I have an old non-EPA certified Colony Hearth Earth Stove fireplace insert (at least I am sure it does not meet current EPA Phase II standards for emissions.) Rather than spend $2,000 to $3,000 for a new efficient stove, I would like to be able to upgrade this old stove and make it more efficient. I am most interested in making the stove more efficient, in terms of BTU output per unit of firewood. But since clean burning seems to be directly proportional to energy efficiency, according to one EPA study I found on line, making it more efficient would also make it cleaner.
This insert (ser. no. OCIA 060L, as far as I can tell) was manufactured by Earth Stove Northwest in Tualatin, Oregon--not far from Portland--but the company seems to no longer exist. I found a web site on the internet: www.earthstove.com
, but that leads straight to the Lennox web site, a company which makes heating and cooling products. This implies that Lennox may have bought out Earth Stove. And the telephone number found on the Web: (503) 692-3991, has been disconnected. So no help from that side. I had wanted to talk with Earth Stove people to see what modifications of the original design they might have made to keep up with improved EPA standards for emissions. I had also wanted to see if they might have a glass door that would fit on my stove, which doesn't have one.
In wading through a lot sites relating to fireplace inserts, and in looking at the efficient stoves now being sold in show rooms, I found two diagrams of more efficient designs shat show a baffle above the firebox, between it and the exhaust outlet--apparently to keep the wood gases circulating within the stove longer in order to burn more completely. Such a baffle would probably not be too difficult to make and have welded into the stove. What seems more difficult to replicate, however, are tubes with holes in them at the top of the firebox, under the baffle, to allow some mixing of fresh air with the burning gases to facilitate more complete combustion. I wouldn't know just where to place these tubes, how many to use, how large the holes in them should be, and how to feed the fresh air into them. Can anyone help with this?
At present the stove exhausts into an old brick chimney. I am told it would be considerably more efficient to have the wood smoke exhaust into a chimney liner, but I am reluctant to cut out or knock out the old damper/flue which does still work well. I am wondering if a sort of manifold exists or could be created to go from the stove (the exit is about 15.5" by 3.5") through the damper/flue (which when opened is about 35" by 3") and then into a six or eight inch pipe up the chimney. (I am told that for modern commercial installations, they use stainless steel, 24 gauge pipe.) There is also the question of what kind of cap to use on the top, at the chimney outlet. But the main problem is how to get through the damper/flue.
Ideas and comments would be welcome.