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So Which stoves are the cleanest burning stoves?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Sep 26, 2007.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I’m a bit confused? First web asserts that GPH numbers are useless ,than the
    Head of Omni labs DR. James E. Houck,
    Post an article about the significance of todays clean burning. Quoting GPH numbers as the determining factors. He also list the top 10 non cat cleanest burning stoves.
    All governed by GPH numbers.

    So who do I believe DR Houk or the Wemaster

    Dazed and confused here What does Web know that DR Houk should have said. I think IT was Web reference to Omni labs that backed up his point?

    Seems that Omni is giving a lot of significance to GPH numbers a whole article on their comparisons

    The article thank to sue

    http://www.omni-test.com/publications/Wood_stoves_article.pdf

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  2. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    Don't let Corie see the rating on the NC-30.....it may go to his head.

    Oops! I let the cat out of the bag.....

    Rob
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Elk, that would not be the same Omni labs who published all the papers that we quoted and linked to here before - which said EPA tests did not reflect real world? The same lab who Elk mentioned got caught in cheating (or was that another lab) and fudging numbers?

    I can certainly understand the confusion.

    I guess it's personal opinion - I can think folks tend to act up more during the full moon - others may not think so. My personal opinion is that I would not buy a stove by the numbers (currently). I would use firebox size, budget, style and actual experiences of real world burning. Most shoppers and dealers have confirmed this - that they do not buy and sell by the numbers.

    Hey, we are all on the same side! I want the cleanest burning stuff available to be out there......but riddle me this - OMNI also says that OWB's burn just about as clean as EPA certified stoves in the field....so, do we decide exactly which of their statements we want to believe? or do we be skeptical of ALL of the stuff...... color me a skeptic!

    When the labs stop getting paid by the manufacturer (aka, consumer reports), then I will listen a bit more carefully - even then, I need reproducible proof. Hey, this would be a good time for Elk to donate the first $1000 to the new lab. For 10K, you get it named after you!

    The D. Jordan Test Facility.....we'll even give you an honorary doctorate - Dr. D. Jordan Stoveman test facility. You asked before how you can get "respect" - well, there it is.......immortal, carved in stone (well, maybe in wood).
  4. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    Looking at the HOF list I'm buying the Quad 3100, nearly twice the heating power for the same sized firebox.
    Does a stoves ability to heat take away from its overall efficiency? I think so

    GRAMS per hour, how much is that really? Especially when what is coming out of a wood stove stack is SO MUCH BETTER for planet Earth than anything coming out of an oil burner, car, tractor trailer.

    Most of this falls back to earth , essentially as compost right?
  5. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Here we go again.....New twist to put the killing blow on a limping horse.

    Elk, do you want to look at this from a technical perspective or a real world perspective; they are really quite different.

    Stove manufacturers and regulatory or testing agencies can make comparisons on a much different level than real world users. Tests are conducted in tightly controlled environments, using consistent fuels and methods; that's not the way the real world works. It does provide a level playing field for the manufacturers to compare their products to one another or to other stoves in their line up. From their perspective, it also gives them bragging rights when they come up with a cleaner burning stove than someone else. The problem is that in the real world, the fuel, user and installation conditions are anything but consistent so the numbers go out the window.

    I would be willing to bet that given your years of burning experience and the research you have done, you could get much cleaner emissions from the exact same stove than I could. So what does that say about the relevance of the Encore's .7 gph rating? I think it says that in a test lab it was the cleanest burning stove listed but in my living room all bets are off. We all talk about the way that BTU ratings are suspect at best and that they should not be the determining factor in selecting a stove; how is this any different?

    The more accurate (but totally unrealistic) way to measure real world emissions would be to stick a sniffer in the chimney of a huge sample of various stoves and compare what's really going on. Then you could average the numbers for all of the Enocres, Summits, NC30's, etc... tested and compare them in the hands of the end user. I'm sure the manufacturers would hate to see that and I'm sure we would all be surprised at the difference in the numbers.

    I personally don't think anyone (ok, maybe one or two in a thousand) goes out and buys a stove based on the emission numbers, nor should they. IMO, if you are buying a modern, EPA stove, it will be clean burning (as long as it's used correctly). Beyond that, there is not that much difference in the numbers. I would be interested to hear from the dealers on this site as to how many people come in and ask about emission numbers or compare stoves in that manner.
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    The system GPH is probably part of the real world that McGriz is talking about.

    Factors:
    Draft
    Stove
    chimney configuration
    wood type
    outside climate
    Wood moisture content
    I'm sure there's more

    A couple other threads this week are discussing chimney cleaning, and it seems to me that the at home, the best indication of clean burning is the amount of deposits in your chimney, and 0.7 gph vs 1.3 gph in the lab is not significant.

    An englander NC-30 used poorly will produce a lot more emissions than a PE Summit used well (I picked the PE basically at random, and the Englander cause it's on the "good stove" list). At the end of the day it's up to the user to try to maximize the system if they so desire. Otherwise all your doing is making heat which is the primary goal of most people.
  7. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    That article is from January of 2006. Getting near two years old now.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    These tests were all done at the lowest air setting right? So how many people run their stoves on the lowest setting all the time? How would the stoves test at say half throttle? Or somewhere in between? Even that real world Kalamath Falls/Portland test doesn't state the burning habits of the stove owners. It would be nice to see a more apples to apples real world test but I don't think it's possible, just too many variables.
  9. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    Sorry to hear that you are so confused Elk, if it confuses you then many others here are probably baffled. The cleanest burning wood stove is one that is properly sized for it's intended use and EPA certified. If it is undersized the homeowner will have to use another source for heat and if it is oversized the homeowner will have to let the fire smolder, which makes for more emissions. If you would like to learn more about making your stove burn cleaner you can get some good information here:

    http://www.epa.gov/woodstoves/

    or if you have specific stoves in mind post the names and I am sure someone here will be able to help you make an informed decision.
  10. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Do you honestly think that most people base their decision on what stove to buy based upon GPH output? If so, what percentage of people do you think do this?
    In my opinion, and maybe you guys in the stove industry can verify or shoot this down... probably by far the majority of stove and insert buyers base their decision on BTU output, burn time, looks, and build quality. GPH is something nice that's mentioned, but isn't a primary concern for the majority of buyers... and by that I mean it's not a deal breaker.

    -- Mike
  11. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    You left out the most important one of them all Mike...PRICE!!!! People aren't buying Vogelzang's because they are pretty or well made : )
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    The day these threads will stop is the same day Vogelzang gets a stove on the top 10 list.

    Price? Now there is a "number" that people pay attention to!
  13. Gunner

    Gunner New Member

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    Wow Elk, you've got a real hard on for the GPH debate.

    It's obvious you are confused as this has been discussed a FEW times before.

    All hail VC the cleanest stove on earth
  14. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    OOOOOOHHHH YEAAAAAH! The money thing! Forgot about that, sorry!

    Okay, I amend my post to say that GPH is still almost a non-issue, and money, heat output, burn time, and looks are the major factors.

    -- Mike

    (going to lunch now... Greek food anyone?)
  15. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Hmmm... Had to change my sig.
  16. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    In all honesty, I did not even know that there were GPH ratings for stoves when I bought mine. I did know that there were BTU ratings. For me it came down to (in order of importance)

    1. my budget
    2. heat output
    3. appearance / fire view

    Edit: of course the list was narrowed by what would fit in the fireplace.

    That's pretty much it.

    I may be one of the few, but I didn't get into burning wood for heat because of the environmental issue. I was drawn in by the thought of lowering my electric bill significantly. Don't get me wrong, I do pay attention to the environmental side and very much appreciate the fact that I am now greener, it just wasn't the primary concern.
  17. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Life is tough get a helmet

    How soon we forget when arguing with BI members how important GHP number became. Now on our own forum, by some of the same members, that pointed to GPH numbers, they want to down play the significance?.

    And I though Mitt Romney was a flip flopper. Who want to go to BI and tell them, all out arguments were flawed and that GPH does not matter.
    Then admit we burn a lot dirtier in the real world. Our strongest argument can't even be agreed upon here? Even with the support of a PHD and the testing lab?

    Really is this message we want to tell out non wood burning neighbors? I believe policy it passed using these numbers a stove has to burn XXX particulate to be sold

    Is this wrong too The particulate numbers mean nothing Quite convient Telling Bodie GPH fell below 1.0 and not convient here?


    Ok who are the closet BI supporters that infiltrated our forums?

    say for a minute and BI members have found this site, I'm a moll. I'm reading this post and similar post. I'm reading how the webmaster and prominent members is discrediting GPH and clean burning.

    To all here the webmaster is looked upon as an authority and made his name in the hearth industry. Could WEb oan our own members, supply anymore damaging info to the BI types in the world trying to eliminate wood burning? WEb offered up Kalamath falls study which we all poked holes threw over at BI. Now this webmaster is pointing to a saying the results disproved GPH?
  18. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    Had a stove that was test to 2.5 GPH.
    Performed awfully in my setup.
    Replaced it w/ cheepo stove that put out
    almost twice as much GPH - it burned like a charm!!
    In my mind, it seemed like it burned 1 GPH, compared to
    the better rated stove....

    Rob
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Same here. I burn wood because it gets cold in this joint. One of the new stoves boasts 1.64 GPH but the main thing I was looking for was a big firebox that was short enough to fit in the fireplace opening. And I see less smoke from the one that is EPA rated at 3 GPH than the 1.64 GPH one with the same wood.
  20. jqgs214

    jqgs214 Minister of Fire

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    I think the point here is getting blurred. The GPH numbers the ExACT numbers, dont mean doo doo but the fact that the % of particulate relased to the air has dropped considerably over, the years does!! So in my mind the GPH #'s matter and yet they dont. (DEPENDS ON WHY YOUR USING THEM I GUESS) When you get down to 2.0, 4.0, 1.64 they all burn clean but to buy a stove because its 1.64 your a fool. BI needs to know that burning wood is a clean practice now. Which when DONE RIGHT!!! is!
  21. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    I wish they supplied a list of all the stoves they tested. The results can be skewed if certain manufacturers were never tested.
  22. Metal

    Metal Minister of Fire

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    Yeah, what wxman said, it is all about the direction of the trend, and it is going in the right direction.
  23. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

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    Electric are by far the cleanest burning.
  24. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    Until you look at how the electricity is made . . .
  25. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Well I have to admit one of my reasons but not the only one for choosing my last stove was GPH. I looked at all the numbers and compared to other manufactures. But that's me, I like to research wood stove stuff, most normal people don't. I took GPH into consideration thinking there is a correlation between low GPH and efficiency. I was thinking less smoke more means more heat. But then that doesn't mean 0 GPH = 100% efficiency and 50GPH = 50% does it? I don't think wood stoves can get over 75% efficient because they need natural draft from heat produced from the stove. I agree with Elk that we shouldn't shoot ourselves in the foot as far as GPH goes. It's the best bullet we have for those wood stove banning weirdo's.
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