Isn't Wood Smoke bad for the environment?
The stoves of previous generations don't burn very efficiently. Instead of completely combusting all of the gasses emitted from the wood, they send lots of volatile gases up the chimney and into the atmosphere.
Cole Forge stoves operate at higher temperatures and combust exhaust gases much more completely, which results in higher efficiencies (less wood to chop and carry) and a happier environment (less volatiles and fine particles escaping into the atmosphere).
Instead of a continuous gray haze hanging over your house, you'll barely be able to tell a fire is burning inside.
What aBout Summertime?
It gets hot in the summertime and you might not always want to have a stove warming up your kitchen. Thus, in the summer, it's helpful to have a solar hot water system to supplement the heat from the stove. Similarly, a grill or a small range is a good alternative for those concerned about overheating their kitchens during the summer months.
WHat's with the name?
Cole is a family name for the founder (Dwyer Cole Haney). It's an old English name that was often given to people whose job was making charcoal during the middle ages.
Perhaps it goes without saying, but Cole Forge stoves should never be used with coal!
Isn't Cutting down Trees Bad for the environment?
Unlike natural gas or heating oil, trees grow back!
There are lots of different ways to cut down trees for firewood, both good and bad. Thus, it's important to talk to your woodcutter to understand how he or she harvests their wood.
Selectively cutting certain species or tree types can actually help to improve the health and productivity of a stand of trees.
How much electricity does it use?
None! The hot water system circulates based on a thermo-siphon (hot water rises!) which means that you can still cook and bathe when your power is out.
How is it built?
The stoves are all built of welded steel. Unlike cast iron stoves, welded stoves are completely air-tight which means they'll last longer without maintenance and run more efficiently. Most of the hardware (hinges, latches, etc) is cold forged.
How did you come up with this?
When I was living in Chile, I was anchored for several months in front of a small permaculture farm that was run by a good friend of mine. He had a big stainless steel tank that wrapped around the flue of his wood stove and it was the method he used to heat his water. It was a clever, simple system and the concept continued to swirl in the back of my mind until I met Ben Falk. Ben had started with a similar concept and built it into a wood stove that basically powers his whole house in the winter. We were sitting around one day, marveling that these stoves weren’t more common and the lightbulb finally went off, “I need to bring these to the world!”
What are your motivations?
This concept inspires me for three reasons: 1) it is a lot more environmentally friendly than the heating oil and natural gas that people commonly heat their homes with, 2) it allows people to be self sufficient (it works during power outages and lots of people can cut their own fire wood), and 3) it diverts all of the money people typically pay to multinational energy companies and reinvests it in their communities and in their neighbors.
How do I get my hands on one?
I’m still in the prototyping phase, but if you’re interested in testing one of my prototype stoves, feel free to reach out!