Thursday, July 31, 2008

Catalytic wood stove - Operation Do's

Burn only dry, seasoned wood, not wet or freshly cut wood. Season wood at least six months; store outdoors, loosely covered, to allow air to circulate freely through the pile. "Green" or wet wood releases less heat because energy from the fire must first evaporate the moisture before producing useful heat.

Build and maintain moderately hot fires quickly after loading the wood. A hot initial fire will help your catalyst light-off faster. However, once lit, the catalyst will stay lit even if the fire burns lower. Catalyst temperatures of 1,000°F or more are typical in normal operation. Once a catalyst "lights-off," it will stay lit at temperatures of about 500°F.

Burn moderate to full loads of wood that will provide several hours of uninterrupted burning and minimize door openings. By minimizing door openings, you allow the temperatures to stay high, which reduces pollution. Frequent door openings increase pollution both inside and outside your home.

Operate your stove in the bypass mode initially (i.e., so that smoke bypasses the catalyst). Wait until the stove is hot enough before engaging the catalyst, but be careful not to overheat the stove. The reason for this is that, to some extent, the catalyst may reduce the draft. With poor draft, the fire will take longer to develop and the catalyst will take longer to light-off.

Operate the stove's internal fans, if your stove has them, in strict accordance with the operating instructions. Some manufacturers recommend leaving the fans turned off for 30 minutes after start-up and refueling, and setting them on low for small fires. This is important because fans remove heat from the fire; cooler fires result in more pollution.

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