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Harman Oakwood

Harman Oakwood

The Harman Oakwood is one of the more popular log burners they carry.  Read carefully about some issues and caveats with operating this unit though.

****42000 BTU

****Holds up to 21” logs

They’ll run you about $2000 retail, but discounts are usually available to knock that down a couple hundred bucks.  A used unit can go for cheaper, around $1000 with a couple years service.

I really love the look of the Oakwoods though.  It’s a great looking cast iron heater.  Consider getting a grill for the top.  While its an optional accessory, it can definitely add a lot of functionality to your unit.  Its great to be able to grill right from the heater that’s already going.  It also has a pretty big firebox capacity, with up to 21” logs.  You can also load it from either the front or top.

A warning with the Oakwood:  it tends to burn hotter than other pellet units.  The problem is that it needs to be burned long and hot to get optimal efficiency.  Consequently, some owners have had issues with the afterburner breaking down, as well as issues with the firebricks and firechamber.  These are all indicative of a hot or overfired stove. However, it appears that in certain cases the firebrick was indeed faulty, and should be covered under the warranty if within the allowable time period.  Part of the issue may be with Harman’s proprietary FireDome Non-Catalytic Combustion System, which is supposed to provide catalytic functionality without the actual parts for it.  However, it can be costly to replace if there are issues, up to $350 a pop.  Also, the FireDome system requires a lot of space in the back for  clearance, even more so than other Harmans and even if you have a heat shield.  This is because a lot of the heat comes from the rear of the unit.

What can be difficult with this stove is that the temperature can vary widely around the unit.  If you are concerned about overfiring, consider measuring around the bypass handle as this seems to be were the most accurate readings can be made.

Another piece of maintenance advice:  Be sure to check the afterburner for ash buildup.  This can definitely cause some of the symptoms of overfiring seen above.

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