Wood has heated our homes since the time of our early forefathers till this modern age. Wood has been an important source of heat even to this modern age. Benjamin Franklin introduced the first major improvement in wood heating. Up till his invention, most home used the fireplace to heat the home and do the major portion of cooking. I am sure most of you have seen pictures of pioneer women with the kettle of food hanging over an open flame in a fireplace. Benjamin Franklin made a stove using cast iron, and utilizing two doors in front to swing open to fuel the fire and still resemble a fireplace. The stove now had the cast iron to heat up and radiate heat, while at the same time he could control the combustion air to the fire.
These first generation wood stove and wood inserts heated many of our homes for many years. People loved their fireplace because not only was it a fantastic heat source, the fireplaces also added beauty to the home. However, these wood stoves and wood inserts were only about 30% efficient. They also had a very high particle emissions. These emissions actually are health hazards as irritants to many people. This is why the first generation wood stoves and wood inserts are now illegal to be sold.
The new generation of wood stoves and wood inserts all have efficiencies of about 60-70%. Not only are they more efficient, the new generation stoves also have lower emission rate. The catalyst to this would be the EPA or Environment Protection Agency or EPA. The EPA is the agency that was given the task of monitoring stove emissions. They came up with a standard that all stove manufacturer had to adhere to. This standard was similar to those implemented in the automobile industry. It became illegal for any hearth dealers and installers to sell or install stoves that do not pass these standards. As the manufacturer designed to meet this standard, they inevitable found that re-burning the smoke emitted by the stove, greatly decreased the amount particles. The added benefit to this was that by re-burning the smoke, they also increased the efficiency of the stove.