Wood-Burning Stoves. Please proof this new InterNACHI article.

Wood-Burning Stoves.

You gotta do better than that!! Quite a few poor suggestions and the picture is of an antique Franklyn style, inefficient stove not installed to current saftey standards.

Why not refer folks to something like this:


I was a reviewer of the previous edition. A quick perusal shows that a good general graphic of the interior layout of a clean burning stove has been removed…pity!

Poor suggestions? Can you be more specific?

I never said that stove was efficient, or installed to current safety standards. A lot of the pictures we put in articles are examples of inappropriate or defective items.

Because that’s a book. People read articles when they want a quick overview.

A lot of the article seems to be from older writings. Here are some of the more off base:

  1. Small stoves are suitable in single rooms or seasonal cottages.
    Small stoves can heat smaller energy-efficient open design houses.

  2. Never leave the fire burning unattended. Put it out before leaving the room to go to sleep.
    I’ve been heating with wood for 27 out of the last 35 years. I go to bed most nights with the stove stoked for an overnight burn. What’s the problems with that. Have never had a chimney fire or incident of any type.

  3. Always use a grate to hold the logs so that they remain secured in the stove and the air can circulate adequately to keep the fire burning hot.
    This would be an instruction for an inefficent masonry fireplace and maybe one or two specific stoves when used in an open front fireplace mode

  4. The stove is burning at less than 300º F. A stove-mounted thermometer should read between 300º F and 400º F.
    No wood will be burning at 300*F. BTW, the thermometer should be mounted on the flue pipe, not the stove.

  5. Stoves tested by UL and other laboratories burn cleanly and efficiently.
    Not becessarily! Most tests by UL and others are for safety only. Unless it is tested and certified to the low particulate emission EPA or CSA standards, it may simply be a regular stove.

  6. Burn hardwoods, such as oak, hickory and ash. Avoid burning softwoods, such as pine.
    What’s wrong with softwood, especially if it’s free?? Should it be left to rot in the woods? I have about 1+1/2 cords of softwood ready for the winter…it’s all from an arborist that was going to throw it away.

thanks for the suggestions brian

Soft woods, particularly pine, create more creosote. It’s more likely to contribute to a chimney fire. Softwoods don’t generate high BTUs, like hardwoods, because they are not as dense and they therefore burn faster. So if you’re buying wood, you get more for your money with hard woods. There is no doubt that hard woods are preferred for all stoves and fireplaces.

You’re welcome to burn tooth picks if you want. The article said “avoid”. It didn’t say “don’t”.

The article didn’t say anything about the need for a non-combustible base and clearance to combustibles. All stoves should be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, of course. The flue needs to be regularly cleaned, which may mean temporary removal of the stove. Also, the hearth should be large enough to accommodate the door in an open position.

Many (if not all) modern stoves contain catalysts for air quality reasons that require periodic replacement. The catalysts provide a lean burn and keep the stove from producing a lot of smoke.

I’m actually writing another article right now on what you should and shouldn’t burn in fireplace and woodstoves, and I can’t get a solid answer on this hardwood/softwood thing!

Soft wood I am told Gives the same BTUs as Hard wood .
One ton of soft is the same as One ton of soft .
Please note I said one ton not one cord
I no longer have my books on wood going from memory as I am not a lover of wood and am
allergic to the heat from it that dripped on my nose when I was splitting it .

You’re right that the BTUs are the same based on weight, which does not apply when you’re comparing cords, which are a measure of volume. People seem to think that softwoods create more creosote, maybe because they don’t burn as hot?

Soft woods, particularly pine, create more creosote

Street talk!

If you burn a fire at a decent burn rate with dry wood and a hot chimney, the creosote (unburnt resins and particulates) you are talking about are actually burnt in the fire and contribute to the heat output. Resins and creasote actually have higher BTU content per lb.

The authoritative book on wood heat is “The Woodburner’s Encylopedia” by Richard Hill (formerly of the U of Maine at Orono). He talks about the “high” and “low” heat values of wood, the combustion process, etc. Was published in the 1970’s, I believe, and nothing has emerged to replace it.