Installing and operating an old stove

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Staff member
Hearth Supporter
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Installing and operating an old stove
Not necessarily, gasket are important with air tight stoves where the air is directed and possibly preheated to do the best job. On these older stoves that are frequently wood/coal, air is just thrown at the fire and hopefully it burns. Air control may be by "key damper" on the outlet stove pipe. They stove is probably not that efficient and the unburnt smoke and gases may condense on the stove pipe and flue creating creosote. In some cases the smoke coming out the stack will be dark gray to brown which usually means lots of unburnt carbon dioxide and particulate going out the stack.

IMHO, if you need to depend on heat, buy a modern stove, if you just want it for conversation piece that occasionally is burned for effect than make sure its installed properly and as usual burn dry wood that has been seasoned for 1 to 2 years.

Note over the years, many copycat versions of older stoves have made it onto the market. They are usually poor quality castings. One of the loopholes around prior EPA regs was to make them so "leaky" that the air could not be controlled. That meant a hot short burn.
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