First page of the Green Heat News archive.

Tiny homes, tiny wood stoves: photos, ideas and designs

Posted by Earth Stove on April 21, 2018 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,
With the advent of the tiny home movement, there is a rise in interest in tiny stoves to heat them.  Tiny stoves have always been around, mainly driven by the sailboat industry, but also for yurts and small homes.  Small stoves are often thought of as stoves with a firebox of less than one cubic foot.  But some are much smaller than that and may put out no more than 10,000 BTUs.  There will also likely be a growing market for very small pellet stoves, like the Thelin Gnome, as living spaces get smaller and tighter. 
The paradox of heating a small space is that it may not be hard to heat up, but it also gets cold quickly after the stove goes out.  The fireboxes are so small that they go out quickly.  Often, tiny stove need to be reloaded every 20 – 60 minutes, depending on the size of the fuel and whether the stove is just getting going or has a decent coal bed.
A few of these stoves are EPA certified, including the Kimberly and the Gnome pellet stove.  If they are designed for boats, vans, trailers or for camping or other non-residential spaces, they should fall outside the EPA’s regulations, which only pertain to residential heating.  However, even if they do not require to pass EPA emissions testing to go on sale, they may not be allowed to be installed in a tiny home.  See our other photo essays on wood stoves styles around the world, wood fired hot tubs and firewood gathering around the world.

To minimize space, tiny stoves can be mounted on the wall. Using wood stoves in boats, vans and tiny homes can pose a great risk of carbon monoxide build up than in larger spaces. Be sure to install a CO detector, store your ashes outside and ensure the draft doesn’t reverse back down the chimney.
Tiny stoves are often installed on counters or shelves so that operating and cooking on them is easier.

Yurts are traditionally heated with larger, inefficient stoves, not small, sleek ones like this.  


The Gnome pellet stove is the smallest pellet stove on the market and claims to run for more than 24 hours on one hopper load of pellets at low heat.

The Viking 30 cookstove is part of a retro line of wood stoves from the UK.

A small stove in a classic Airstream trailer.

Heated Up!

$300 wood heater tax credit extended retroactively for 2017

Posted by Earth Stove on February 10, 2018 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,

This map shows which states historically
have the highest percent of residents
claiming the energy tax credits, including
the credit for wood and pellet stoves.

Feb. 9, 2018 – Today President Trump signed into law a budget deal that included a one year, retroactive extension of the wood heater tax credit.  Thus, consumers who bought stoves that are 75% efficient or higher may qualify for a $ 300 tax credit on their 2017 taxes.

However, stove manufacturers often mislead consumers into thinking they are buying a stove that is at least 75% efficient when in fact it may be in the low or mid 60s. Manufacturers are allowed to self-certify which stoves are eligible for the credit and some appear to ignore any common sense definition of the Congressional language which stipulated requiring a stove “which has a thermal efficiency rating of at least 75 percent.”

The Alliance for Green Heat is calling on HPBA and stove manufacturers to publicly support and abide by a policy of only recognizing the average, overall efficiency of stoves based on third party testing at an EPA approved lab.  Currently, some manufacturers will self-certify a stove to be eligible for the tax credit if it reached 75% efficiency on only one of its 4 burn rates. Others self-certify that their stoves are eligible when the stove did not reach 75% efficiency on any burn rate.

The Alliance for Green Heat supports tax credits and other incentives that focus on the cleanest and most efficient stoves.  However, he federal tax credit has no criteria for grams per hour and virtually all stoves have claimed to be at least 75% efficient, minimizing the underlying intent of a tax credit.

The definition of 75% efficient is still unresolved. The IRS recognized the use of the European lower heating value (LHV) efficiency measurement until 2010 when Congress removed the LHV language.  The efficiency measurement should have reverted to the North American standard of using HHV, but industry has continued to use LHV.  (A stove measuring 75% efficiency using LHV would be about 70% efficiency using HHV.)

We will update this blog as it becomes more clear which companies are self-certifying stoves at 75% efficient when they may only be in the low or mid 60s.

To be sure that you are buying a higher efficiency stove, check the EPA’s list of certified wood stoves, and choose one that with an actual, verified efficiency.  There are many non-cat stoves over 70% efficiency and many catalytic and pellet stoves over 75% efficiency.  Unfortunately, if you are buying a stove in 2018, there is no guarantee that you will be able to get a tax credit for it.  Congress may make the credit retroactive again in 2019, but then again, they may not.

For more background on the wood heater tax credit, click here.

Heated Up!

Top 10 stories in 2017 for wood and pellet heating

Posted by Earth Stove on January 6, 2018 with No Commentsas , , , ,

2017 may not have been the most momentous year for wood and pellet stoves, but every year is full of important stories and these are what we see as the top 10. Think we missed one of 2017’s top stories?  Leave a comment.       1. Wood stove sales lag Warmer winters and lower […]

Six tips to buy the right pellet stove

Posted by Earth Stove on September 26, 2017 with No Commentsas , , ,

Retailers say BTU output can be most confusing issue Glenn Robinson is oneof many retailers strugglingto help consumers avoidrelying on manufacturerclaims about BTU output. Glenn Robinson has been selling and installing pellet, wood and coal stoves in Pennsylvania for 11 years, and one of the biggest problems he faces is sizing the stove.  “I became tired […]

Lessons in building a 120-Watt thermoelectric wood stove

Posted by Earth Stove on August 31, 2017 with No Commentsas , , , , ,

Guest Blog: We are reposting a 2012 blog from Instructables by Tecwyn Twmffatt at Goat Industries. It describes an early effort to build a thermoelectric wood stove.  This blog is part of a series of blogs providing information for the 2018 Wood Stove Design Challenge. Introduction: Thermoelectric Power Generation (TEG)  These videos document my first […]

Adventures in masonry stove testing from 1988 to 2017

Posted by Earth Stove on August 26, 2017 with No Commentsas , , , , , ,

by Norbert Senf,  Chair of the Masonry Heater Association Technical Committee Left to right: Mark Champion (in his VT test lab), Boris Kukolj (Tulikivi),  Chris Prior (MHA President), Norbert  Senf (blog author)  and Jean Francois  Vachon (soapstone supplier). Photo credit: Mark Seymour. EPA started regulating wood burning stoves for particulate (PM) emissions in 1988. Regulation was limited to airtight heating stoves. Masonry heaters were not regulated, the stated reason […]

Opinions of top wood stove industry insiders revealed in 1998 interviews

Posted by Earth Stove on August 5, 2017 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

The late Paul Tiegs, one of thegreatest authorities on wood stoves, conducted the interviews for the EPA.  Long before the regulatory debate about wood stoves heated up in the 2010s, the EPA commissioned a series of fascinating interviews with the top wood stove experts in the country on a host of technical and policy issues.  […]

Vacuum left after one of nation’s top stove regulators and experts retires

Posted by Earth Stove on July 20, 2017 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

When Rod Tinnemore was invited to speak about wood stoves, he didn’t sound like a regulator.  He spoke his mind, he made people laugh and he was never at a loss for words.  Rod was in charge of wood heater regulations in Washington State, the state with the toughest regulations in the country.  By the […]

New York adds efficiency requirement to pellet stove incentive program

Posted by Earth Stove on July 14, 2017 with No Commentsas , , , , , , ,

This month, New York became the first state in the country to set a minimum efficiency requirement in an ongoing pellet stove incentive program.  The State will now only provide its $ 1,500 – $ 2,000 rebates to pellet stoves that are listed as 70% efficiency (HHV) or higher on the EPA’s list of certified […]

Could a Thermoelectric Wood Stove Pay for Itself?

Posted by Earth Stove on July 13, 2017 with No Commentsas , , , ,

By Ken Adler, AGH Senior Technical Advisor Payback calculations are common in the residential solar photovoltaic industry where homeowners want to know how long it will take for them to recoup their initial investment. If you purchase panels outright, payback periods depend on a variety of factors including a utility’s price for electricity, tax incentives, […]