Lots of people don't realize it, but when you use a heating appliance that is vented to the outside, every cubic foot of air that goes up and out the stack has to be replaced in the room. With the regular old fireplaces and pot belly stoves we know and love, that replacement air is going to be many, many cubic feet per minute and is going to be in the form of cold air seeping in through cracks, under doors, around windows... any way it can get in. Otherwise there would be a vacuum formed in the house, your ears would pop, the canary would die and eventually your house would implode.
Well, okay, I got a little carried away... actually, if your house is that tightly sealed, your wood burning device would burn slowly and it would be difficult to get a good draft going up the chimney. A lousy draft = a smoky wood burner or fireplace with a lot of the smoke ending up indoors.
My old house is nowhere close to being tightly sealed. When I had a good fire going in the wood burner, I could put the back of my hand up to the crack in the front door jamb and feel the cold air being pulled in. A lot of the work of the heater was going toward heating that cold air! I finally decided to do something about it. But what? The air intake on the front of my stove was a round design with a built-in adjustable damper and it swung open with the door when it was opened to add wood.
Step 1: Adapter
After tossing around many, many ideas that eventually got dismissed because of complexity or cost or being a pain to remove every time I wanted to add wood, I thunk this one up. It went together so easily that I was kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner.
While replacing old rusty flue pipe, I noticed that a 6" 90 degree elbow perfectly fit over the round air intake on this stove. All it needed to secure it was a small angle bracket, pop rivited to the elbow and held to the stove door with sheet metal screws.
I had just bought some dryer vent hose for another purpose, and my quick-as-a-snail brain put the two together.
Yes, I've got rocks on my stove. They serve as a small thermal mass that slowly releases heat into the room after the fire has gone out. The smooth rock on top of the granite block is my bedtime foot warmer on really cold nights. Behind the chunk of granite is a pile of aluminum ingots from my backyard foundry. Sometimes the granite gets replaced by a big pot of lima beans or corn on the cob!
On top is a small amethyst "cathedral" that I put there just because I think it looks purdy.