Cat vs Non-Cat - Half Time Report

leeave96 Posted By leeave96, Dec 26, 2011 at 11:50 PM

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    Feb 7, 2009
    Eastern, Kentucky
    everbody got a opinion there cowboy!
  2. HotCoals

    Minister of Fire

    Oct 27, 2010

    You're saying the non cats use less wood?
    I'm checking thinking maybe a typo or something.


    Feb 7, 2009
    Eastern, Kentucky
    What i was trying to say is i think cat stoves use alot less wood and are easier to control the burn temps by being able to dampen the stove way down and with the cat lit the wood is burning like a cigar, I like both types of stoves and i realize most wood burners would not like a cat stove due to, That most wood burners out there will not take the extra measures to ensure they are burning good dry seaoned wood, but if you are willing to take the right steps a cat stove can be best investment you ever make. Almost all cat owner stove members on this forum are happy with the performance of there stoves and that speaks for itself.
  4. Green Energy

    Green Energy
    Feeling the Heat

    Feb 21, 2009
    Central Maryland (between DC, Balt. Fredrick)
    I burned a large cat stove for many years and now I'm in my third winter with a secondary tube stove. Regarding which burns more wood, I would say that my cat stove had a little higher rated efficiency. I think the numbers were about 80% verses 75%. Not so much difference. But that is rated efficiency.

    I found that because of the differences in stoves, there are many times that I will let my Olso go cold where I would keep the fire in the cat stove going at a low level. Basically, I don't need a fire going when no one is home and its above 40. Even when I'm home, I don't want a fire going if its sunny and getting above the upper 40s. We have a heat pump that I don't mind running the HP at 40 or above.

    So because of this difference in operations, I use less wood with my non cat stove. I do find that the longer burn times on my old cat is something that I do miss when stays cold during the day (like this Tuesday will stay in the low 30s) or when its in the teens overnight.

    So I use less wood with the non cat, but it also comes at the expense of more restarts (which I am getting good at). But when it is really cold, it is also costing my more in electric heat (while the stove is getting back up to temps on the reload/restarts). There is some wood that I burned in the cat stove that was not needed when it warmed up in during the day.
  5. neumsky

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 25, 2011
    Oklahoma City
    Thanx Green Energy...will put this info to good use...appreciate you! Jeff
  6. 4wheelcycle

    New Member

    Feb 5, 2012
    I started burning wood in 1977 as a NJ transplant to NH. I knew nothing about burning wood or about creosote. When it was in the 20's or 30's outside I burned low smoky fires (and made lots of fluffy creosote), then when it got below zero I burned hot fires. I guess I was lucky for a while and burned off my creosote during during the cold spells without starting any chimney fires. Finally my bad ways caught up with me and I had a real chimney fire, with damage to my masonry flue. I was too poor/cheap to reline the flue at that time, so I installed an original Jotul 118 (with cast moose and woodcutters) on my other masonry flue in the same chimney (downstairs location, under the Defiant).

    I burned the Jotul consistently at moderate to hot levels and never got any appreciable creosote. From 1980 to 2010 I only had to clean once every three years or so and I never had any creosote build up. I only got soot when I cleaned. Maybe I got what others call fine creosote dust. If it was in the 20's or 30's outside I burned short hot fires and if it was cold I burned longer or more frequent hot fires.

    Last summer I replaced the Jotul with a new Fireview. I didn't do it on purpose to switch to a cat; I did it because (a) I had warped the inside baffles on the Jotul and could no longer fit in a stacked triangle of decent-size splits and (b) I have always admired the beauty of the Fireview and I wanted to get a glass-front stove. I only live ten miles form the Woodstock Soapstone home office and assembly plant.

    Now that I have had half a winter with the Fireview I really love it. It holds twice the wood as the Jotul, but it seems to give off good heat for at least twice as long, if not longer. I am also burning longer, lower fires with more even heat over the burn compared to the Jotul. With the Jotul I would have a shorter hot fire, then a cool period, then another hot fire.

    At first I was concerned I might be getting creosote with the longer, lower burns, but so far the part of the flue I can see easily shows only a thin coating of brown powder. Woodstock Soapstone assures me the cat is burning the exhaust gas components that might otherwise be deposited as creosote, even thought my mid- to late-burn flue surface temps are at or below 250 F.

    At the end of the first season I'll do a complete cleaning and I'll see if I get any creosote. One thing I have definitely noticed is that when the cat is engaged I only get vapor out of my chimney top, I don't seem to get any real smoke.
  7. SmokeyCity

    Feeling the Heat

    Mar 6, 2011
    Western Pa
    My 30NC has donated 1 large coffee can full of fudge brownies since the fall burning season started. Much much better since I removed the magic heatasote reclaimer.

    quote author="leeave96" date="1324961440"]Well, we've been burning since about September 15th, have burned through 2-1/2 cords of wood in
    the process. I like to give my chimney a cleaning around the first of the year and with the break between Christmas and New Year's Day, I went about this chore.

    The Woodstock Keystone (cat stove) is on an interiior chimney, 6 inch rigid with 1/2 insulation. The Englander 30-NCH (non-cat stove) is on an exterior chimney, Metalbest, 6 inch with a chase around it.

    Our weather in my neck of the woods has been colder than normal, hence firing the stoves in mid-September, however, December has been relatively mild. Typically, we burn the Keystone 24/7 or near it and fire off the Englander when the temps plunge. Though we burn the Keystone constantly, we have put about 1-1/2 cord through it and 1 cord through the Englander. The Keystone's firebox is about 1.5 cu ft and the Englander's is 3.5 cu ft. Whatever the real measurements are, we typically load double the amount of wood into the Englander and sometimes more. Both stoves are great burning stoves.

    So - here's what I got today: The Keystone chimney gave-up 1-1/2 quarts of grainy, coffee ground, black creosote. The Englander gave-up 1 quart of very fine, almost dust/dirt like creosote.

    Given my learning curve with the Englander, I expected more creosote, but was surprised at the lack of it.

    For the Keystone, I clean it top down. For the Englander, I set the chimney such that I can do it bottom up - and it worked like a champ. I use flexible rods that screw together with a poly brush. I also have a Soot Eater gizmo and used it to clean the stove pipe. On the Keystone, it is vented horizontally into the liner. I used on section of the Soot Eater and put it throught the top vent opening (which is otherwise capped) and brushed via cordless drill back to the tee - worked great. For the Englander, I took down the stove pipe and used the Soot Eater to clean that too.

    The SS cat I am burning this year on the Keystone is working great. It had a bit of fly ash plugging some openings, but was otherwise clean. I vacuumed the cat, took down the scoop, vacuumed it too.


    How's your stove doing at halftime? How much creosote are you getting vs. wood consumed this year?

  8. Oldhippie

    Minister of Fire

    Dec 18, 2011
    I was at the 50/50 Diner in Fitchburg the other day and talking to a friend over lunch and he is thinking of replacing an older insert he has in his house. A older gent just behind us interrupts and says he's got a beauty in his barn he'll sell cheap. Seems he took out an old Defiant and put in one of these pellet stoves. Had it a year and uninstalled it and put the old trusty Defiant back.

    He says between the daily weekly maintenance and the noise it was a PITA, plus he missed being independent and the idea of buying the pellets rubbed him the wrong way.

    Not the first time I've heard about the maintenance of Pellets stoves being an issue.
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