It’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, I did say winter. It’s not actually too soon to think about as you will soon find out. As they say, it is coming. When you are in the throes of summer heat, and you are sitting on a Caribbean island sipping iced tea, winter is the farthest thing from your mind. As your toes curl in the sand, you can’t imagine snow, sleet, rain, or hail. That’s why you take these island vacations. So that in wintertime you have memories of better days under the sun and azure blue skies. You bring to mind the crystal clear waters speckled with white froth. You see in your mind’s eye the crashing waves, lapping gently at the shore. You are frolicking about in that new two-piece bathing suit you bought for the occasion. You love stocking up on gear for summer fun. But there is winter gear to stock up on, too, such as a wood stove for the basement as a backup heat source.
Yes, it is time to think of winter. You want to buy your wood stove off season to get the best price. I am thinking an absolute steel hybrid stove which is an affordable medium-sized unit with an about two and a half cubic feet firebox. It operates on a combustion system that produces ultra-low emissions, high efficiency, and unmatched fire viewing pleasure through a large, clean front window.
The fire viewing is completely different than an ordinary woodstove or fireplace, because the stove can burn both wood and exhaust gasses in the firebox at the same time. This produces flames at both the bottom and top of the firebox with exceptional intensity, color, and composition. Beware… you will likely find watching the fire much more interesting than anything on TV. The inside of the absolute steel wood stove, most of the “plumbing” is in the back and the top, keeping the sides free for easy left or right loading. The catalyst is easily accessible under the lift top, and can be removed without any tools! The back has a built-in outside air adapter, and the damper control is axial to minimize air leakage around the adapter. There are no air intakes that are not protected by the outside air adapter, so the woodstove can be isolated from negative house pressure. Also noteworthy on this model is automatic catalyst air, so that the catalyst cannot become oxygen starved at high burn rates.
So I have the model picked out as described above. I looked into it carefully for functionality, reliability, and safety. A wood stove doesn’t have to be overly simple or excessively basic. I like the complexity of the hybrid and relish the thought of the heat come the colder months. Yes, it is a backup in case the power goes out; but it will be a nice addition to the basement recreational space on its own for sheer looks and heat production.