Never burn foreign matter in your stove, such as…
garbage, painted wood, large amounts of colored paper, cardboard, rubber, plastic, paneling with glue, oily products and so on.
Burning these materials will gradually reduce the efficiency of the catalyst.
“Burn only seasoned dried wood”
All catalytic combustors used in EPA certified Phase II stoves have a life expectancy of at least, 10,000 burning hours, when used according to the stove's operating manual.
It could be said, that a catalytic combustor’s life is really based on a number of things....
Operating the stove properly,
(Not burning with firebox door open or perhaps closing the by-pass to soon.)
Proper maintenance habits to both stove and combustor,
(Simple things like checking the firebox door gasket.)
Burning proper fuel in the appliance,
(This means burning seasoned dried wood only- no foreign matter that could poison the combustor.)
Using a Certified Phase II stove for home heating and not an older stove design.
Most stoves built today are designed well and protect the combustor from the firebox flames, the older pre-phase I stoves didn't.