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Old 01-06-12, 08:03 AM   #19
abogart
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Location: Michigan, US
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I have an EnergyMate woodstove almost exactly like that one in my garage. It was sitting in the basement of the house when I bought it. Looks like somebody had it hooked up at one time, but replaced it with the gas furnace, which now occupies the chimney flue. I removed an old oil burner from the garage but left the 6" vent pipe intact. Bingo bango, I dragged the woodstove out of the basement and in to the garage (it's probably a good 200 lbs. or more), got a couple sections of black stovepipe and I was heating the garage with wood!

I later "installed" a flue thermometer (actually from an old propane grill, reads "warm, ideal, and hot") which is crude but works to roughly judge how hot the flue is and the rate at which it is heating up or cooling down depending on how I fire the stove or when I add more wood.

I added a flue damper (after several red-hot runs ) and from what I can tell, the door for the sliding ash pan seems to function as the only combustion air inlet, as there are no other air dampers on it. The little blower on the bottom doesn't push much air, but it seems to do a decent job of heating the garage within a few hours of run-time. I have been able to fire it so that there is little or no black smoke coming from the flue. I have also successfully burned anthracite coal in it (love the smell, maybe I'm just weird) and I personally prefer it to wood. It burns longer and hotter.

I, also, have had some of the very same ideas as you for the stove. Combustion air pipe, flue heat scavenger, and even hot water heating. More on those ideas to come soon if I get some free time. Also, I bought some of those Ecologs that are made from recycled cardboard and wax the other day and tried a couple of those, not very impressed though. That could be another thread I think.
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