Reasons For Choosing A Catalytic Wood Stove
Several decades ago, most homes obtained their heat through wood burning stoves. While this can be a good way to keep the house warm, it also resulted in the release of several chemicals into the air through the smoke. Many of these chemicals are known carcinogens, or cancer-causing agents, and as a result, people began to call for action to reduce the pollutants and increase the air quality in the U.S. in the 1980s, and several government regulations were put in place during that decade to help curb air pollution.
Since wood burning stoves were one of the culprits contributing to bad air quality, many manufacturers began looking for ways to reduce their emissions without eliminating them as a viable heating source. The result was a catalytic combustor, also sometimes know as a catalytic converter. Today you can purchase wood stoves in both catalytic and non-catalytic models, but often the advantages of the catalytic model outweigh those of the non-catalytic.
What the Catalytic Combustor Does
The catalyst in the system is designed to catch the smoke emitted from the fire, and lower its temperature to about half of what it would be for smoke to catch fire (1100 degrees), keeping it around 550 degrees, and allowing it to catch fire while still inside the stove.
Advantages of Catalytic Models
There are several advantages to using a catalytic versus a non-catalytic wood stove, such as the Country Flame Catalytic, including:
• The ability to utilize the heat from the smoke, along with the heat from your fire. Capturing the smoke before it escapes keeps that heat inside the wood stove, allowing it to continue burning and maximize heat output from the stove.
• The added heat from the second burn of the smoke allows you to reduce the flame on the fire without losing any of your heating power.
• By achieving a more efficient burn, you can use less wood than in a traditional stove with no catalytic convertor.
• You can reduce the heat and increase the burn time for slow burns, such as overnight.
It can sometimes be a little bit tricky to figure out the perfect damper setting to allow enough air into the unit for maximum efficiency, and the catalytic combustor will need to be replaced about every 6 to 10 years, but the increased efficiency in your wood burning should make up for any additional costs for replacement parts.
Catalytic wood stoves can be a great way to improve your environmental friendliness when it comes to heating your home, and can also be a way to save you money by reducing the costs of fuel required to keep your unit burning.
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