Fireside's one of a kind live showroom demonstration illustrates each of the facts below. Demonstrations are both educational and entertaining. There's never pressure to buy a stove. We email you a quote after the free demo and let you make your own choice.
Flash combustion technology, (burning the smoke in addition to the wood), doubles efficiency and doubles the burn duration, as compared to impressive 'air tight' stoves of the past. However, this doubling of the value of wood burning is just the beginning of a long list of pleasant surprises flash combustion stoves provide.
A $280/cord of wood is the oil heating cost equivalent of 75 cents a gallon.
Often rejected due to dangerous creosote, pine and other scrap wood can be found free for the taking. Tree service techs leave most of the pine. Homeowners reject it too, but don't want the expense of dumping it in the landfill. Some instead try to burn it in the back yard fire pit, but that now requires the chore of pulling a town permit. With craigslist.org, they list the pine for free pickup. Also, carpenters can save on dumpster costs if they provide the work site location for free scrap wood pickup.
Clean-staying chimneys are now possible, even with sappy woods. Most of my customers go over 10 years without chimney cleaning. Advanced stove design, as in the 'Country' collection last a lifetime even when abused. With concealed shielding built in, clearances to combustible walls have been reduced up to 80%. This means no expensive wall protection, and much less hearth and room area needed. Advanced design fireplace inserts can be used now to heat the entire home, at the same efficiencies as a free standing stove, all while preserving the look and feel of a fireplace. Carbon Neutral: Emissions of carbon dioxide from wood burning is now no greater than the CO given off the same wood rotting in a landfill. Furthermore, for every cord of renewable wood fuel used, less oil emissions, and less money given foreign oil suppliers that may someday use it to do America harm. Other major changes that surprise some of the most informed shoppers: Some stoves are designed to need expensive wall protection if within 2-3 feet of a combustible wall. Even with this protective barrier, you still need to be more than a foot from the protected wall. Yet, other models that heat huge 3000 sq ft homes, allow you to put it less than 5" to the combustible wall, saving space and hearth costs.
Why is a demo necessary to learn that flash combustion wood burning is three times better? Folks often comment on how much they learned from this article on flash combustion topics. Demonstrating is an art form, making numerous and complex contributing factors easy and fun to understand. When this is experienced, it makes learning by reading this article pale in comparison.
Many shop in a preset manner that works well as a rule, but fails with flash combustion stoves. Many want to grab a brochure, prices, and run...too busy for a demo they feel they don't need. Especially during the Fall busy season, most salespeople don't have the ability or the time to patiently guide you to optimal stove. It also takes a while to demonstrate numerous 'hidden' improvements, and how they all combine to more than triple the benefit of wood heating. Everyone is amazed, especially those who thought they already knew. Once it sinks in that these are so wonderful, it takes just seconds to prove something equally as eye opening- that most popular selling expensive stoves soon permanently revert back to 1/3 their promised performance. This is proven by opening the stove loading door just a tiny bit, so it holds a small paper. The small leak is enough to negate the weak vacuum that sucks air out of the smoke combustion tubes. Right before your eyes, through the stay clean glass, you observe the flames from smoke burning go away, and the controlled fire is now raging. The chimney now billows smoke. The stove is now too big a heater for the home, overheating on the low setting. Free scrap wood and pine is no longer a clean burn option. The resulting halving of the efficiency means twice the wood cost and handling. This alone made it 1/2 the stove. Add in all the other losses listed above, (double burn duration, clean chimney, temp stability) and it has reverted to less than a third of what it should be. So leaks nowadays, unlike the past, result in a huge loss, as it is cheaper to buy a new stove than to pay for the leak repair the warranty doesn't cover.
There is a long list of inherent stove design flaws to steer clear of, other than simply avoiding weak seamed cast iron stoves. Another phase of the showroom demonstration is a stove design show and tell. How a wood stove is made is now critically important, and never mentioned in a brochure. Properly engineered stoves often cost less than stoves that fail.
(cherry red heat destroys most stoves, but not well engineered models)
Today's 80-94% efficient stoves are now double the 'air tight' stove's 40-50% efficiency. This alone doubles the burn duration, where you don't have to start over with kindling each morning. When it is this easy to keep going, it then stays heating 24/7. Half the wood cost also adds to the incentive to a 24/7 burn. It is 24/7 heating that moves heat effectively to other rooms, not fans. Having the heat source room maintained at a cozy warm 76 degrees, translates to a 24/7, 66-70 degree temperature in the far away rooms. In conclusion, 24/7 burn durations, made feasible with the combination of half the wood usage, and overnight burn durations, allows maximum and stable heating of upstairs and remote rooms.
To see proof why, have the salesperson turn the burn display blowers on high. Step back 10 feet and notice air movement has stopped. No air can be felt 10 feet away. This proves the blower air barely gets halfway across the room, far from getting to other rooms.
Outdated 'air tight' stoves, were a relatively good 35-50% efficiency, twice that of the 'pot belly' stoves they replaced. However, 35-45% meant that more than half the heat is wasted up the chimney. Blowers performed a bit of 'damage control', in capturing some of this wasted heat. The capturing of some wasted heat, not long distance air movement, is why blowers helped. This is the era of stoves is long gone, and with them, blower benefits mostly gone too. Blowers, when used with extended burn stoves, cause more harm than good by cooling the smoke volatile's, that pass un-ignited, halving the efficiency halving the burn duration, and dirtying the chimney. Further liability includes: buying the costly blowers, noises and rattling if not maintained, and the pitiful 1 year guarantee.
Small stoves are frequently chosen for a number of faulty reasons, listed further on in this article. When burning on a high setting, the small stove's efficiency is reduced, and then, just as with old generation stoves, blowers can recapture some of the waste. So most folks who state blowers help, have a stove that is very small for their size home, or have a home so large the largest stove is relatively small.
If this wasn't so sad, it would be hilarious.
Most folks think catalytic stoves are high tech, so stoves labeled 'non-catalytic', imply 'non-high tech'. This is as stupid as stupid gets. Here's why. Catalytic and non-cat stoves are certified as having close to the same efficiencies. Great 80% efficiencies are possible if the smoke burns, and if the resulting flames heat the stove body. This is easily verified with non-cat stoves...you can see the smoke burning inside the fire box, 2-3 feet from the vent exit. The flames from smoke combusting fill the inner stove all the way to the exit. The catalytic turns smoke to flame too, (if you jump through a lot of hoops), but every catalytic I see is placed near the exit of the stove. In goes the smoke, into the 2" thick catalyst, and out comes the flame... inches from the stove pipe exit! This flame is not heating much other than the back flue collar area, and zips out mostly wasted up the chimney! It is a crime for the testing labs, who provide efficiency ratings, to count catalytic heat lost up the chimney as usable heat, propping up the efficiency numbers. Furthermore, the catalytic device is fragile, and made of platinum expensive to replace. There is a long list of do's and don'ts in starting, loading and operation. And forget about burning a nearly free fuel, scrap wood and pine. It will quickly plug up the catalyst, and catalyst and chimney cleaning procedures are a chore. Even certain newspaper ink can damage the $250 catalytic.
All stoves today have virtually the same wood fuel economy- they all average about 80% efficiency. Cast iron or fastening soapstone around the cast iron stove does nothing to give you more heat. Instead, there is a negligible shift in the heat response. That is, there is a delay in initial heating, with a proportional delay in cooling down. There is no net gain! In other words, the small amount of extra heat that lingers later was heat lost in start-up. If you had a choice, would you choose a heating delay, or want the stove to linger on a few minutes longer? Does it matter?
Flash combustion stoves aren't easily promoted. If not artfully demonstrated, you won't learn how great they are, and how easily they are undermined. Unless you change burning habits, smoke won't burn, and it stays at 1/3 potential. At 1/3 potential, it's still as good or slightly better than the previous stove you were happy with. Never knowing what you could have, you never complain or change habits. Even if customers do tell others, it really doesn't sink in. When I demonstrate to one spouse who is researching a new stove, and they are overwhelmed with excitement, they go home and tell their spouse. The other spouse always doubts it, and has to come in to show I was wrong and exaggerating. Then I go through the presentation points proving everything all over again. Only then they understand. Word of mouth is not very effective with this unique product, unless they are one of my 4300 customers.
All brands of brochures have data that is determined by independent EPA/ listing testing. The data itself is somewhat true, but the lion's share of the misleading is caused by unintended, ignorant wording chosen to define this data. I've been complaining for years, and it falls on deaf ears. A careless gov't testing agency is to blame, not stove manufacturers. Therefore, all stove brochures remain so full of flaws, it virtually guarantees a poor choice in choosing a new era 'flash combustion' wood stove. Here's a list of fatal brochure flaws that insures even Einstein would choose the least optimal stove and stove size: Background: In the past, large capacity stoves would not be chosen for small homes. Air tight era stoves of decades ago were nearly or virtually air tight. The stove pipe damper was installed in advance knowing 'airtight' seams would often fail when over fired, resulting in excessive air intake and overheating. However, dampers had limits in restricting air, so the general rule came to be ...don't buy too big a stove. However, advancements in fire box and fire door engineering found in the 'Country Collection' of wood stoves have ruled out leaking no matter how the stove is over heated or abused, and thus, the corresponding overheating problem.
Poor brochure wording accidently feeds the outdated concern a large stove will overheat. Here's how: A typical large capacity stove, the 'Legacy' model for example, has a brochure stated 'Heating Capacity' of '1600-2500' square ft. Anyone with a tiny 900 sq ft home would reject it for a smaller stove. However, the 'Legacy' stove is ideally sized for 900 sq ft. Even the larger XL 'Canyon' model, at 2000-3500 sq ft is suitable! How can this be? The fault lies in the careless title choice of 'Heating Capacity'. The correct title for '1600-2500' square ft., is instead 'Max Heating Range'. The maximum the 'Legacy' can heat is the lower number in the range, 1600 sq ft, given you're in a very cold climate, like found in Canada, and/or have a poorly insulated home. In a warmer winter region it will heat to the upper range of 2500 sq feet. So, 1600 sq ft is the low end of the maximum it will heat, not what the stove heats on low! If the brochure stated the space heated on the low setting, then and only then could a shopper make an intelligent stove sizing choice, and gain the long burn durations that insure added fuel savings, ease of use, and stable overnight heating. However, nowhere on any brochure does it state what a stoves minimum heating range is. This would be the most useful piece of data possible in choosing the correct size stove. Thus, the brochure fails in being a guide to choosing the correct size stove.
A '1600-2500' square ft. rated 'Legacy' stove happens to heat only 500-800 sq feet on low! The Legacy then is an ideal stove for 900 sq/ft, but is rejected every time. Understanding this brochure flaw is the only way you can experience anything close to the stated max burn time. Case in point, and one of several demonstrations offered: Our demo burn model stove is even larger than typical large, touting a 'Heating Capacity' of 2000-3000 sq ft. On colder days, this stove is turned up a bit, and still not over heating our 650 sq foot demonstration area, even when packed with fully dry seasoned wood. Brochure Fix: Substitute 'Max Heat Range' for stated 'Heating Capacity' ratings.
Shoppers who don't get the above explained and proven by demonstration, end up buying a smaller stove for their 900 sq ft, such as the 'Striker', with a 'heating capacity' of 700-1300 sq /ft. Sounds right, because 900 falls between 700-1300. Nearly everyone is victim of this trap. It indeed heats the 900 sq ft, but the corresponding burn time is a very short 3 hours. 3 hours is far from the brochure stated 6-8 hour burn time! Therefore, the smaller stove is a terrible choice, in that it is off most of the time. Who would want it off, when a flash combustion stove is half the wood, half the work, can burn pine that is often free, and offers a nice stay clean glass fire view? Brochure Fix: The MAX burn duration of a small stove on a high setting is 1/3 the time range stated, not the low number in the burn time range given.
Fireplace insert brochure pictures show a totally different appearance than what most folks opt for. Most chose to omit the optional metal surrounds. In doing so, they saved $250, increased heat output, don't need to install an ugly hearth extension, and preserved much of the look and feel of the fireplace. Brochure Fix: Check out the photos on the pricing page, or request I send pictures.
Why are emissions ratings not trustworthy in stove selection?
Fireside carries one of the cleanest burning wood stoves, at 1.6 grams /hour. However, impressive emissions numbers shouldn't carry much weight in deciding on a stove. Here's why. The independent testing authority states emissions at the rate of 10 grams per hour produces non-visible emissions. Therefore, since 10 grams/hour is essentially zero emissions, then would you rule out a stove because of variations under 10 grams? Of course not. If 10 grams is zero, all numbers under 10 are the same...zero. Therefore, don't choose a stove on the basis of being cleaner burning than another. They're all EPA certified to be virtually zero emissions.
Brochure Fix: Don't let an emissions rating influence your choice of a stove.
BTU ratings are wildly arbitrary. It is common to read the BTUs of a small stove nearly the same as a extra large stove with twice the rated heating capacity. To date, no one has provided a good reason for this discrepancy. Any stove's max heat output is more dependent on wood dryness level, and air intake rate, than the stove size. If a chimneys air pulling power is increased 4 fold by being tall verses short, and by being metal lined vs masonry, then there could potentially be a 4 fold variation in any given stove's air intake and max BTU heat output.
Brochure Fix: Don't let a BTU rating influence your choice of a stove either.