the preamble: We have an old home with an old Leyden Hearth wood burning insert. I'm guessing it's 20+ years old and for the 10 years we've been here it's worked pretty well. My only issue with it is that it's not sealed tightly around the glass and there's usually high fanning of the fire- so I tend to go through wood. It does seem to kick out a lot of heat in that room and into upstairs but the rest of that floor gets cold with all that airflow. It's geriatric and now starting to have some issues. The small retaining clips that hold the glass pain against the window frames somehow disappeared (maybe corroded off?) and one could push the glass easily into the firebox. I can't seem to find these clips online. I can get the glass to stay put by wedging small screws around the frame but obviously this a very short term band-aid. I'm considering just sucking it up and spending the $ for a new Vermont Castings insert that the local folks sell (look like stove and labor cost will be around $4k).
question (understanding there's no real answer- just opinion from folks in the know): if I can't find these clips, is it worth it to get a welder to weld new brackets on to hold the glass? Or, with it being old/inefficient should I just suck it up and get a new stove? I don't want to be wasteful and certainly I'm not jumping to spend $4k-- but we love burning wood in the winter and I'm wondering if I should just suck it up and get the new stove.
Upgrading to a modern stove is a remarkable difference over old leaky stoves. I am fortunate enough to be able to give a direct comparison of 3 using wood from the same source.
1) - Old, drafty, poorly designed air control and the rope gasket around the door is knackered. It is nearly impossible to get a steady burn - it either blasts through wood or limps along because the draft circumvents the flame and goes directly up the chimney. They draft in the room is considerable.
2) - Large and modern with a well designed secondary air inlet that preheats, and a primary source of pre-heated bottom air. Air flow regulation is easy and the fire can be maintained over longer periods.
3) - Smaller and modern. It has good air control as well, but a smaller burn box. It needs a bit more management over the day because it cannot take such large logs as number 2).
Stove 1 is the one in my living room. I estimate that it burns through about 30 to 50% more fuel in an evening than either of the other two stoves, and at the same time doesn't do as good a job at heating the room. Many people would consider it adequate, but with the side by side comparison I can really see the inadequacies and am actively looking for a better stove.
Many people on this forum would also advocate a thermal mass rocket stove. It isn't right for me for various reasons at present, but that would be my ideal at some point in the future.
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