Continuing with our series of frequently asked questions, Fireplace Product’s Reece Toscani takes on the task of explaining how to achieve optimum burn and how to avoid dirty stove-glass.
What is optimum burn and how do I achieve it?
Dear Ms Blunt,
Achieving optimum burn in your stove can be tricky, and typically comes from experience of using stoves. Balancing air supply with fuel is an exact science in order to get the most from the burn. Thankfully for new comers to the stove-world, there is now technology available on certain stoves to help you with this.
Aduro offer the Aduro Tronic to give you the optimum air supply for lighting a stove and maintaining the burn. They also offer a sensor kit which detects the firebox upper and lower temperatures and relays this information via an app on your smart phone, giving you a performance graph on the output of the stove and even when you need to add fuel.
Hwam and Wiking offer an automatic air regulator which once set will control the air supply using a biometric coil built-in into the stove, opening and closing air supplies in different locations around the stove to ensure you get the best burn possible. Hwam boast up to 40% efficiency savings can be made using their stoves against a competitor. Rais have also started to introduce something similar in many of their new products.
Hwam have also taken their automatic air system one step further and introduced the Autopilot Intelligent Heat System (IHS) which has a remote control with a thermostat built-into it. you adjust the temperature on the control to the desired room setting and the stove will open and close different air supplies automatically in order to sustain the ambient room temperature.
While all of these technologies are on hand to help they can cost quite a bit and are only relevant on particular stoves. We find sometimes the best solution is to monitor the flue gas temperature using a flue pipe thermometer which gives you a good indication how hot you are burning the stove. We include one of these free of charge with most of our freestanding stoves when you buy a wood or multifuel stove from us.
I can’t see the flames in my stove. The glass is hard to see through… what have I done and how can I fix this?
It looks like you have one of two options. Firstly it will depend on if the glass has ‘sooted-up’ or if the glass has crazed and gone opaque. All heat resistant stove glass is actually made from over 90% ceramics and less than 10% glass and so crazing is a result of overheating and causing heat stress fractures that has got into the ceramic but to the heat being produced inside the stove.
If your stove glass is sooting up, then typically this is caused by burning damp or ‘green’ logs which have not been properly seasoned. Try using a moisture meter to determine your wood’s moisture content, and if you have larger logs that read less than 20% moisture on the outside, try splitting the logs and measuring the moisture on the inside, as this can sometimes be twice as much inside.
Also, try using kiln dried logs for a while and see if the issue persists. There are numerous cleaning products available to help restore your glass back to its former glory, and I hear wood-ash is a good glass cleaner as well!
If you have a question that you would like answered by Reece then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email!