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ALASKA FIREPLACE NEWS

We now have a display of Blaze King stoves in Anchorage

No sales will be from that location but there will be several wood burning stoves on display for the Anchorage folks to take a look at.

 

If you have questions please call our Wasilla Store and we can get these answered.
907 892-7131

New Federal Rebates 2021! - Get 26% OFF Qualified Wood Stoves, Accessories & Installation

Planning a remodel this spring/summer and needing a new wood stove? There's a new federal rebate that gets you up to 26% off your new wood stove, accessories & installation. Blaze King & Hearth Stone stoves make the list! Give me a call for more info 907-892-7131

Explanation of Crib Fuel vs Cordwood Stove Testing

2/2/20

Oregon began testing wood heaters in 1984 with a method OM7.  OM7 was developed with the cooperative efforts of industry, test labs and regulators.  The method they all worked to develop was intended to allow regulators the chance to compare one wood heater to another in terms of emissions results.


In 1988, EPA began testing and certifying wood heaters, using Method 28, a variant of OM7. This method uses dimensional lumber.  Mostly 2 x 4’s and 4 x 4’s.  The number of each or the actual size of pieces used is based upon firebox volume (FV).


NEITHER OM7 OR METHOD 28 WERE INTENDED TO PROVIDE REAL WORLD DATA.  BOTH METHODS WERE INTENDED TO PROVIDE A STOVE TO STOVE EMISSIONS COMPARISON.


In 2015, EPA promulgates the NSPS (New Source Performance Standards) and sets new limits and revises Method 28, now called Method 28R.  During the period EPA promulgated the 2015 NSPS, state regulators started pushing EPA to find out how wood stoves performed in the real world….meaning when burning cordwood.  The problem was and still is, there is NO Federal test method, called an FRM (Federal Reference Method).  In the absence of an FRM, EPA wrote into the 2015 NSPS the option to test with an Alternative Test Method (ATM).


A few manufacturers began testing using an approved ATM, which had to be approved by EPA each time and each time EPA slightly modified the test method.  EPA was warned their actions would create “confusion in the marketplace”.  So EPA agreed to allow all manufacturers to test with a cordwood method developed by ASTM.  This method, allows for different types (species) of fuels so long as they fall within a field of specific gravity (density). Methods OM7, 28 and 28R only allowed Doug Fir because the regulators wanted stove to stove comparisons.


The irony of this entire matter is, using the current ASTM Cordwood method removes the ability to compare stoves to one another because the ASTM Method has a great deal more variability in the method. What is even more ironic is some manufacturers compare their cordwood (ASTM) results to competitor test results that were obtained on crib fuel testing.

Nobody should compare a cordwood tested stove results to crib fuel tested results.  They are not the same.  Btu results are calculated using one standard (B415.1-10) for crib fuel testing and the ASTM method for stoves tested with cordwood.

Want proof?  The data below is accurate for an EPA certified wood stove.

Model: XXXXX            Year Tested        Emissions (% Change)      Efficiency                    Btu’s

Crib Fuel                        2014                   .45 gr/hr                       80%                     10,800-39,400  

Cordwood                  2019                    1.9 gr/hr                         77%                     11,322-62,623

Same stove is 322% dirtier burning on cordwood, 3.9% less efficient and produces 37% more Btu’s on the top end.  This is why you cannot and should not compare stoves tested with different methods!

 

An EPA certifiying laboratory explained in their words why the two cannot be compared.

“BTU output for both crib and cordwood tests are calculated in a similar manner using B415.1-10.  But the wood burning methodology and test endpoint (for high burns) are so drastically different that they do in fact produce similarly different results.  A cordwood high fire test ends when 90% of the fuel had been consumed, eliminating a portion of the tail of the burn, which artificially makes the burn rate (and thus, heat output) higher.  But also just the fuel load itself, you are putting in significantly more fuel (10lb/ft3 instead of 7 lb/ft3) with no spacers.  I have never done a side by side comparison of the two methods on a given stove, but cordwood high burns are typically 3.5 kg/hr or higher, whereas crib wood high burns are typically down in the 2s.”

 

EPA is working on an FRM.  Once completed, it will become the new test method.  When the FRM is introduced by EPA, the rule states they (EPA) can require all wood heaters, both crib fuel and ASTM tested wood heaters to be retested when the certificates expire.  Certificates are valid for 5 years from issuance.

The fact is, a stove produces more Btu’s on cordwood than when using crib fuel.  Here is a quick list of reminders when discussing this topic with customers…they count on you for the knowledge!

How did “DAN, Dan, The Fireplace Man” ever get his name? 

There is an Olde man that used to roam these woods in Alaska.  I guess he used to roam all around the world! 

 

He is known as Norman Vaughn, a tough guy that was the last survivor of the discovery of the South Pole in 4 masted sailing ships.  He has a mountain named after him called Mt. Vaughn someplace in the Antarctic. 

 

Some folks liked him and some didn’t.  Probably same percentages as those who walk into a Retail Store and sees a sign that says “We can refuse service to anyone at any time”.  This is for the 1% of folks that everyone knows.  Maybe 5%.... 

 

Norman used to stop by my fireplace shop at Mile 50.2 on the Parks as he was making his way to go to his cabin in Trapper Creek.  At the time we lived at the shop 

And he used to call ahead to see if there was some cold coffee he could have on his way North.  Have to take a deep sigh here as Norman did not know much about time. 

He would call at 11:00 PM, wake us up and we always made ourselves available for his stop. 

 

As he would take down his fresh cup of coffee he would tell us stories that should probably have been recorded.  The last call that he ever made to Joe Reddington 

Was on one of these stop overs and they talked for over an hour with Joe. 

 

He told Joe that he was very sorry for his cancer and that he would soon see him on the other side.  This put goose bumps on me, my wife Sue and my son Jonathan. 

 

Norman then asked me if I was going to the Anchorage Arena Home Show this coming weekend.  Told him I had a booth in the main arena.  Was an 8X8 area and did not have much at the time. 

Said to me “I’ll see you there and introduce you to a couple of my friends”. 

I said “OK” and he drove off to the North to his cabin. 

 

That weekend we were all at the Home Show and very excited as this was one of our 

First shows we have ever been at so we did not know what to expect. 

 

There was an announcement make at the show’s opening to “Please all give a hand to Our very own Alaska Patriarch, Col. Norman Vaughn”.  I felt a bit proud to know this man but did not know of many of his acquaintances. 

 

As he was coming into the show he noticed my tiny booth to his right and made a bee line towards me.  He was scuffling along at a slow pace walking with his cane in hand.  I did notice that as slow as he was going I would have walked my way around him and got along with seeing the rest of the show BUT the folks behind him seemed to be following Norman. 

 

As Norman got closer to my booth he asked to have a chair to sit for a while and for a bottle of water.  As this was all happening there were camera’s all being turned on and pointing at my booth space!  I was like a deer caught in headlights! 

 

Here is this Olde man sitting down in front of my booth and all the entourage of folks following him stopped! 

 

Norman then introduces me to Governor Tony Knowles, Honorable Ted Stevens, and Honorable Don Young and then he tried to get the attention of the Native Chieftains behind these political powerhouses.  No one was paying much attention then Norman hollered out “HEY you guys pay attention!”  I was floored!  I did not want to be there with this going on in front of me!!!! 

 

Seemed like forever but Norman got their attention and he said to them 

“From now on you get your stoves from this man right here, his name is...” 

Then he turns around holding his cane at me while looking me into my eyes and says “This is Dan”.  He looks back to the Natives then turns back around holding his cane at my shoulder level and says “This is Dan”.  I could not speak nor did I know 

What Norman wanted so he made a command decision to tell the Natives That?  

“This is Dan, The Fireplace Man, You get you stoves from him”. 

 

After a few Norman stood up and I thanked him and the flow of folks slowly followed Norman around the show. 

 

After the show I told my wife that Norman gave me the name “Dan, The Fireplace Man”.  She said that I could not use that name because someone else might have that name.  Nothing happened till I get a call from a Village Leader asking for “Dan, The Fireplace Man” as he wanted to buy a stove from him. 

 

From there we made a jingle and used that name on all our business and advertising 

For the last 25+ years.  No one claimed the name so let it be written in stone!!! 

 

 

Norman adopted my family and called us on every holiday season to bless us. 

 

Have his books signed by him and very proud to know a living piece of History. 

 

 

Sincerely, 

 

Daniel R. Michaud 

P.O. Box 873161 

Wasilla, Alaska 99687 

1-907-892-7131 work phone 

1-907-232-0063 cell phone 

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