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How does a modern wood stove work?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jeffatus, Oct 2, 2006.

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  1. jeffatus

    jeffatus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Southeast Michigan
    Ok, my wife thinks I am a geek for putting more than a moments thought into this, but I am curious about how my wood stove works (as far as air flow, inlet air tubes/holes, secondary burn, etc). I told her that it must be because the man's brain is more analytical, and, therefore, smarter. Anyway, the first wood stove I really looked at was an old franklin type stove up at our hunting cabin. When you opened the door, you could see that the air flow/smoke just went right up the chimney. In my new Century stove, I am intrigued by the air tubes along the top of the box that have holes directed towards the front. The next thing I noticed was that air/smoke can't just go right up the chimney....I can't even see the chimney from opening the door. So I am assuming that the air must be directed around the top plate before it can exit, thereby increasing/improving(?) airflow around the logs.

    I have been searching for diagrams that shows how the system works, but with no luck. Are other manufactures (non-cat) built with the same design, aside from minor proprietary tweaks? Is there anyone that could tell me where I can find this information? Part of my reasoning to find this out is so I can more efficiently use my stove, the other reasoning is that I am just curious too see what's going on.

    Thanks for your help

    Jeff Thornton

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    P.E. stove. secondary burn chamber ( baffle )
    Pacific Energy.gif
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2013
  3. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,069
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    In a nutshell, here goes.

    Primary air is drawn into the stove through the air controls on the front. The air that you can control. Primary air passes over and through the burning wood and combustion occurs. But it is incomplete combustion so there are combustible gases left in the exhaust headed up to the flue.

    Secondary air is introduced through ports in the stove that you cannot control. Secondary air is drawn in through these ports and routed through the tubes in the top of your fire box. When this air combines with the combustible gases at the top of the fire box either the flames below it or, in the case of a hot fire box, the high temperature creates a secondary or tertiary burn of the left over combustible gases before they can exit up the flue.

    It's magic. The stove genie does it.
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