- Preparing for the firebox
- Traction check
- Kindling tab
- Main bookmark
- Combustion control
- Completion of the furnace
- Safe heating of the furnace
The efficient and long-term operation of solid fuel stoves depends on the correct combustion. Behind a seemingly simple process lies the skill of laying, lighting and burning control, which reduces its own efforts and ensures an economical consumption of firewood or coal.
The heating of the oven depends on its condition. A thin layer of soot of 1–2 mm reduces the heat absorption of the walls, which leads to high fuel and time consumption. Clean chimneys and combustion chamber in summer, seal cracks, and heat a working stove in winter.
Preparing for the firebox
What is needed to fire the stove:
- A poker, the length of which depends on the size of the firebox – usually about a meter.
- Tin scoop narrower than the blower door.
- Thick gloves (canvas) to protect hands from heat and burns when accidentally touching the hot door.
The furnaces use different fuels, but the correct one is always prepared and dry. During combustion, moisture in raw materials turns into steam, which cools the furnace channels and settles on the walls in the form of condensate.
Let’s dispel the myth: “Moistened coal burns better.” The roots of the misconception come from extremely low-quality fuel, containing a lot of dust, caking solid mass, blocking the grates and preventing traction. Wet particles form lumps and combustion-promoting air flows between them. Wet high-quality coal burns worse at first until the water evaporates. Conclusion – drown in lumps, not dust.
Pull out the summer gate and the chimney damper (view), slightly open the firebox door and insert your palm into the opening – with good draft, feel the breath. If your hand doesn’t feel anything, check with a lighted match or paper wick. No draft – warm up the flue gas duct by burning paper through the cleaning door at the bottom of the chimney.
After making sure that the stove is in good working order, clean the grate and ash pan from unburned residues. Use a poker to remove the ash from the entire surface of the firebox by pouring it through the grate.
Saved and stored in a dry place waste wood is well suited for ignition. The chips left from chopping firewood, shavings from a hand plane, birch bark or brushwood are used. Especially for kindling, take small, knot-free logs and keep them near the stove, when necessary – cut the splinters with a knife.
First, put the crumpled newspaper on the grate, then the chips and small lumps, add thick wood on top. Arrange the ignition tab, intended for heating the furnace, with a height of one third of the furnace. Close the blower door and light the fire with a paper wick. When the “seed” flares up, lock the firebox and open the blower.
Stack combustible materials closer to each other, completely overlapping the grate so that the air filters through the fuel layer and provides intensive combustion. Air currents passing through an uncovered grate break through the fuel and subcool the flue gases.
Place the second bookmark on the coarse coals from the first portion of the wood. Cover the blower to prevent possible smoke emissions and slowly open the firebox. Use a poker to smooth out the embers and add the firewood, leaving at least 10 cm of free space on top. Close the furnace and open the blower door. Continue to heat the stove by timely adjusting the air supply with the dampers.
When firing with coal, use a separate backfill, which ensures economical consumption and uniform fuel combustion. After the kindling, place a few medium-sized logs and cover the charcoal with a layer of 5–8 cm. As soon as the first layer “disperses”, add the second 10–15 cm thick. As it burns out, add charcoal, keeping a layer of 150 mm.
The combustion process is associated with the flow of air supplied to the furnace. To understand the need to change the draft, look at the fire and listen to the stove:
- Straw color of the flame and light crackling – the correct mode of burning wood.
- Dazzling white color and roar of fire indicate excessive air flow – cover the blower.
- Dark red fire and black smoke – open the blower to increase airflow.
The thickness of the fuel layer also affects the flame: a large tab burns with long and smoky tongues (there is not enough air), and a smaller stack of wood gives a short and white fire. A normal light yellow flame is observed at the recommended fuel fill thickness:
- dry firewood – 25–35 cm;
- lump coal – 9-16 cm;
- peat briquettes – 20-30 cm;
- anthracite – 15-24 cm.
Only even and identical logs burn ideally and without supervision. In practice, during the heating, the wood has to be moved and turned over, achieving uniform burning of the knots.
We will challenge the rule: always heat the stove with a fully open chimney, excluding the possibility of carbon monoxide gases entering the room. In fact, the draft is sometimes excessive and a lot of heat leaves the oven. In such a situation, it is more correct to adjust combustion with both a view and a blower..
Good draft is combined with optimal heating if the flue gas temperature is 250 ° C. It is advisable to periodically check this, for which, during the heating process, put a dry torch into the hole of the view for half an hour. Pulling out a chip, scrape off the soot and find out the temperature of the smoke by the color of the wood:
- Hue unchanged – less than 150 ° C.
- Yellow color – about 200 ° C.
- Dark brown, like rye bread crust – 250 ° C.
- Black – about 300 ° C.
- Luchina burned out – more than 400 ° C.
This way you can find out how much it is necessary to open the regulating flap so that more of the heat contained in the fuel remains in the furnace..
Completion of the furnace
At the end of the firebox, when the flame has disappeared over the coals, push in the view damper halfway. Stir the coals a couple of times, bringing out unburned embers and raking them in the middle. This is especially important for long furnaces, where firewood lying in addition to the grate burns unevenly. The firebox is considered complete when the bluish flame disappears over the coals. After making sure that the wood has completely burned out, wait 5-10 minutes and close all doors and view.
Advice.If it is not possible to control the attenuation of the coals in the brick stove, remove them completely, extinguish and close the valves. This will save you more heat than unburned coals..
Safe heating of the furnace
The operation of stoves is associated with two dangers – fire and waste, which can be avoided by simple rules:
- Plan to finish the firebox no later than 1–2 hours before bedtime or before leaving home.
- Inspect the stove before lighting, looking for traces of soot on the walls.
- Use dry ignition materials, not flammable liquids.
- Heat the stove with the fuel intended for it..
- Control the draft throughout the entire firebox.
- Before closing the chimney, check with a poker for burned out embers..
Heat batch-type brick ovens until the maximum wall temperature is reached, when there is an equilibrium between the heat generated in the oven and transferred to the ambient air. Heat metal solid fuel stoves with small tabs, excluding overheating and deformation of the steel body.