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Sierra Club looking for response to reader's question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by John Ackerly, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Well, I don't see any questions either, just comments about what some say and what he says. If the question is open or closed. Closed.

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  2. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    This is for eclecticcottage(edit,sorry ec), not you Steve.
    Yep, I get that.
    I just had the thought that it might be tough to find 2 houses side by side that are exactly the same.
    Then I thought about subdivisions and decided, maybe not tough at all. However, I'd already posted.;em
    I can just see 2 stoves running side by side in my stove room. How cool would that be?;)

    Note to self, slow down your fingers and let your brain catch up.>>
    tfdchief likes this.
  3. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    There are 2 types of efficiency, combustion efficiency and over all efficiency, as in how much heat is getting in the house.

    I was referring to combustion efficiency and your right the extra combustion efficiency some of it was being flushed up the flue due to the door open allowing higher rate of air flow thru the stove. Your definately wasting heat but a fire burnng hotter has a higher combustion efficiency and you are getting more heat outo f the wood but a portion of it is going up the flue.

    A key point to these new EPA stoves is that by raising the temps in the fire box the wood can burn at a very low input air setting. By slowing the air flow thru the stove really slow the heat residual time is increased and allows more time to let heat radiate out into the room before it goes out the flue. Thus we see low flue pipe temps compared too stove top temps.

    If your burning your stove at a low input air setting take note of the stove pipe temp then open your door and watch as the stove pipe temp will rise as the heat your flushing up the flue is causing that to happen.
    Jon1270 likes this.
  4. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    I'm not so sure burning all that paper and cardboard is such a good thing.
  5. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    For an EPA stove burning with the door open will reduce both heat transfer efficiency AND combustion efficiency. All the excess air washing through the firebox cools the box below the overall 1100F+ temperature required for complete burning of all the smoke particles. the effect would be like an open fireplace - down at the coal bed you will see some bluish flame of complete combustion from the high local temps but most of the flames coming off the wood load will be bright yellow, the color of soot producing incomplete combustion.

    Now in his example pre-epa box stove, you are right that burning with the door open could be a higher combustion efficiency than choking it down to a smoulder with the door closed. But at best he is giong to increase the combustion efficiency to that of an open fireplace.
  6. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    Is the chimney outside or inside.
  7. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The answer is "3". Adjust your units to suit.

    Now... what was the question?
  8. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    My question: if a person joins the Sierra Club in hopes of making the world a better place in which to live, mightn't they also use a newer EPA-approved, less-polluting stove? I don't know what the OP has, just asking...
  9. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    The text of the OP's question refers to a stove "similar to a Fisher Mama Bear" most likely looks something like this:

    [​IMG]



    Yes, suggesting a new stove to them would be the ideal answer.
  10. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Either A: Retrofit that stove to burn with a baffle and secondary air or
    B: Recycle it and buy a new one
  11. mudr

    mudr Member

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    Actually, I believe the Sierra Club has a couple webpages touting the benefits of wood stoves (if modern and operated correctly). I'm not a member of SC, but the environmental benefits of wood burning is one of the many things I like about it. It's not a fossil fuel, it can be managed sustainably, relatively low emissions if run correctly. The one emission that is worse with wood burning is particulate matter (from my readings), but, all heat sources have their negative externalities. Wood burning is also considered carbon neutral by some.
  12. NE WOOD BURNER

    NE WOOD BURNER Minister of Fire

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    recirculating passive damper system?
  13. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    This is a much better question to consider. In fact, I'll make it more pointed. Shouldn't the Sierra Club actively encourage its members to recycle old polluting stoves
    and replace them with modern energy efficient and cleaner burning stoves? By encourage, I mean through education and supporting financial incentives for those who can't afford it, not by bans or inflammatory arguments as proposed by our friends at noburning.com or whatever that was called (deleted from my memory banks).
  14. John Ackerly

    John Ackerly Member

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    Thanks to all for excellent responses to a what was a confusing question. I sent the guy at Sierra Club a page and a half of what I thought were most succinct responses and he can write his reply from that. The Sierra Club does have some really good pages about wood stoves, and their first recommendation is to upgrade to EPA certified stove. One thing they missed is emphasis on dry wood, but overall I thought their advice to their members was really good and had very positive attitude towards wood and pellet heating as a low carbon alternative to fossil fuels. Here is link:
    http://www.sierraclubgreenhome.com/...nditioning-hvac/woodstoves-and-pellet-stoves/

    Will post Sierra Club's reply as soon as he pulls it together.
  15. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    Sorry Sprinter but the answer is: WHAT IS leaving the door open? :confused:
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  16. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    LOL I guess I'll never be on that show!;em
  17. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Anybody that thinks leaving the door open on a wood stove (even if it has a screen) is a good idea should really come here and read..then read some more.
  18. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    FYI, it was pre-internet, but I believe the Sierra Club was instrumental in the original clean burning wood stove standards. As I remember it, a lawsuit was brought in NY State (maybe against the state for violation of the clean air act?) or something of the sort, resulting in the beginning of the national standards.

    The club works mostly though local (state) chapters, each of which has it's issues. When issues rise to the national level, the club decides to finance them and take them on (that is, larger projects with a chance of victory and results).

    I happen to have a connection inside the club - with some pull.
    Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 7.43.18 PM.png
    ddddddden, fossil and DanCorcoran like this.
  19. John Ackerly

    John Ackerly Member

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  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hmm. Overall not a bad article, but this sentence is not correct. "The ideal air supply is achieved with the door closed and the air supply adjusted to achieve a lively fire." That is not quite correct, especially if one is trying to burn 24/7 cleanly. In that case one is more likely to be adjusting the air supply to achieve a gentle, lazy fire. A lively fire is fine if you want to watch flames. But it's often not as efficient.
  21. KodiakII

    KodiakII Feeling the Heat

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    By leaving the door open you might as well be heating with a fireplace....or how about an old Franklin heater. I was surprised my t6 offered a screen as an option when I bought it. The recirculating damper was probably a system similar to the one I had on my old Heritage stove. Obviously as known and stated buy many- switching to an EPA stove will result in less wood burned (I found a big difference with my T6 this being my first full season with it) and less pollution in the air. KEEP THE DOOR CLOSED!
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    True, but I understand where the author was coming from, and the message they were trying to convey. We preach not smouldering here, particularly when burning in a non-EPA smoke dragon. I haven't gone back and re-read the OP from two months ago, but if I recall, the question was originally posted from the perspective of running a non-EPA stove.
  23. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Seems like the problem is that the recommendation of what to look for is oversimplified. The flame probably should be lively immediately after starting the fire and closing the door, and only dialed back after the stove is up to a decent operating temperature. Going for the lazy flame right away seems like a prescription for smoke and smoulder, especially if one's wood supply is less than ideal.
  24. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I was disappointed that the article didn't at least drop a hint about dry wood. Even a pre-epa 'smoke dragon' can burn much cleaner with dry wood...
  25. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    How many of you that are throwing out left field ideas about pre EPA wood burners have ever burnt one, they operate pretty much the same as the EPA stoves, with the door shut for crying out loud, and to keep the chimney clean with a pre EPA stove and NOT send all the heat up the chimney is not that hard. Dry wood and flue temp in the safe range will leave the chimney as clean as a EPA stove, you have to be smarter then the wood you are putting in the stove to burn correctly.
    bag of hammers and DanCorcoran like this.

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