Operating and Maintenance Tips for Non-Catalytic Wood Stoves
If you have a non-catalytic wood stove, you have a clean-burning, efficient heating appliance that minimizes the amount of pollution produced when burning wood. The stoves have a combustion process that burns off smoke before it exits through the chimney. While producing more heat, burning off smoke also produces fewer fumes. These appliances use improved technology that many people aren’t familiar with. The following are some tips for properly operating and maintaining a non-catalytic wood stove.
Installation of Non-Catalytic Wood Stoves
You may find that you’re more comfortable with your non-catalytic wood stove when you have a greater understanding about how it operates and what type of maintenance is required. Peace of mind starts with proper installation.
Have a certified installer professionally install your wood stove because an expert will be able to ensure that conditions are right for creating a proper draft. The seals need to be tight, for example, and the flue diameter needs to be sized according to manufacturer’s recommendations. Both of these details contribute to a strong draft.
Do’s Regarding What to Burn
What you put inside your non-catalytic stove is important. The following are some do’s about what to burn and below there are some don’ts.
- Burn only seasoned wood, which has a low percentage of moisture. It takes between six months to one year for wood to dry out.
- Do build moderately hot fires quickly, when getting the fire started. A new load of wood should be burned at a higher air setting for up to 15 minutes. Then turn the air supply down to the desired setting. Whenever new wood is added, open the dampers so that air is directly supplied to the wood and the flames. All of this is important because air is needed to burn the gases and resins completely from the wood. The rate at which wood burns is directly related to the amount of air supplied to the wood. When the amount of air is insufficient, combustion is incomplete. For the secondary combustion to work, higher temperatures are necessary.
- Do use small or split pieces of wood because they create the kind of fires needed to maximize the efficiency of the non-catalytic wood stove. Small pieces of wood ignite more quickly and create hot fires, which is important to the process.
- Do burn moderately full loads of wood while minimizing door openings so that there are several hours of uninterrupted burning.
Don’ts Regarding What to Burn
Because hot fires of temperatures between 1000 to 1200°F are needed to burn smoke pollutants through secondary combustion, the types of fire maintained in a non-catalytic wood stove are important. The followings are some don’ts, as far as what not to burn:
- Do not burn freshly cut lumber because the moisture content is too high and results in excess pollution and increased creosote buildup, which can lead to a dangerous chimney fire. Also, do not burn kiln-dried lumber because it vaporizes too quickly, leading to the same possible results.
- Do not burn particle board, treated wood, trash, plywood, or fuels such as kerosene or coal unless they are listed on the stove’s permanent label as approved materials to burn. Using the wrong materials can overheat your stove and damage it.
Maintenance of a Non-Catalytic Wood Stove
Annual inspections of a non-catalytic wood stove are important. Materials that are frayed, worn, or warped need to be repaired or replaced. Broken glass should always be immediately replaced. Gaskets need to be checked, to ensure that the seals are tight.
Contact one of our member stores for any further questions you may have about operation and maintenance of non-catalytic wood stoves.