1798 E. State Road 18 Brookston, Indiana 47923

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On average, modern wood stoves are about one-third more efficient than the old box, pot belly, or step stoves of yesteryear. However, when considering a new wood stove there are a few things to keep in mind.

Material
The two main material options for wood stoces are cast iron or welded steel. There is no heating performance difference between them so the decision has to do with aesthetics and price. Graceful curves and artistic relief patterns make cast iron stoves pleasing to the eye. You’ll pay a premium price, though, and cast stoves do need to be rebuilt every few years to seal the joints between panels so that air leakage will not allow the fire to burn out of control. Welded steel stoves are plainer, but cost much less.

Combustion Technology
The debate over catalytic versus non-catalytic combustion has been ongoing for over 20 years. Both approaches have proved effective, but there are performance differences. Catalytic combustion, in which smoky exhaust gases are passed through a catalyst-coated ceramic honeycomb buried deep inside the stove where they ignite and burn, tends to produce a long steady heat output. All catalytic stoves have a lever-operated catalyst bypass damper which tends to make the operation of these stoves a little more complicated. This catalytic element degrades over time and must be replaced. With careful use, the catalyst can last more than six seasons, but if the stove is overfired and not maintained, the catalyst may fail in as little as two years
 
Heat Output
Most popular stoves have a heat output in the 25,000 to 80,000 BTU range. However this figure is misleading. First, the full output of a stove is rarely used as high firing can do serious damage to the stove’s innards. Second, the average medium-size house needs only 5,000 to 20,000 BTUs per hour of continuous heating power, even during cold weather. Some manufacturers use the heat output rate from EPA testing, which uses softwood fuel, and others use the results of their own tests using hardwood fuel which can produce a much higher peak output. Another way these figures can be misleading is that non-cats tend to produce a higher peak heat output, but this doesn't mean they'll produce more heat over an eight hour burn cycle, which is a more relevant performance indicator. The result is that you can't compare the heat output of stoves because the ratings are not standardized and can't be trusted. Read More...
 


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Certified Sweeps Chimney Professionals
1798 E. State Road 18
Brookston, IN 47923

LAN: 765.563.3826
Mobile: 765.426.4163