Q&A catalytic vs. non-cat

QandA Posted By QandA, Dec 2, 2007 at 6:17 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    We live in N.H. and we are trying to decide which woodstove to buy: a Jotul Firelight or a HearthStone Phoenix. We have a few questions:
    1) We hear rumors that the woodstove industry is going to be discontinuing production of stoves with catalytic converters. How true is this? If so, why?
    2) One dealer (which does not carry stoves with catalytic converters) says that their efficiency decreases after only 20 hours of burning. Is this so?
    3) We will primarily be heating with wood (we will have backup). The space we will be heating is new construction, well-insulated walls and windows, about 2,000 square feet, open concept. The only heat to the second story is from rising heat. Which stove would you recommend?
    4) On sunny days we will only need a minimal amount of heat from the stove. Some days we will only need an early morning fire, but solar gain will hold the house for the rest of the day. Could we burn the Firelight low and/or for short periods of time, but not damage the cat? How do we determine the correct temperature?


    1. Not true in any way, shape or form. I would not purchase from that dealer because of this misinformation alone!
    2. Well, only about 5% true. If you look at a chart of catalytic activity, the first hundred hours or so is the best, then it goes down a very slight amount and stays that way for YEARS...so, in the real world, what he said does not mean anything.
    3. The Jotul in this case has a much bigger firebox and will have a much longer burn time. If you want to consider HearthStone, look at their bigger model, the Mansfield.
    4. Both stoves will take a while to heat up, since they are both heavy (high mass)...but they will also stay warm a bit after the fire dies down. If you want a little fire, you might not even engage the cat.... Actually, cat stoves are know for burning better at low outputs, so this should be no problem...

    12/2007 The Jotul Firelight is now only available as a non-catalytic unit. This does not in any way indicate that the industry has abandoned catalytic technology. It is still very prevalant and a viable option for many wood burners.
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