LESLIE: Now we’re going to Kentucky where Freddie has a question about wood-burning stoves.
Welcome, Freddie. How can we help?
FREDDIE: Yeah, we already have an old wood-burning stove but we were wanting to get a more energy-efficient one like one that would hold wood longer or like the pipe being a certain size or something. We were wondering what a good brand was or what kind we should get; what to look for when we went to buy one.
TOM: Well Freddie, if you’re going to be replacing that old energy-wasting wood stove with a higher-efficiency model, there are a couple of things that you want to think about. First of all, I think it was after July of 1992 the Environmental Protection Agency passed some new regulations whereby wood stoves are required to pass very stringent admission tests. And there’s an EPA label that should be on a stove that meets this particular standard which identifies it as a very clean-burning, high-efficiency model. It basically enables the stove to more fully combust the wood because the more wood you burn, the more efficient, then, it’s going to become. So you want to look for that EPA label.
And then beyond that, there’s really two types of stoves. There’s catalytic combustor stoves known as cats and then there’s non-catalytic combustor stoves known as non-cats. And a cat stove burns at a temperature of around 600 degrees Fahrenheit and that’s a slower, longer, and more controlled combustion. And then a non-catalytic stove burns the wood a lot quicker and gives it a more thorough combustion. Both of them can be energy-efficient if they meet the new EPA standards.
And the last thing that you should consider is the kind of wood that you burn can make a difference on efficiency. The harder the wood, the more efficient the stove is going to perform because it just takes longer to combust that wood and it delivers many more BTUs than softer woods.
Does that help?
LESLIE: If you go to a website, ConsumerEnergyCenter.org, they’ll give you an entire list of every species of wood and how it converts to BTUs.
FREDDIE: OK, and another thing, is there any way that we could – where can we get a printout of the tax breaks for upgrading energy-efficient things for this year?
TOM: Oh, if you send me an email to [email protected], I have that and I’ll send it along to you. OK?
FREDDIE: OK. Thank you so much.
TOM: You’re welcome. Thanks so much for calling us at 1-888-MONEY-PIT, 888-666-3974.