Preguntas frecuentes : Stoves (Wood)

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Is the smoke during the curing of the paint in the first burns harmful?

First Fires
   Most high-temperature paints operate in the same way. There are two resins in the paint. One resin dries at room temperature, giving the paint the initial properties seen on an un-used stove.Then, when fires are built in the stove, this air-dry resin burns away. The other resin is a silicon resin (silicone gives the paint it’s high heat resistance) that will not cure until it is heated to high temperatures. This cross-linking occurs at around 400°F - 450°F. The air dry resin will burn away at about 600°F.

 We recommend a two-stage curing process. Do not burn at full heat (900°F or more) for the first two burns as this could “shock” the paint and cause failure. Paint may peel or lose all but pigments. The initial fire should be medium temperature (450°F) for about 60 minutes. As the paint heats it will soften, even appear wet, and must not be touched with anything. Gradually, at the hottest spots, (Usually near the flue and working outwards) the paint will again appear dry. When this process is complete, the paint will be ready for the next stage.


 A second, hotter burn of around 600°F for another 45 minutes will burn away the air-dry resin.You will know when this occurs because the process creates some smoke and odour. The non toxic smoke is primarily Carbon Dioxide, but there are other residual components that make it smell bad and may cause physical distress for some individuals or animals. It will also displace oxygen, so we recommend a “ventilate and vacate” procedure which calls for open windows and fans during the burn-in process. Until the second stage is reached, the curing process will be in-complete and may be a smoky annoyance at a later time.Paint may appear to be a little glossy when first applied. The application of high heat(as described above) will cause all liquid paint to lose any appearance of gloss and become flat.Metallic colors sometimes appear to have some gloss due to the metallic fleck in the paint, but are still flat.



 

What burn time will I get from my wood heater?

The combustion time for an EPA-certified, non-catalytic wood appliance depends on many factors, the most important being the size of its firebox. Heaters with a 2.0 cubic foot firebox or more will normally have longer burn times.  From 6 to 8 hours is about the burn time you will get.  Some companies will advertise longer burn times, but be careful, this calculation is made from the time you light the fire to the time there is absolutely no combustible left into the firebox.  No matter what the appliance model is, the maximum BTU output will be obtained over approximately 33% of the total burn cycle. This represents 2 to 3 hours for a medium size stove.  So realistically, you will have to reload the unit every 3 or 4 hours in order the get the maximum heat out of your appliance when you are home. If you don’t reload the heater and let it burn the remaining fuel, your output will slowly decrease until there is no useful heat left to produce (we call this the “tail end” of the combustion cycle). This “tail end” will provide heat for another 4 to 5 hours. So if you are looking for a 6 to 8-hour burn time, make sure you choose an EPA-certified wood heater with a BTU output (using cordwood) of 60,000 BTU or more. Appliances with that kind of output all have fairly large fireboxes. If you are going to rely mostly on wood for heating and your house has more than 2,000 square feet, do not hesitate to choose one of our larger units (>85,000 BTU). Those appliances will have a burn time of approximately 8 to 10 hours. 

Can I buy a heater with a door that opens on the opposite side of the one shown on the product literature?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. All our appliances are produced on an assembly line according to very strict specifications. The door hinges are welded on one side only. Furthermore, the other side of the door opening has a latch assembly that is not movable.

Can I install a wood heater in a mobile home?

Yes, you can install a wood heater (stove or fireplace) in a mobile home. However, the heater you install must have been specifically approved for a mobile home application. The heater must be hooked-up to a fresh air pipe that enables combustion air to come from outside the house. For most models, it is necessary to purchase an adapter that allows the connection of the fresh air pipe to the appliance. Consult our product literature to know if a particular model is mobile home approved. The fresh air pipe used should be rated for temperatures of 250oF (122oC) or more and should be insulated to prevent or limit condensation. Normally, this type of pipe meets the UL-181/ULC-S110 standard for Class 1 HVAC connectors.

Can I remove the legs or pedestal of my stove and convert it into a fireplace insert?

Unfortunately, there is a major design difference between a freestanding wood stove and a wood insert.  The wood insert (like all other inserts) has an extra steel jacket that covers about 2/3 of its firebox on the sides and all of its back. This serves to accumulate the heat radiated by the firebox. The heat is then pushed in front of the unit and into the room by a blower.  Without this feature, the heat radiated by the insert would be lost into the masonry cavity. Hence, a stove inserted into a masonry fireplace would not have the same efficiency. Furthermore, its clearances to combustible materials could vary.  If the stove has not been tested for this type of installation, it cannot be inserted into a masonry opening.

Can I remove the solid cast iron door on my heater and replace it with a glass door?

It is forbidden to modify a heater. Heaters are safety tested with a specific configuration, drawings of which are filed with the regulating authorities. Changing the type of door could lead to serious difficulties with your insurance company in case of fire. It would also automatically void your warranty.

Can I use manufactured logs in my wood heater?

There are numerous types of manufactured logs on the market. The term eco logs is also often used. Some of them use chemical additives and those logs are generally prohibited for use in air-tight wood heating appliances. However, if you burn a manufactured log that is made of 100% wood, with no chemical additive, there is no problem. Wood is wood and your heater is designed to burn it. What we cannot control is the type of chemicals that can be inserted in different types of manufactured logs. The composition of the manufactured logs should be very clear on the log's packaging. If there are chemical additives, the log manufacturer should clearly state what the various limitations are. Please note that manufactured logs generally burn hotter. We suggest that home owners try two or three logs first, and see how it goes. They should use a chimney thermometer and make sure that the flue temperature does not go into the "overheat" range. Manufactured logs generally have a lower density and moisture content. This is why they release more heat over a shorter period of time.

Can I vent my heater using an existing masonry chimney?

It is possible to install a heater using your existing masonry chimney. The chimney must comply with the building code of your country, state or province. It usually needs to be lined with refractory bricks, metal, or clay tiles sealed together with fire cement. The diameter of the chimney must be the same as the appliance's flue outlet. If your masonry chimney does not have the same diameter as the appliance's flue outlet, you need to insert a stainless steel liner having the proper diameter. Otherwise, you may face draft problems. There are two types of liners: rigid and flexible liner. Both types are made of stainless steel. They must be certified for venting solid-fuel burning appliances. Flexible liner is particularly useful when the masonry chimney has one or more deviations.

Do I need a chimney thermometer?

A chimney thermometer is highly recommended. It can prevent problems by providing you with an instant indication whether you are over-firing or under-firing your heater. Heating within the recommended temperature zone on the thermometer will favor a good draft and will help reduce potential creosote build-up in the exhaust system.  Operating your heater at an abnormally low temperature favors the accumulation of creosote and therefore, the risk of a chimney fire.  A thermometer will prove very useful especially if other members of your family are not as familiar with wood heating. The thermometer will help them use the heater is a safe and efficient way. NOTE: double wall stove pipes require a thermometer with a probe.

Do I need a floor protection under and around my heater?

Yes, floor protection is required for any wood appliance, unless the unit already sits on a non-combustible surface. You have many choices, such as stone, brick, cement board, or tile. You need to consult your owner's manual in order to know the dimensions of the floor protection specific to your model. In Canada, the floor protection must extend in front of the unit by at least 18 inches and by at least 8 inches on each side. In the USA, the floor protection must extent at least 8 inches on each side of the appliance (measured from the door opening) and at least 16 inches in front of the door opening.

Do I need an ash drawer?

An ash drawer is a very practical feature, but it is not absolutely necessary. The ash drawer enables you to empty your heater and leave the ashes in the drawer until it is full. It makes cleaning more convenient and less messy. If you do not have an ash drawer, you can scoop out the ashes into a small steel bucket (with a cover) that you leave near the appliance. ALWAYS MAKE SURE THAT THE EMBERS ARE COLD BEFORE DISPOSING OF THEM.

Why is the efficiency reported on the white tag affixed to the appliance different than the efficiency published on the web site?

First, it is important to mention that the efficiency calculation is not mandatory in North America. Manufacturers that have tested their appliances to the EPA Standard must report a "default" efficiency on the little white EPA tag that must be affixed to the appliance. This is why you will see a 63% efficiency rating on that EPA tag. The real efficiency of EPA-certified units, however, is normally between 70% and 85%. It is possible for manufacturers to test their appliances for efficiency. Manufacturers that report an efficiency rating higher than 63% have probably had their appliances tested through an independent laboratory. Although there exist more than one efficiency calculation method, the one generally recognized by North American manufacturers is the Canadian CSAB415.1 method. Our appliances have all had their efficiency tested per that method. You will notice that the vast majority of our appliances have an efficiency rating between 70% and 85%.

Why is the BTU indicated on the EPA label smaller than the one advertised?

You will notice a difference between the BTU output as indicated on the unit's white EPA label and what is advertised on our web site and/or product literature. The maximum BTU output we advertise is what will be obtained with a full load of seasoned cordwood inserted inside the firebox. The EPA output, on the other hand, is what has been obtained during emissions testing. The EPA test procedure requires that a special type of wood be used and positioned inside the firebox in a manner that does not represent the way the firebox volume would normally be utilized using seasoned cordwood. The EPA test load is typically much smaller. Hence, the BTU as per the EPA label is reduced. The BTU output that should be considered by a normal user is the one we advertise for seasoned cordwood.

Why has the paint turned white and how do I re-paint my heater?

As a result of the high temperatures reached on the surface of any wood heater, most types of high temperature paint will tend to discolor over time. However, if your paint has completely turned white in some areas shortly after you purchased your heater, it is a sign that it may have overheated. Many things can cause a unit to overheat. Here is a brief list:

- The air intake control has been left fully open and flue temperatures have reached excessive levels
  for a long period of time;
- The chimney draft is excessive;
- The door was left ajar for a long period with a fire going;
- The door gasket is worn out;
- Firebricks have been damaged or disintegrated and have not been replaced;
- Pressure treated wood or other bi-products of wood were used as fuel;
- An excessive quantity of manufactured logs were used in the heater.

It is important to identify why the heater has overheated. Otherwise, it may wear out prematurely. Make sure you use a chimney thermometer and keep flue temperatures within the comfort zone of 250oF to 475oF when the heater is operated in the slow combustion mode. It is okay to reach temperatures between 500oF and 900oF upon start-up of the heater.  The paint is tested to resist peak temperatures (non-continuous) of up to 1,200oF.

You can paint your heater and make it look brand new. If the paint has not peeled off, you need to prepare the surface with a 180 grit sand paper. Then, repaint the heater with the original high temperature aerosol paint for a more resistant and uniform finish. If the paint has peeled off, you need to prepare the surface with a 180 grit sand paper and remove all the paint until you reach the steel.

Why doesn't my heater produce enough heat?

Possible causes and solutions:

The moisture content of your wood is too high.

S
olution: Make sure you use good, seasoned wood. The wood you burn plays an important role in the overall performance of your heater. Your wood should have been properly dried for about one year. Furthermore, it is better to use hardwood, such as oak, maple, beech, or ash. For the same volume, hardwood will produce more heat. Storage is also very important. Wood that has been cut for one, two or even more years, will not necessarily be dry if it has been stored in poor conditions. Under extreme conditions, it may have rotted instead of drying. Smaller pieces of wood will dry faster. The wood should be stored in a place where the grass is not too long, and where the wind will be able to circulate between the logs. A 12-inch gap should be kept between the cords. The wood should be placed in the sunniest area and should be protected from the rain and snow on top, but not on the sides. Use a moisture reader to measure the moisture content of your wood. Ideally, it should be below 25%.

Solution
: Adjust the air control mechanism in order to keep the flue temperature within the comfort zone (between 250oF and 475oF) on your chimney thermometer. The air control mechanism must always be closed gradually. You need to obtain a good bed of red embers and the logs must be completely lit up before you close the air control completely. This can easily take up to one hour.

The logs that you are using are too big.

Solution: Use smaller pieces of wood and place them to allow proper air circulation between the logs. The same weight of wood cut in many small pieces will produce more heat than fewer, larger logs. Only add big logs when you have a good bed of red embers. Logs with a diameter exceeding 6 inches should always be split. Avoid stacking logs to the top of the firebox.

The chimney draft is too weak.

Solution #1: In many cases, a weak draft is simply due to insufficient heat in the exhaust system. Build a small, intense fire, and leave the door ajar (never leave the heater unattended). Before inserting larger logs, use dry kindling to obtain a good bed of red embers. Gradually increase the size of the logs. Close the unit’s door when you reach a flue temperature of approximately 475oF on the chimney thermometer. Leave the air intake fully open for approximately 15 minutes. Then, gradually close the air intake control. Note that there is no danger in letting the temperature inside the flue reach approximately 700oF during start-up. This is even favorable in order to properly start your heater. You must however avoid maintaining excessive temperatures (above the comfort zone on your thermometer) during a long period of time. Your chimney thermometer should be positioned on the exhaust pipe, approximately 18 inches above the unit.

Solution #2: Your heater may not have all the oxygen it needs to allow for a sufficient draft. You first need to ensure that the room where the heater is located is sufficiently large and well ventilated. Open the nearest window by approximately 2 inches. If you notice a significant improvement, it is a sign that the unit needs more oxygen. The room may be too insulated or too small. Without an additional source of oxygen, the draft will remain weak and cause the glass stay dirty.

Solution #3: The chimney may be too short. In order to obtain a sufficient draft, your chimney must have a minimum height. Twelve feet (from the heater to the chimney cap outside the house) is a minimum. A height of 15 feet or higher is ideal.

Solution #4: Your exhaust system may be too restrictive or may lack a sufficient rise. Ideally, your exhaust system should not have more than one 90o elbow. Furthermore, all horizontal sections should be as short as possible and have a minimum slope of ¼" per foot.

Solution #5: Your exhaust system may be oversized. When your chimney is oversized, the volume of air that needs to be warmed-up is larger. It is therefore difficult to reach temperatures that will allow for a sufficient draft. Most advanced combustion systems (those certified to EPA/CSAB41.1) have a 6" flue outlet (152mm). If your exhaust system does not have a 6" diameter, a solution is to insert a stainless liner with a 6" diameter inside the exhaust system.

If you have verified all the points mentioned above and your heater works fine, but still does not produce enough heat, you may be asking for more than what your appliance can realistically give you. Stoves, fireplaces, and inserts are used for "zone heating”. It is normal that the heat be distributed unevenly inside your home. It will always be colder in the rooms that are distant from the heater. Furthermore, since heat rises, a heater located at the ground floor level will not heat your basement.

Solution: It is possible to increase heat circulation between the floors by installing floor traps. The location of your heater is also important. Try to install it in a central location. If you want to heat both your basement and the ground floor, install your heater in the basement. The heat will rise to the upper floors. Verify that the area you try to heat respects your appliance’s heating capacity. Your appliance’s heating capacity can be found on the printed literature, in the owner’s manual, or in the technical data section on our web site. Keep in mind that your appliance's heating capacity assumes optimum conditions. It may be too low in situations where a house is poorly insulated, or highly exposed to wind. If you already have an appliance with a high heating capacity that works normally but does not heat enough, you probably need a central heating system, such as a warm air wood furnace.

Why does the glass get sooty?

Possible causes and solutions:

The moisture content of your wood is too high

Solution: Make sure you use good, seasoned cord wood. The wood you burn plays an important role in the overall performance of your heater. Your wood should have been properly dried for approximately one year. Storage is also key. Wood that has been cut for one, two or even more years, will not necessarily be dry if it has been stored in poor conditions. Under extreme conditions, it may have rotten instead of drying. Smaller pieces of wood will dry faster. The wood should be stored in a place where the grass is not too long, and where the wind will be able to circulate between the logs. A 12-inch gap should be kept between the cords. The wood should be placed in the sunniest area and should be protected from the rain and snow on top, but not on the sides. Use a moisture reader to measure the moisture content of your wood. Ideally, it should be below 25%.

The logs are positioned too close to the glass and are obstructing the air flow that is necessary to keep the glass clean.

Solution: Make sure to keep a minimum gap of 2 inches between the logs and the glass.

The chimney draft is too weak.

Solution #1: In many cases, a weak draft is simply due to insufficient heat in the exhaust system. Build a small, intense fire, and leave the door ajar (never leave the heater unattended). Before inserting larger logs, use dry kindling to obtain a good bed of red embers. Gradually increase the size of the logs. Close the unit’s door when you reach a flue temperature of approximately 475oF on the chimney thermometer. Leave the air intake fully open for approximately 15 minutes. Then, gradually close the air intake control. Note that there is no danger in letting the temperature inside the flue reach approximately 700oF during start-up. This is even favorable in order to properly start your heater. You must however avoid maintaining excessive temperatures (above the comfort zone on your thermometer) during a long period of time. Your chimney thermometer should be positioned on the exhaust pipe, approximately 18 inches above the unit.

Solution #2: Your heater may not have all the oxygen it needs to allow for a sufficient draft. You first need to insure that the room where the heater is located is sufficiently large and well ventilated. Open the nearest window by approximately 2 inches. If you notice a significant improvement, it is a sign that the unit needs more oxygen. The room may be too insulated or too small. Without an additional source of oxygen, the draft will remain weak and cause the glass stay dirty.

Solution #3: The chimney may be too short. In order to obtain a sufficient draft, your chimney must have a minimum height. Twelve feet (from the heater to the chimney cap outside the house) is a minimum. A height of 15 feet or higher is ideal.

Solution #4
: Your exhaust system may be too tortuous or may lack a sufficiently steep slope. Ideally, your exhaust system should not have more than one 90o elbow. Furthermore, all horizontal sections should be as short as possible and have a minimum slope of ¼" per foot.

Solution #5: Your exhaust system may be oversized. When your chimney is oversized, the volume of air that needs to be warmed-up is larger. It is therefore difficult to reach temperatures that will allow for a sufficient draft. Most advanced combustion systems (those certified to EPA/CSAB41.1) have a 6" flue outlet (152mm). If your exhaust system does not have a 6" diameter, a solution is to insert a stainless liner with a 6" diameter inside the exhaust system.

Why does the fire go out when I close the loading door?

Possible causes and solutions:

The moisture content of your wood is too high.

S
olution: Make sure you use good, seasoned cord wood. The wood you burn plays an important role in the overall performance of your heater. Your wood should have been properly dried for approximately one year. Storage is also key. Wood that has been cut for one, two or even more years, will not necessarily be dry if it has been stored in poor conditions. Under extreme conditions, it may have rotten instead of drying. Smaller pieces of wood will dry faster. The wood should be stored in a place where the grass is not too long, and where the wind will be able to circulate between the logs. A 12-inch gap should be kept between the cords. The wood should be placed in the sunniest area and should be protected from the rain and snow on top, but not on the sides. Use a moisture reader to measure the moisture content of your wood. Ideally, it should be below 25%.

The air control mechanism is not open enough.

Solution: Adjust the air control mechanism in order to keep the flue temperature within the comfort zone (between 250oF and 475oF) on your chimney thermometer. The air control mechanism must always be closed gradually. You need to obtain a good bed of red embers and the logs must be completely lit up before you close the air control completely. This can easily take up to one hour.

The logs that you are using are too big.

Solution: Use smaller pieces of wood and place them to allow proper air circulation between the logs. The same weight of wood cut in many small pieces will produce more heat than fewer, larger logs. Only add big logs when you have a good bed of red embers. Logs with a diameter exceeding 6 inches should always be split. Avoid stacking logs to the top of the firebox.

The chimney draft is too weak.

Solution #1: In many cases, a weak draft is simply due to insufficient heat in the exhaust system. Build a small, intense fire, and leave the door ajar (never leave the heater unattended). Before inserting larger logs, use dry kindling to obtain a good bed of red embers. Gradually increase the size of the logs. Close the unit’s door when you reach a flue temperature of approximately 475oF on the chimney thermometer. Leave the air intake fully open for approximately 15 minutes. Then, gradually close the air intake control. Note that there is no danger in letting the temperature inside the flue reach approximately 700oF during start-up. This is even favorable in order to properly start your heater. You must however avoid maintaining excessive temperatures (above the comfort zone on your thermometer) during a long period of time. Your chimney thermometer should be positioned on the exhaust pipe, approximately 18 inches above the unit.

Solution #2: Your heater may not have all the oxygen it needs to allow for a sufficient draft. You first need to insure that the room where the heater is located is sufficiently large and well ventilated. Open the nearest window by approximately 2 inches. If you notice a significant improvement, it is a sign that the unit needs more oxygen. The room may be too insulated or too small. Without an additional source of oxygen, the draft will remain weak and cause the glass stay dirty.

Solution #3: The chimney may be too short. In order to obtain a sufficient draft, your chimney must have a minimum height. Twelve feet (from the heater to the chimney cap outside the house) is a minimum. A height of 15 feet or higher is ideal.

Solution #4: Your exhaust system may be too tortuous or may lack a sufficiently steep slope. Ideally, your exhaust system should not have more than one 90o elbow. Furthermore, all horizontal sections should be as short as possible and have a minimum slope of ¼" per foot.

Solution #5: Your exhaust system may be oversized. When your chimney is oversized, the volume of air that needs to be warmed-up is larger. It is therefore difficult to reach temperatures that will allow for a sufficient draft. Most advanced combustion systems (those certified to EPA/CSAB41.1) have a 6" flue outlet (152mm). If your exhaust system does not have a 6" diameter, a solution is to insert a stainless liner with a 6" diameter inside the exhaust system.

When do I need to replace the door gasket and what type of gasket should I buy?

The gasket is there to insure that your heater remains air tight, thus providing you with the maximum burn time and reducing the risk of overheating. How frequently you replace the gasket really depends on how often you fire your heater. Most models have an adjustable handle that enables you to increase the useful life of your gasket by tightening the door when it becomes loose. However, when you can no longer adjust the door, when the gasket becomes really hard, and when you notice a gap between the door and the appliance, it is time to replace the gasket. If you fire your heater on a regular basis during the winter, you may need to replace the gasket before every heating season. We strongly suggest that you use the genuine gasket sold by the manufacturer. The genuine gasket has a better density and comes with a special silicone-based adhesive. It will last much longer and is recommended for appliances certified to EPA or CSAB415.1. Unless you use a conventional wood heater, avoid liquid glue and low density gaskets, which often have large and flabby knits.

What type of exhaust system do I need?

Your exhaust system is comprised of two main elements: a chimney and a connector (commonly called "stove pipe").

Connectors

Connectors are simply steel pipes that connect the appliance to the insulated chimney. They are normally needed, unless the appliance is already inserted into an enclosure (for instance, in the case of a zero-clearance wood fireplace). Connectors do not pass through combustible materials. The term “black pipe” is also often used in the industry. There are two types of connectors:

      - Single-walled pipes
      - Double-walled pipes

As their name indicates, single-walled pipes have just one wall. A minimum of 18 inches is required between the pipe and a combustible wall. In general, single-walled pipes provide less insulation than double-walled pipes do and therefore require more clearance. This is the main drawback of single-walled pipes. Their advantage is in their cost; they are nearly three times less expensive than double-walled pipes.

As their name indicates, double-walled pipes have a second wall, i.e., an interior one made of stainless steel. The cushion of air between the two walls provides thermal insulation allowing the appliance to be installed much closer to walls. This is the main advantage of double-walled pipes. The required distance for each heater model is based on the safety tests conducted with each type of connector. You therefore need to properly consult the appliance’s owner’s manual in order to know the prescribed clearances from combustible materials.

Chimney

There are two types of chimneys: an insulated (or prefabricated) chimney or a masonry chimney. If you have a masonry chimney, it must meet the local building code. It must be lined with refractory bricks or tiles joint together with refractory cement. The chimney diameter should be the same as the appliance’s flue outlet (6 inches for most models). It is rarely the case with masonry chimneys. Their diameter is often bigger than the appliance’s flue outlet. The way to deal with this is to insert inside the masonry chimney a stainless steel liner that has the same diameter as the appliance’s flue outlet. Unless a liner is installed, serious draft problems can occur.

A
n insulated chimney (or prefab chimney) is a stainless steel flue that has been tested to resist temperature as high as 2100F. It has a double wall filled with insulating wool. The majority of insulated chimneys have 2 inches of insulation, while some have just 1 inch. Others are air-insulated and have 3 walls; they are referred to as “triple-wall air-cooled chimneys.”

When we speak of a 6-inch chimney, we are referring to its interior diameter. If the chimney has 2 inches of insulation, the flue will have an exterior diameter of 10 inches.

In wood-heat system installations, we must use an insulated chimney for any flue that passes through walls, ceilings, attics and closets (i.e., all combustible surfaces in general). This chimney must also be installed outside the house.

What R factor is required for my floor protection and how do I calculate it?

Can I install an EPA-certified heater on an 8-inch chimney?

EPA-certified heaters function best on a 6-inch chimney (interior diameter).  The problem with an 8-inch chimney is that the appliance may struggle to heat-up the air volume contained inside the chimney. A hot chimney is required to create enough draft. Poor draft will inevitably lead to poor combustion, which will cause smoke roll backs, a dirty glass, lack of heat, and a large quantity of unburnt fuel inside the firebox. It is therefore highly recommended to install a 6-inch liner inside the 8-inch chimney.  This liner can be rigid or flexible.

Do I need an EPA-certified heater?

You first have to identify what your needs are. If you are looking for ambiance, a temporary heat source in a cottage or a camp,  or a simple back-up heat source in case of power failure, you do not necessarily need to invest more money in order to buy an EPA certified wood heater. However, if your goal is to heat on a regular basis, the extra dollars will prove to be a good investment. Furthermore, it must be noted that EPA certified heaters release up to 90% less particles into the atmosphere, which makes wood a renewable and clean source of heat.  As a result, if the style and size of heater you are looking for is available in an EPA-certified version, it is highly recommended that you invest in this advanced combustion technology. You will help the environment and reduce your wood consumption by up to 30%.

NOTE: If you live in the United Sates, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia, or Newfoundland, EPA certified wood heaters are mandatory. Exceptions apply for certain categories of products, such as decorative fireplaces. Certain municipalities may also have by-laws that require the installation of EPA-certified wood heaters, even though the province does not have an official regulation on wood heating. It must also be noted that in Canada, the CSAB415.1 Standard is equivalent to the EPA Standard. A wood heater that meets this Standard will generally comply with the regulation in place. Lastly, it is possible that certain regions require emissions that are below 7.5 g/h. It is the case of Washington State, which requires emissions below 4.5 g/h for non-catalytic wood heaters. If you are not sure about the regulation in your area, we suggest that you contact the appliance manufacturer or consult with a professional hearth dealer.

What makes a heater mobile-home approved?

Mobile-home approved stoves have gone through specific testing to show that they can source their combustion air entirely from outside the house. This is required because mobile homes (or manufactured homes) are often very airtight. Should there be a lack of combustion air, harmful levels of CO (carbon monoxide) could accumulate in the house. This is why mobile-home approved stoves have an adapter that hooks-up to the unit and connects to a fresh air intake on the outside wall of the house through an insulated pipe. 

Can I cook on the top of my wood stove?

It is definitely possible to cook on the top of your stove. This can be very useful in case of power failure. A stove fully loaded with wood will easily reach 500 to 700oF on top. This is sufficient to cook. The use of a pan or other cookware may scratch the paint. An option is to use a cast iron cooking grid or simply lay a piece of stainless steel on top of the stove.

Does my appliance qualify for Novoclimat?

Pour rencontrer la norme Novoclimat, les systèmes de chauffage au bois doivent respecter les exigences gouvernementales, celles des autorités locales et satisfaire à l’une ou l’autre des exigences suivantes pour la performance et les rejets atmosphériques :

a)  La norme CSA B415.1-10 : Essais et rendement des appareils de chauffage à combustibles solides, ou

b)  La norme 40 CFR Part 60 Subpart AAA : Standard of Performance for New Residential Wood Heaters, de l’Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) des États-Unis.


Les systèmes de chauffage au bois présentant un taux de combustion supérieur ou égal à 5 kg/h (généralement des foyers préfabriqués dits « à dégagement zéro », foyers décoratifs, ou autres) doivent respecter les exigences locales et satisfaire à un niveau d’émission de particules inférieur ou égal à 5,1 g/kg. Le niveau d’émission de particules doit être testé par :

a)     La méthode de test ASTM E2558 (Standard Test Method for Determining Particulate Matter Emissions from Fires in Low Mass Wood Burning Fireplaces); et


b)  La méthode de test ASTM E2515 (Standard Test Method for Determination of Particulate Matter Emissions Collected by a Dilution Tunnel). 


Tous les systèmes de chauffage au bois installés dans un logement doivent comporter :


a)    Un mécanisme d’obturation du conduit d’alimentation d’air de combustion bloquant l’entrée d’air froid dans le logement lorsque l’appareil n’est pas en fonction ; et


 b)    Un des deux mécanismes suivants :


      (i)   Un mécanisme limitant la quantité d’air froid pouvant descendre directement dans le conduit d’évacuation des produits de combustion lorsque l’appareil n’est pas en fonction ; ou

      (ii)    Des portes étanches entre la chambre de combustion et le logement.

Si le logement n’est pas immédiatement équipé d’un système de chauffage au bois, mais qu’il est destiné à recevoir ce type de système, le logement doit avoir un conduit d’alimentation d’air de combustion et un conduit d’évacuation des produits de combustion installés et obturés temporairement



 

How do I determine the size of heater I need and where should I install it?

Before answering this question, it is very important that you clearly identify what your needs are. Some people will buy a heater simply to enhance the ambiance of a room, while others will buy a heater as their main source of heat. There is no good or bad reason for buying a wood-heat system. If you simply want to enhance the ambiance of a room, most small to medium size heaters will suit your needs. Simply chose the style you like best, and put the unit in the room where you spend the most time. The heat and look of a glowing fire will create an atmosphere of warmth and coziness.



If your primary need is heat, you must verify the heating capacity of your heater based on the technical data provided by the manufacturer. For instance, if you want to heat an 800 square foot area on one floor, you need to buy a heater with a minimum capacity of 800 sq. ft.



If you need to heat more than one floor, keep in mind that heat rises. Therefore, a heater located in your basement will help you heat the main floor as well. However, the contrary is not true; a heater located on the main floor (ground floor) will not heat the basement. Keep in mind also that the more divisions there are in the house, the harder it will be to distribute the heat evenly.



If you need to heat two floors, calculate the surface of the lower floor. Then, add 50% of the surface of the upper floor. For instance, if you install a wood-heating system in the basement and you have 800 sq.ft., you will need a heater with a minimum capacity of 1,200 sq.ft. (800 + 400 = 1,200).



If you need to heat more than two floors, calculate the surface of the lower floor (where the wood-heating system is located). Then, add 50% of the surface of the middle floor, and 25% of the surface of the upper floor. For instance, if you install a heater in the basement and you have 800 sq.ft., you will need a heater with a minimum capacity of 1,400 sq.ft. (800+400+200= 1,400). Consult the drawing below. It will help you understand the explanations provided in this section.



REMEMBER:  We are talking about "zone" heating, not central heating. The room where the heater is located and the rooms directly above it will always reach higher temperatures than the rooms distant from the unit. If you want an even temperature throughout the house, you need to consider a central heating system, such as a warm air wood furnace. Furthermore, you must keep in mind that the size of the heater you need may vary based on the insulation of your house, its exposure to wind, and the number of windows. It will always be prudent to buy a heater with a capacity that is slightly higher than the minimum capacity that you need. For instance, if you need a minimum capacity of 1,400 sq.ft., it will be more prudent to buy a heater with a capacity of 1,600 sq.ft., if not 1,800 sq.ft. There are three main advantages in buying a larger appliance: the increased heating capacity, the ease of loading more and larger logs (as a result of the greater firebox volume), and the increased combustion time (given the higher loading capacity). 

















The drawing above gives an example of the minimum heating capacity required for a wood-heating system installed in a house with three floors of 800 sq.ft. each. We assume that the house is well insulated and that air can circulate between each floor through an open stairway and/or floor traps.

Is it possible to reduce the minimum clearances to combustible materials?

Is my heater CSA, UL or ULC approved?

The Hunter wood stove is not certified since its usage is strictly limited to recreational purposes and it not designed to be installed in a home. All other heaters manufactured by SBI are certified as per the latest applicable American and Canadian safety standards. Those standards are developed and published by various organizations, such as CSA (Canadian Standard Association), UL/ULC (Underwriters Laboratories / Underwriters Laboratories of Canada), and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials). An independent laboratory is responsible for testing each model as per the applicable standards.  ETL - Intertek Testing Services (also known as Warnock Hersey) and Omni Test Laboratories are the independent labs most frequently used and their name generally appears on the certification label attached to the side or back of each heater.

All EPA-certified wood heaters meet the latest emissions standards required by EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).  Each EPA-certified heater has been tested for emissions by an independent laboratory.

Does my heater qualify under the LEED program?

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™ encourages and accelerates global adoption of sustainable green building and development practices through the creation and implementation of universally understood and accepted tools and performance criteria. LEED is a third-party certification program and an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. It provides building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings’ performance.

The Canadian Green Building Council (CGBC) certifies LEED projects. The Certification is based on the total point score achieved, following an independent review and an audit of selected Credits. With four possible levels of certification (certified, silver, gold and platinum), LEED® is flexible enough to accommodate a wide range of green building strategies that best fit the constraints and goals of particular projects. The Canadian rating systems are an adaptation of the US Green Building Council's (USGBC) LEED Green Building Rating System, tailored specifically for Canadian climates, construction practices and regulations. The rating systems are adapted to the Canadian market through an inclusive process that engages stakeholders and experts representing the various sectors of the Canadian industry.

Wood or pellet stoves, fireplaces, and inserts can qualify under LEED and obtain up to one point provided that they meet the
following criteria.



Why should I install a blower on my wood heater?

A blower can be installed at the back of most models. This option enables you to redistribute the heat from the back of your heater to the front of it and into the room. By forcing hot air toward the front of the heater, the blower extends the radiation power of your unit. Most appliances can also have a thermodisc installed. A thermodisc is a heat sensor connected to the back of the appliance and wired-up to the blower. It will start the blower automatically when the air temperature in the back heat shield reaches approximately 115F. Likewise, it will turn the blower off when the temperature in the back heat shield goes below 100F. 

Why is there smoke when I use my heater?

Possible causes and solutions

Your heater is new and thin smoke is coming out of the unit’s surface.

Solution: This is normal when your heater is new and has never been used. The paint needs to be "cured". You need to heat your appliance two or three of times before the curing process is completed. Simply open a window in the room where the unit is located. The amount of smoke produced by the curing process should be very limited. If the area is well ventilated, there is no health hazard.

The chimney in under negative pressure.

Solution#1:
The chimney may simply be too cold. Light-up a small quantity of newspaper in the appliance, as close as possible to the flue outlet. Leave the door slightly ajar. This small fire will slowly heat-up the chimney, until it is hot enough to create a normal draft inside the exhaust system. If needed, slowly increase the quantity of newspaper. When you realize that smoke is being evacuated normally through the exhaust system, you can build a normal fire. If your chimney runs along the outside wall of your house, it is possible to cover it up in order to protect it from the wind and the cold. A covered chimney will heat-up faster.

Solution #2: Negative pressure may be caused by air-moving devices, such as a range hood, a bathroom fan, or an air exchanger. Check if smoking problems occur when those devices are working. If it is the case, make sure you turn them off when you use your heater. Otherwise, you need to make sure that the air leaving the room is replaced by air from outside the house. For instance, you can open a window slightly (by one or two inches). Ideally, the source of fresh air should be located as close as possible to the heater. A good, permanent solution is the installation of a fresh air intake. It should be located as close as possible to the unit. The appliance will draw its combustion air from this nearby supply. It will prevent the house from falling into negative pressure. Some units are designed to receive an adapter on which the fresh air supply pipe can be directly connected. This way, the appliance will always draw its combustion air from outside the house.

Solution #3: Negative pressure may be caused by wind, due to the interference from a nearby structure. In order to eliminate such interference, the extremity of your chimney should be at least two feet higher than any structure located within a ten-foot radius.



Do I need to install a fresh air intake on my wood heater?

A fresh air intake is not mandatory for your wood heater, unless the unit is installed in a mobile home or if the local building code or the manufacturer requires it.  If the heater is installed in an open room, in a house that is more or less air-tight, combustion air will normally be easily replaced. In this case, the installation of a fresh air intake is not required. It must however be noted that a fresh air intake, even if it is not mandatory, will always provide the advantage of better balancing the house with regards to combustion air. If the house has powerful mechanical exhaust system that may be used while the heater is burning (ex: range hood), a fresh air intake will be required.

 

Why are some wood stoves EPA Exempt as opposed to EPA-certified?

When the first emissions standards for wood heaters were developed in the early 90's, the aim was to regulate appliances dedicated to heating, and more precisely, wood stoves (room heaters). Therefore, authorities had to establish some criteria to determine what was considered a room heater.  One of those criteria was the combustion rate. An appliance such as an open wood burning fireplace would normally have a high combustion rate as a result of the large quantity of oxygen fed to the fire. It was therefore determined that an appliance with a minimum combustion rate higher than 5 kg per hour would be exempt because a user desiring a true heating appliance would normally require a much lower combustion rate. For instance, wood stoves that are EPA-Certified have a combustion rate of less than 1 kg of wood per hour.  Therefore, with a 10 kg load of wood, the user can expect a 10-hour burn time.  In an EPA-Exempt wood stove, the same load would take less than two hours to burn.  The heat will be very high, but it will be released over a short period of time. EPA-Exempt appliances can therefore offer a very good value for those users who need to heat occasionally, in a cabin or garage for instance. For those users seeking a prolonged combustion time (overnight burn), it is highly recommended to chose a stove tested to EPA or CSAB415.1 standards (i.e. EPA-Certified or CSAB415.1 Certified).  Such stoves will normally cost more money, but they represent a wise investment in terms of efficiency and emissions.

Can I install a Wood or Pellet Heater in a Garage?

USA:

In the United States, The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) develops, publishes, and distributes codes and standards intended to minimize the possibility and effects of fire and other risks. NFPA specifically prohibits solid-fuel-burning appliances within a residential garage. This policy is outlined in NFPA Standard #211.

CANADA:

Under section 3.3 - Hazardous Locations of the CSA B365 Installation Code for Solid-Fuel-Burning Appliances and Equipment, the following language standards can be found:

"An appliance shall not be installed in a location where a corrosive atmosphere, flammable gas or vapour, combustible dust, or combustible fibres may be present. An appliance may be installed in a

(a) storage or residential garage, provided that the appliance is mounted at least 450 mm (18 in) above floor level and protected against physical damage;…"

In other words, if your garage is an environment where no combustible material or dust/vapour (chemical, fuel, or otherwise) is present, you may be able to use a solid fuel burning appliance. It is recommended to always check with your insurance company before installing your heater in a garage.

How do I reduce the amount of charcoal my stove produces?

EPA stoves tend to create large coal beds due to the higher efficiencies they burn at. This can be controlled by the way you burn your appliance. After an overnight burn you may have a large coal bed. Simply rake the coal bed forward and add a smaller piece of wood on top. Burn it on a higher burn setting as this will pull more primary air into the firebox and burn down the coal bed with the log. You may have to repeat this a couple times before the coals are reduced. You are then ready to load your stove with a larger fuel load.