Q&A cookstoves & emissions

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New Member
Staff member
Nov 27, 2012

Hi, I'm looking for a stove to heat a small, well-insulated house. I just heard about a 12-year old Heartland Oval for sale, and I'm quite enchanted with the idea of a cookstove. However, I have asthma, the house is tight and I'm worried about indoor air quality (IAQ). Do cookstoves (both new and used) create worse IAQ problems than other stoves? Also, does the emission rating of stoves simply relate to emissions through the flue, or should I assume that a stove with low emissions affects IAQ much less than an older stove?


The emissions apply only to the air that goes up the chimney....older stoves and newer stoves would not put differing amounts of smoke into the home. A 12 year old Oval would be fairly airtight so the smoke leakage should be minimal. That said, consider the following:

1. Cookstoves are exempt from clean burn regulations, so it will not burn as efficiently as a newer stove.
2. The fireboxes of cookstoves are sometimes smaller than a regular wood stove.
3. The cooking lids are machined, not gasketed, so more smoke leakage (than most stoves) is possible. (see below)

Most important is a good chimney and the introduction of some combustion air into the stove or room. A good chimney will always pull the smoke out of the stove so the indoor air quality stays better
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