How To Choose Wood Burning Stove

How To Choose Wood Burning Stove

Aesthetics & Materials of Wood Burning Stoves

The two main options are cast iron wood stoves or welded steel stoves. When choosing a wood stove from welded steel material, the best wood burning stoves offer quality welded steel gauges making them more durable. Graceful curves and artistic patterns make cast iron stove or fireplace pleasing to the eye, rather like fine furniture for home heating with a premium price. Welded steel stoves are plainer, but cost less. There is no heating performance difference between them so the decision has to do with aesthetics and price.

Latest Wood Burning Technology

Today’s wood stove models feature improved safety and efficiency with almost no smoke, minimal ash, and require less firewood. While older uncertified stoves release 15 to 30 grams of smoke per hour; new EPA-certified stoves cannot emit more than 4.5 grams of smoke per hour. Be sure to look for the EPA certification label on the back of the stove.

The two general wood burning technology to meeting the EPA smoke emission limits are non-catalytic and catalytic combustion. There are performance differences between the two types however both effective. Although most of the stoves on the market are non-catalytic, some of the more popular high-end stoves use catalytic combustion. Due to catalytic technology being slightly more complicated to operate, catalytic stoves are suited to people who like technology and are prepared to maintain the stove properly so it continues to operate at peak performance.

Here are some real facts on how to choose wood burning stove,

between the Hybrid Catalytic Wood Stove vs Non Catalytic.

How Does a Catalytic Wood Stove Work? 

Catalytic stoves rely on a catalyst to help burn smoke before it leaves the woodburing stove or fireplace. The catalyst in a wood-burning appliance is a coated ceramic honeycomb-shaped device through which the exhaust gas is routed. The catalytic coating lowers the ignition temperature of the combustion gases as they pass through it.

This allows catalytic appliances to burn cleanly at low heat output settings. Because the catalyst restricts gas flow through the appliance, catalytic stoves always include a bypass damper into the flue. The damper is opened when fuel is loaded and is closed when you get a hot fire. This forces the gases through the catalyst for an extended, cleaner burn.

Catalytic Wood Stove

Catalytic Wood Stove

How Does a Non-Catalytic Wood Stove Work?

Non-catalytic stoves do not use a catalyst, but have three major components that create a good environment for complete combustion. These are firebox insulation, a large baffle to produce a longer, hotter gas flow path, and pre-heated combustion air let through the air tubes in the firebox. The baffle, the bricks and some other internal parts may require replacement from time to time as they deteriorate with the high heat of efficient combustion.

The Catalytic Wood Stove Efficiency Ratings versus Non-Catalytic

Catalytic Wood Burning Stoves Efficiency Ratings around 87%

versus

Non-catalytic Wood Stoves Efficiency Ratings around 60% – 70%

catalytic wood stoves are ideal for those who wish to replace a major portion of their heating needs with their wood stove. Note: A catalyst needs to be cleaned and maintained and generally needs to be replaced every 5 years or so.

Higher efficiency lowers hydro and/or gas costs to heat your home.

Longer, more even heat output with thermostatic air control

Reduced particulates for a cleaner, more eco-friendly burn

The Catalytic Wood Stove Emissions versus Non-Catalytic

Catalytic Wood Stoves generally produce 1.2 g/hr. emissions with less smoke, less chimney maintenance costs and better for the environment.

versus

Non-Catalytic Wood Burning Stoves produce approximately 5-7 g/hr. emissions with more smoke pollutions. Easer to use and maintain non-catalytic combustor with a hassle free operation. The traditional wood stoves are generally less expensive and have a lively flame picture. The traditional non-catalytic wood burning stoves are recommended for those with less heating demands.

Catalytic Wood Stove Burn Time Comparison

How long will a given catalytic stove burn on a single load of wood? The only reasonable answer is: It depends. Some Manufacturer’s of wood burning stoves claim 3o hour or more of burn time depending on the size of the wood stove. Burn time generally depends on wood species and moisture content, and on how much heat is needed during the burn. Out of experience you need to choose the right type of fire wood to burn inside the catalytic wood stoves. For example, you can not through in a treated wood type such as skids in the their as you will damage the catalyst. Between medium or large stove may give a reliable overnight burn with enough coals remaining to kindle a fire in the morning. However stoves in the small category may or may not give an overnight burn, but they tend not to be practical for whole-house primary heating.

The disadvantage of these long burn times is that the door glass tends to get dirty at very low firing rates. In other words, a stove that has a claimed burn time of ten hours may not be better or more convenient to use than one that delivers an eight hour burn.

Both options (Catalytic Versus Non-Catalytic) have their benefits and limitations, as well as legions of loyal users who swear that their (cat or non-cat) is far better than those silly (cats or non-cats). And both burn up to 90 percent cleaner than older conventional stoves.

TIPS 

When you are shopping around for a wood burning stove or wood burning fireplace, the majority of information which you gather is through the brochure and mostly from the dealer which you visit at different fireplace stores. Beware of dealers who don’t heat their own houses with wood and don’t have wood stoves in their showrooms – their advice is not worth much and may be worse than nothing. Hint: the staff of big box stores don’t usually know much about wood heating products, so be skeptical of any advice  you receive from them. The best is to visit our showroom and see the wood burning stoves and fireplaces while getting time worthy advise from real professionals at Impressive Climate Control.

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