Companion Sites:  Radiant design     Wood boilers    Thermavolt                                                 page 6  of  13                                    Heating that doesn't Cost the Earth   

to serve others with the knowledge and experience that God has given me. 

THE UGLI-STOVE STORY  The original Tiny Stove, for Tiny houses, over thirty years ago.

   This wood stove was developed over thirty years ago while working on a three year project to develop the Seton Boiler. The head welder on the project was the local fire chief and during the winter months he came to work several mornings and told the story of someone's house burning down. This was up in the mountains of Northeastern Washington State, at a time that many young families were moving out of the cities and building little log homes. This movement was by people labeled "Hippies" and was known as the back to the earth movement. These were very industrious young people who worked very hard to build houses and gardens. But they lacked experience with wood burning stoves. Because the houses were small and the wood stoves were generally oversized, the fires would have to be run with the damper closed most of the time. The chimneys were simply stove pipe and would load up with creosote and would often catch on fire. The fires were impossible to put out because the stove pipe would melt and dump the burning creosote out on the floor and being remote, the fire trucks could not get there soon enough. It was a heart-breaking thing to see a young family standing in the snow watching everything that they had go up in smoke. After about the sixth fire in less than two months Jerry came to work one morning covered with smoke and was relating how sad it was to see these people so disheartened by their loss. This gave me the idea to use the refractory technology that we were working with to develop a simple and inexpensive stove that would not make creosote. We built about twenty the first winter and everyone was very happy to get these stoves. We made over one hundred the next winter; people would come from many miles away to purchase them. We never advertised them, somehow the word got around and people would show up at the shop and haul them away. The stove soon got the name, Ugly Stove, my wife changed it to Ugli-stove.

   Wood Burning and the Environment;   Wood is a renewable energy resource. And because trees recycle carbon dioxide, wood burning doesn't contribute to the problem of climate change. As well, advanced combustion technologies mean more heat and less smoke from the wood you burn.

    Any fuel you choose to heat your home will affect the environment. When wood is not burned properly, it can have  negative impacts on both outdoor and indoor air quality. Smoldering, smoky fires that produce blue-gray smoke from the chimney are the main cause of air pollution related to wood burning. Burning wood cleanly greatly reduces amount of smoke produced.

   Wood Burning, Climate Change and the Carbon Cycle;  The main source of GHGs is the burning of oil, gas and coal to produce the energy we use. When fossil fuels are burned, GHGs are released. The main GHG is carbon dioxide (CO). Increased concentrations of these gases in the atmosphere trap the sun's heat close to the earth and cause the average global temperature to rise.   

    Wood, however, differs from fossil fuels such as oil and gas because it is carbon neutral. The term "renewable" refers to the fact that trees recycle CO. As a tree grows, it uses CO from the air as a source of carbon to build its structure. This carbon makes up about half of the weight of wood. When wood is burned, it decomposes rapidly, and CO is released into the atmosphere again. A similar amount of CO would be released if the tree died or burned.

   Wood heating does not contribute to the problem of climate change the way fossil fuel use does. But wood fuel is truly renewable only if it is produced by using sustainable forestry practices. North America's forests could be a perpetual source of energy and our greatest tool in the absorption of CO, as long as they are cared for and managed properly.