Just what is a wood stove?

My Dad’s favourite silly joke wasimage by adventuretime.wikia.com

Q. What is the difference between a duck?
A. One of its legs is both the same!

This comes to mind everytime I’m asked for advice on stoves.
The first question you need to answer is

Q. What is the difference between a stove?
A. The fuel that you intend to burn.

What is the the difference between a multifuel stove and a wood stove?
Yes, they both have combustion chambers and both need flue systems.
Yes, both can burn wood, but there the similarity ends.

Grate-&Ashpan

Typical multifuel grate and ashpan

Multi-fuel stoves  have a  grate or a griddle for the effective   combustion of solid mineral fuels, such as coal (Anthracite,  Bituminous, Coke) and turf.

These fuels need combustion air from underneath. The stoves also  have an ashpan beneath the grate. All combustible materials can be burned in multifuel stoves including wood. However burning wood in a multifuel appliance will not produce fuel efficiency from the wood as the unburnt gases are lost up the chimney as smoke due to incomplete combustion.

 

Jetmaster-60i-low

Jetmaster wood burning stove. Wood burns best on a bed of ash with its combustion air coming from above, so wood burning stoves have a flat fuel bed.

Wood burns best on a bed of ash with its combustion air coming from above, so wood burning stoves have a flat fuel bed. A dedicated wood burning stove has secondary combustion air. A stream of warm air is introduced into the top of the chamber, igniting unburnt carbon particles and gases during a secondary combustion. This results in increased efficiency and fewer harmful emissions in the atmosphere. Most importantly you achieve greater warmth from the wood. The science works. The added advantage is that the warm airwash prevents the formation of sooty residues, resulting in a clean stove glass.

More advanced stoves with “Cleanburn” technology, have tertiary air which is superheated through the unit, then ignites and combusts most of the remaining gases an particulates further increasing the combustion efficiency and reducing emissions.

A clean burning wood stove with the “correct fuel” should have almost no visable smoke from the chimney.

For those of you who don’t want to lose your open fire,open wood fire
and want to burn wood correctly, replace the standard grate with a wood tray or use some wood irons on the floor of your fireplace.
You’ll be amazed at the difference!
Or choose a  Jetmaster open convector fire to increase the efficiency of your open fire to 55%

We can all help secure clean air for future generations by taking action.

And finally we return to

Q. What is the difference between a stove?
A. The fuel that you intend to burn.

Using the right fuel for your your appliance is the most important factor of all. The manufacturer will specify the correct fuel. The person that sells you the stove should know, but check in the operator instructions to be sure.

Always read the instructions!

If you have invested in a wood stove, and yes, wood stoves generally cost more than multifuel appliances due to the added technology, make sure that your firewood has been properly seasoned.

The moisture content requirement is different for different stoves.
This can vary from 12-15% upwards, but should NEVER be greater than 25%. A simple way to make sure you have the right woodfuel is to look for wood with  the WFQA label A_Company_Stamp

 

 

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