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Outside air or not?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bozol, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Hi all,

    We live in the Canadian Arctic (Inuvik) where we experience real winter for roughly 6 months of the year. Temperatures often drop to -40`C. Is it worthwhile getting air direct to the stove or not? I've spoken with some people about this and the feelings are mixed. Some say it is worth it because you stop drafts around windows etc. but others say that you lose a lot of efficiency because the stove is heating super cold air. Curious if anybody has any thoughts.

    We burn a PE super 27, the house is a 933sqft bungalow, the house is very well insulated and the wood we burn is all softwood or driftwood.

    Bozol

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  2. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

    Subscribing!!
  3. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    706
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    You will be heating that super cold air with or without an OAK (Outside Air Kit). Either you heat it as it enters directly into the stove via the OAK or you heat it after it causes a draft coming in via a crack somewhere and through the rooms. Air has to get to the stove to replace what is going up the flue. The difference is with the OAK you don't have to feel the cold draft.

    Is the driftwood saltwater driftwood? Some stove manufacturers recommend against wood that has soaked in salt water. The burning salt/chlorides can cause corrosion. Check your manual.

    KaptJaq
  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,298
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    You are an ideal candidate for an OAK. It is even more important for folks living in super cold areas since you also benefit by keeping the humidity in the house. When you are constantly sucking ultra cold, dry, outside air into the living space and heating it you will have very low humidity and using an OAK reduces the loss of moist room air. Think about humidity as well as temperature.

    The fire doesn't care if the air you feed it is cold. All air is cold to a 1500 degree F fire and the most efficient stove burns outside air not because of combustion efficiency but because the stove's heat stays in the house and builds up.

    I have found that the people that recommend against OAK are those too lazy to install it or with a difficult installation due to their home's construction. There are no drawbacks.

    I too burn softwood. That's fine. The driftwood will cause corrosion that will eat your stove and flue from the inside but you surely know that.
    dougand3 likes this.
  5. Bozol

    Bozol New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    The driftwood is river, not ocean.

    A friend of mine is installing an OAK system and will let me know how he feels about it this winter. Perhaps next winter we will change, but it appears as though the forum thinks its a good idea. Thanks for your advice.
  6. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Messages:
    412
    Loc:
    SE BC Canadian Rockies
    Its code here to have an OAK. Helps with drafting and for the reasons posted above, I hope to not have the cold spots in my 2600 sq ft home have to fight its way to the stove. Stay warm up there!
  7. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    WA state
  8. KaptJaq

    KaptJaq Minister of Fire

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    Jan 31, 2011
    Messages:
    706
    Loc:
    Long Island, NY
    In my reading that article says you have to be careful how you set up your OAK. It gives a number of examples of potential OAKs gone bad but I do not think there are problems with the majority of OAK installs. If you install an OAK and it has problems a good stove shop or a handy DIYer can usually trouble shoot it and resolve the problem.

    KaptJaq

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