I am working on a design for a small, potentially off-grid, cabin with serious wall insulation (double wall construction) and air sealing.  For heating, water heating and hopefully cooking, I would like to use a wood cook stove that is a sealed combustion unit.  Apparently no such animal exists.  Does anyone have any suggestions for how to utilize wood heat inside while not sharing an air supply with the unit?  Do any good stoves exist?  Why is it that none are available and the stove manufacturers appear to be hostile when asked when they will come out with one?

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Keep looking -- sealed stoves do exist. I have a Vermont Castings "Dutch West" stove made about five years ago, that came from the factory with an with outdoor air hook up. I have been using the stove for several years, and it's a fine piece of work. We use it as supplemental heat in a semi-occupied (office and study) basement.

If you are not dead set against fossil fuel, a direct vent high efficiency propane may work for you.


So I took a second look --Vermont Castings still makes the Dutch West stove as a sealed-combustion unit, and one other stove (the Resolute) as well. And, I forgot to mention, our Dutch West also has the fan add-on that is great for pulling a lot more heat off the stove.
Thanks Don - it's good to have this kind of information to pass on to homeowners.

Thanks for the info, Don. I built a house and installed a Vermont Castings Dutch West in '02, and at that time, either they didn't make one with an outside air hookup, or I just didn't find it. I'm glad to hear it's available now, because it's a great woodstove.

Elizabeth, I'm not familiar with woodstoves that also do cooking and water heating, but my little woodstove worked well even without an outside air connection. The house was tight (840 cfm50, 1.7 ACH50), so I'd just crack a window when I was getting the fire going. Once it was established and I closed the damper to send the exhaust through the catalytic converter, it used little air, and I could close the window.

Please post here anything else you find out about sealed combustion or direct vent woodstoves.

Thanks for the advice.  I had been looking at the Vermont bun baker http://www.vermontwoodstove.com/ because an oven is a necessary item and the Vermont Castings stove did not come with an oven.  I liked the soapstone sides for residual heat as well.  The manufacturer suggests a small pipe from outside that vents directly under the stove for fresh air.  I was worried about whether that would be sufficient having never put a wood burning stove in a tight house before.  I am so used to being so careful, that this sort of made the hair on my neck stand up.


Beware of the cook stoves like the Vermont Bun Baker as they are almost always exempt from EPA certification and you have no way of telling if it is a low emission stove.  Ask them first.  A good but expensive way to go is a masonry stove with a oven.  Tulikivi has great ones but it might be more heat than you need.  Otherwise, there are lots of good European stoves with ovens, including some marketed here.  Many should come with the dedicated outside air kit.

several manufacturers make air intake kits. Quadrafire is a very efficient wood stove with such a kit. You drill a hole under the stove through the floor and run ductwork out the sill or band joist. This has worked well for me in my off grid home. A side benefit is that you can use a pressure pan to measure the airflow to the wood stove (10 to 50 cfm in my case, depending on firing rate). Check the EPA efficient woodstove list for more.

I don't have the answer to the question that you're looking for, but what I did for my wood stove (which is a half-step), is purchased a Fresh 80 (Swedish air ventilation device), and mounted it very close to the woodstove.  Though not sealed combustion, the unit does a fairly good job of providing fresh combustion air without creating drafts when the stove isn't operating.  This unit has an adjustable opening, so you can supply enough air for the stove running at full load, but not having wasteful, uncontrolled infiltration.  My unit is distributed in the US & Canada by Thorma-Stor Products from Madison, WI.

Check out page 11 of 42 of this user's manual. There's a 'knock out' plate for mobile homes to bringin fresh air in a more controled manner. I couln't imagine his stove in a trailer home though!



I was surprised to run across this.  


Guess you just need to keep looking.


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