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What are "wood circulators"?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jatoxico, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Have been looking online to try to figure out what these things are but keep getting the same old advertisments and sales nonsense. What is the difference between these and other wood burning appliances?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    In general, they are often a thin metal stove surrounded by a ventilated case. The idea is instead of being a radiant heater, the case makes them circulate air more, thus circulator (convective would be more accurate I suppose).

    In general, if the wonderwood is what you are looking at, I haven't found many raving reviews from serious burners on here.

    Here's the style of a wood circulator

    [​IMG]

    Atlanta Stoves used to make a Homesteader which was a circulator. Ashley wood stoves used to be known for their circulator stoves as well.

    Around my corner of Pa, they are popular with folks who don't like to season firewood. I'd consider putting one in a part time use cabin, but not my home. They do not contain any secondary combustion system.

    pen
  3. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Pen, I have no interest in getting one just kept seeing them here and there and could not figure out what they do. Many advertise that they come with a thermostat but dont need electric??

    If I add a stove to my upstairs fireplace (currently built around an old Heatilator) it will be a free stander and maybe even have a cat. No desire to slave over two inserts that need to be feed every 5-6 hrs.
  4. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I used to have a Wondercoal in my house I used mostly wood and it sent a lot heat up the chimney. One thing i did like about it was the tsstat.
  5. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    OK cool, what does the stat do?
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Regulates the primary air input based on the temperature of a bi-metallic coil.
    corey21 and jatoxico like this.
  7. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Yep and it does a great job at it. It would be great if all stoves had a tstat.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    We see a few folks with these heaters show up, mostly in the classics forum. They are also sold under the Ashley brand.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    They have heated a lot of houses for a lot of years. But there are some really scary pics online of damage to their thin fireboxes.
  10. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    That was part of what got me wondering about them. In the pics I saw they looked a bit flimsy, just seeing the outer skin but still.
  11. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah the firebox is realy thin i guess the wonderwood is pretty much the same as the wondercoal.

    I had the blower with mine i can say that helps when that firebox is over heated.

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