Q&A thermostatic control of woodstoves

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QandA

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Nov 27, 2012
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Question:

In reading up on wood stoves, I have read that the furnace type wood stoves allow a person to control the fire with a thermostat. In talking with John who owns such a stove, he implied that it works quite well. We want to purchase a Waterford Trinity MK II (non catalytic) which does not seem to have any type of thermostatic control. Does anybody sell a retrofit kit that would use a thermostat to control a damper for controlling outside air to the stove. Would that concept work? If not, why? What kind of problems would occur.



Answer:

Thermostatic control on space heating woodstoves is not usually needed. I found that wood has a mind of it's own. Different wood, split sizes, weather and many other factors has an effect on how a fire burns. In my experience, a thermostat has a difficult time keeping up with these variables and can sometimes even adversely affect combustion by shutting the stove down (and causing creosote) at the wrong time. Most modern stoves burn very clean and are easy to control.

I have seen retrofits, but these would not fit on most modern stoves. One idea is to install a barometric draft regulator in the stovepipe, which can help even out a burn by regulation of the chimney draft. Ask your stove installer or chimney professional.
 
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