Efficient burn temps for Efel Kamina

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Cleartron

New Member
Nov 18, 2021
4
Norwalk, CT
Hi All,

The Mrs. and I recently moved into a house with our first “fireplace”. We have never lit a fire until this year so we knew nothing about it. But, given that our home has electric baseboard heat (built in the 70s) I will be attempting to heat with wood for as long as possible this season.

I have learned how to run our older Efel upstairs and will be running the downstairs Avalon Olympic insert less frequent since I’m in the process of replacing the blowers this weekend and haven’t had the time to play around with it.

I have two questions. First, what temperature should I be running the Kamina at for optimal performance. I’ve seen these little thermostats that go on the outside but the “optimal” zone varies from one brand to another.

Second, with the very small hearth there, could you recommend a newer, more efficient side loading wood stove that I can investigate if I wanted to replace it? The stove is in excellent condition and really puts out heat, but I’ve heard I might be able to heat just as good with half the wood, so I’m open to options.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read. I look forward to any pointers or advice.

Cheers

90B90558-0A16-4B63-8198-4371FF6B7200.jpeg DE54404B-A7AA-422E-9A61-DED4F9BAC91A.jpeg 9F40C207-387E-499A-A0D6-6600675B52C2.jpeg
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,415
NE PA
The object burning any stove is keeping the chimney flue above 250*f all the way to the top while smoke is present. Below this critical temperature, water vapor from combustion condenses on the pipe and flue walls allowing smoke particles to stick. This forms creosote.

Surface thermometers read about 1/2 the actual inside flue gas temperature. Then allow for cooling before it exits the top. That is the reason chimney flies should be insulated to stay hotter inside without wasting heat up the chimney to keep it hot. A big factor is chimney flue diameter. Larger diameter than the stove outlet allows exhaust gasses to expand and cool. So the flue should be the same size as stove outlet.

Most thermometers have the correct burn zone starting about 250*. This would be about 500* internal which is estimated to cool back down to 250 at the top. This is a huge variable since a chimney pipe increasing in diameter from 6 to 8 inches cools by almost 1/2 where gasses expand. So thermometers zones can vary determining how they calculate heat loss as it rises.

You need to burn hot enough to heat the area, so the stove must be sized to the area properly first, anything below 250 to the top can form creosote rapidly, above that temperature is wasted heat up the chimney. This is why you can’t have an oversize stove in an area and simply burn smaller fires in a stove with a larger chimney.

How much the chimney cools is determined by an interior or exterior chimney, masonry, insulated flue liner, diameter and height.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cleartron

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
706
Wildwood MO
Second, with the very small hearth there, could you recommend a newer, more efficient side loading wood stove that I can investigate if I wanted to replace it? The stove is in excellent condition and really puts out heat, but I’ve heard I might be able to heat just as good with half the wood, so I’m open to options.
Woodstock makes a few side load stoves there are a few with as little as 6"-8" clearance to combustibles in the front. You could also extend the hearth. There should 16" of hearth in front of the Avalon, if not since its elevated you might get by with ember protection only. Not sure on the Efel, for ember protection I used 16ga steel over my hardwood.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Cleartron