to my list above.
  18. defrob

    defrob New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    CT
    hmmm...that is a damn good point
  19. lbcynya

    lbcynya Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    474
    Loc:
    W Michigan
    Temperatures of flames by appearance

    Red Just visible: 525 °C (980 °F)
    Dull: 700 °C (1,300 °F)
    Cherry, dull: 800 °C (1,500 °F)
    Cherry, full: 900 °C (1,700 °F)
    Cherry, clear: 1,000 °C (1,800 °F)

    Orange Deep: 1,100 °C (2,000 °F)
    Clear: 1,200 °C (2,200 °F)

    White Whitish: 1,300 °C (2,400 °F)
    Bright: 1,400 °C (2,600 °F)
    Dazzling: 1,500 °C (2,700 °F)

    :)
  20. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Then you have the folks like myself using Selkirk DT pulling the outside air in thru the outer chamber of the exhaust path.

    So how does heated outside air affect heat output?

    I'm pretty sure I don't care enuf. Only because my setup works and I know I'm not causing drafts.

    Maybe Adam and Jamie will read this thread. :p
  21. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,906
    Loc:
    Chelsea Maine
    That dealer, your dealer, run, don't walk. Tell everyone you know how "competent" they are. Her advice, right up there with the "world is flat".
    Sad part is that she is not alone in handing out misinformation about the proper use and need for OAK. The lazy flame may be a part of poor draft, but nothing to do with DIYers. That is just insulting to anyone's intelligence and integrity.
  22. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,925
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Actually colder combustion air is denser and should create a stronger flame.
  23. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,488
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    I did that last season. OAK off heat with Okies was 258ºF---OAK on heat was 264ºF. ONLY thing I changed is OAK on-OAK off, Nothing else. A fella said that the temps could flux on their own. So I did it 10 times, these numbers are the average! I think I posted it somewhere?????

    ~Just though exhaust temps and burnpot temp would ice it for them!
  24. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Thank you for the facts... I used 1,000* as a baseline for easy math. I know all to well a flame is over 1,000 (most). Thats why I said it was just a #

    But thank you for the #'s. That even better proves my point... The flame does not see a difference in the cold air. Your home does.... Not your Flame, Stove, Etc..... Just my bedroom is warmer than those without..

    Another reason I can heat over 2,000 with just the Quad on its lowest setting and keep the house at 75 and all the rooms be no less than 1-2* different in temp (using corner fans and a through the wall fan)..

    I will keep my air in my home. Thanks again for the facts ibycnya.....
  25. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,488
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    And a damn good post! Thinxs Mr. dex is an OAK believer! ;-)

    I honestly didn't believe it until I hooked one up. My front door draft was much less. We used to beat it because it would freeze. With an OAK installed. No more frozen shut front door! My stove is my only air pump(as smokey calls um! ;-) ). Unless we turn on the bathroom fan or fan over the kitchen stove. If I ran the wood stove this didn't happen. It was always with the pellet stove.

Share This Page