Wood Stove Manufacturers List Update 1996

This update provides information on the latest wood stove manufacturers list and the best wood stove models for 1996.

| October/November 1996

High-tech wood burning stoves come of age with an updated wood stove manufacturers list and the best models for 1996. (See the wood stove photos in the image gallery.)

Wood Stove Manufacturers List Update 1996

Not too long ago, I found myself rubbing shoulders with wood stove and fireplace manufacturers and retailers at a meeting in a North Carolina inn. We left the door open and the Charlotte blossoms drifted in on evening breezes. The weather was coolish, and, as a matter of no coincidence, there were fireplaces in all the main rooms of the inn, providing atmosphere even if the heat was going out the door. Significantly, the fireplaces were gas.

One thing I'm smart enough to figure out is that you can't rely on representatives of an industry to accurately inform you of the issues within that industry. Vested interest runs too strong. Fireplace people want to make money like anybody else. But for a group of salespeople there's something pretty down to earth about the folks who show up at the annual Hearth Products Association trade show. A lot of Canadian manufacturers and retailers were floating around and a lot of hiking boots and cowboy boots walked the floors.

It is interesting to find out how they regard the EPA now that EPA regulations that transformed the wood stove industry are four years old. They had to invest a lot of money to improve their products. But now, people in the industry say they've done it and the EPA isn't such a bad guy. Finally, competition between stove makers is centered now on who can make the high-tech stove with the least emissions.

These are stoves that use sophisticated combustion-air and smoke channels to create an engineered fire that preheats the secondary air supply and pulls it in like a blow torch to burn smoke particulates before they reach the atmosphere. And the industry designs products in constant anticipation of stricter emissions controls. To summarize the prevailing attitude: "We can make a clean-burning, efficient product. We have the technology. We spent the money to make it work, and now we're proud to offer you high-tech stoves."

The cost of stoves is coming down again and the cost to the environment is also significantly reduced. The industry may have been quite reluctant to change stoves to meet EPA standards. But EPA regulations are not going away, and if anything they look likely to become stricter. The result of regulating wood stoves has been twofold: the products we have access to are better (and more expensive), and the number of manufacturers and retailers have become fewer.

6/4/2007 3:08:34 PM

Hi. Why does it say "Mark Rousseau" as a subhead to this article, which I wrote? (Woodstove Update: Also, why do you keep changing the addreses of the links to articles? I try to send people links to samples o my wotk, but they are always changing. Molly Miller

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