10 Questions to ask when you’re buying a wood or gas stove
Is it EPA rated?
Not all stoves burn cleanly enough to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. Some individual states have even more stringent air quality standards than EPA. If you are concerned about air quality, you will want to meet whatever standards apply in your area/state.
What’s the warranty?
Knowing the warranty period and what parts of the stove it includes will give you a basis for comparing the quality of one stove to another.
What is the efficiency rating?
This is related to the EPA rating and is a measure of BTU output to BTU input. You want a stove that has a minimum 70% efficiency rating.
What is the total cost including installation and any venting products I might need?
Make sure you are given all the costs for the product beyond the stove itself, including labor.
What’s the maximum burn time?
It’s good to know how long your stove will burn when fueled to capacity. It’s another possible basis for comparing one stove to another.
Does it have an ash pan?
An ash pan provides a convenient place beneath the stove for you to sweep ashes. Not all stoves have one.
How large a space is it designed to heat?
Is the stove’s heating capacity appropriate for your needs? Choosing a stove too large for your needs can present as many problems as choosing one too small.
Does it have a circulating blower?
A blower can help to distribute heat within your living space.
Are there other customers who bought this product I can talk to?
It’s always good to talk to other homeowners who have purchased the same product just to see what their experience has been.
Does it have an optional connection for outside combustion air?
Many newer homes are sealed so tightly they may restrict the exchange of fresh air in the home. That condition is made even worse by bathroom fans, kitchen fans and furnace exhaust fans that blow air out of the house. This can contribute to a “negative pressure” issue in your house. That means the air pressure inside the house is less than the air pressure on the outside. This condition will make it difficult if not impossible for a stove or fireplace to vent properly, and that can lead to smoke and carbon monoxide being drawn into your house rather than going up the chimney. Having the option to get combustion air from outside the home can be an advantage.
Stainless Steel Chimney Liner
Stainless steel pipe, either rigid or flexible, made for relining flues of masonry chimneys when the original clay liner has cracked or broken. May also be used to create a lining in a masonry chimney that was made without a clay liner.
Protective coverings for chimneys usually made of aluminum, galvanized or stainless steel, or copper. Most chimney caps have a mesh screening that serves the dual purpose of spark arrestor and barrier against animals. Chimney caps also prevent rain from entering the flue of the chimney.
A device installed at the top of a chimney for the purpose of sealing the flue shut when the fireplace is not in use. They are often used as replacements for throat dampers that are installed just above the firebox when a masonry chimney is built. Lyemance and Lock-Top top-sealing dampers are as much as 90% more efficient than throat dampers because they provide a silicone rubber gasket seal rather than metal to metal.