home air filters,  purple air,  woodburner

This week’s wood words


Scenario 1: Can we qualify for repairs to the certified EPA stove?

Yes. We have some funding available. This stove needs:

  1. welding to close a gap in the door
  2. moving to comply with insurance requirements, ‘Clearances’ on installation
  3. a new catalytic converter or secondary burn chamber

Likely the stove was overfired. The users tend to use birch. They don’t clean ash regularly and so stuff the box to to the top. It’s already on it’s second chamber. The stove is roughly 25 years old.

These are all probabilities – maybe there is a life expectancy on those secondary burn units.

issues then:
assembly: Optional Ash Cleanout
installation: clearances
operation: ash clean out, lighting for the first time, restarting, proper draft
parts: see the Appendix of your manual for replacement parts

Alternative Considerations:
the homeowner is thinking how to capture heat from waste water and reuse or redistribute that.
the homeowner is thinking about geothermal
the homeowner is thinking above all else – take a look at the building envelope…are her windows that great at retaining heat? what about the stacked walls with cracks?
the homeowner would like a heat camera to see the heat loss and then compare it with modern homes in Smithers. Comparing with modern like homes would be better – she has a eurpean stack and timber frame home, xxxx square feet, concrete basement, sand in between floors.

Next steps:

  1. who can weld/repair stove, cost, parts?
    Talk to JG and get contact.
    https://hunterbilt.ca/ in Telkwa.
  2. the heat cam and envelope assessment

Scenario 2: The piping in of cold air directly to the stove.

Using air from outside to fuel the fire has got to be a better solution that using your indoor air. This way you are reducing the negative pressure in your home. Negative pressure can cause gas, fumes, and smoke to be drawn inside your home thru cracks. In a competition for air, systems like dryers, stove top vents and fans usually win over natural draft systems like your woodstove. This causes the natural draft appliance to become starved for air, backdraft or increase your energy and heating costs. This is also referred to as the STACK effect.

The use of outside combustion air means less competition for indoor air. It requires the unit to be secured to the structure to prevent dislodging of the air duct. Outside air may be ducted various ways, check your wood stove manual.

issues then:
assembly: combustion air
parts: optional blower, ducting
operation: proper draft

testing: Do I have a balance of pressure in my home?

The first two suggestions are simple ways to test if you have negative air pressure before lighting your fire and the third is the solution to eliminating backdrafts.

  1. Hold your hand inside the fire box and up near the damper (make sure the damper is open) and see if you feel cold air coming down the chimney.
  2. Light a good size sheet of paper and hold it in that same position up near the damper; if the fire goes out or the flames are being blown back the stack effect is happening.
  3. Open a window or door to balance the air pressure in the room; light another piece of paper and hold it in the fire box the flames should draw up the chimney if the pressure has been equalized (leave the window or door open until you determine that a good draw has been established in the chimney – then start the fire)

Another test for draft in and around the house – use some incense. Close your windows and doors. Go around the inside of doors, window frames and other joinery to discover where air is coming into your home!

picture credit: welovefire.com


Scenario 3: home air filters, how do I make one? What is recommended. Contact us for the fan, the filter, how to and more. Also see previous entries….https://cleanairplan.ca/blog/2020/01/18/home-air-filters/

Also check out:

Scenario 4: What about industrial pollution causing respiratory illness particularly now, in times of Covid? Is there a link?

Yes. See….https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/air-pollution-linked-with-higher-covid-19-death-rates/ essentially Covid is a respiratory disease and if someone already has inflammation in their body, or some other respiratory illness than yes they will be more susceptible to getting Covid. Industrial emissions are well known to contain VOC’s and particulate, the size and the make up of the particles and pollutants, well known to be carcinogenic.

For more: check out:

wildfire and influenza


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