You have decided that this year will be the time to upgrade your old masonry fireplace into a more efficient heating appliance by installing a wood-burning stove or fireplace insert into the old fireplace opening. The new technology that is used to manufacture these stoves allows you to safely and efficiently burn wood with fewer emissions, and since many of these models are equipped with blowers, you will be provided with more heat. However, choosing exactly which type of wood stove you want can be challenging. At Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service, we sell and install a wide variety of wood stoves and fireplace inserts, and our staff can help you pick the best option for your home. One of the choices you will have to make when shopping for a new wood stove is whether or not the stove uses catalytic combustion. We would like to tell you more about the differences between catalytic and non-catalytic wood stoves by sharing with you some information from the Wood Heat Organization.
Catalytic Wood Stoves
If you are looking for a wood-burning stove to provide the majority of the heat in your home, you will want to concentrate your shopping focus on catalytic wood stoves. This type of stove has a higher efficiency rate with longer burn times, and you will find more advanced features, including a swing-out ash pan and control over the thermostat. With catalytic combustion, the primary air comes into the stove through a thermostatically controlled flap. As this air is drawn into the stove, it is preheated. The secondary combustion process then starts as more air mixes with the smoke that provides an optional mixture to improve efficiency. This mixture then passes through the catalytic combustor, which lowers the burning temperature of the smoke to allow it to ignite. This process of catalytic combustion converts the smoke into usable heat.
Non-Catalytic Wood Stoves
If you simply want supplemental heat for your home, a non-catalytic wood stove can be easier to start and operate. This type of wood stove is also less expensive, and you will not have to worry about ever replacing the catalytic combustor, which can be a pricey repair. A non-catalytic wood stove operates with the primary air entering with an adjustable flow, which controls how quickly the fuel burns and how much heat is provided. Combustion air enters the stove to maintain a primary combustion zone where the gasses ignite while passing into the secondary combustion zone. This secondary zone is highly insulated so that the flames are mixed with staged secondary combustion air. This gives out the optimum level of oxygen, which allows any remaining combustion gasses to completely burn off, and the result is lower emissions, higher efficiency, and a stable output of heat.
To learn more about the differences between catalytic and non-catalytic wood stoves, contact us at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service. We can help you decide which type of wood stove will work better in your home.