Safe Wood Stove Practice: Knowing the Temperature

The temperature of the flue gases flowing up the chimney from your wood stove is a good measure of how safe your wood-burning practices are. Installing a flue gas thermometer is inexpensive and an easy task to accomplish resulting in exactly knowing what's happening in your stove - at least temperature-wise.

So What is the Right Wood Stove Temperature?
Under 400 degrees F: is the temperature zone that creates nasty deposits in your chimney, the worst of which is creosote. It is these deposits that catch on fire and can spoil a nice relaxing day at the cottage. With the flue gas thermometer you can easily know when it is time to open up the air damper or add more fuel to the fire - both of which will get that flue gases humming at the right temperature again.

Over 900 degrees F: a hot fire can prematurely corrode and degrade the metal flue pipe and the wood stove. When over 900 degrees it is time to stop stoking the fire and turn down the damper.

Between 400 and 900 Degrees F: This is the cozy temperature for a wood stove. At this temperature the wood is burning and converting almost completely and creating very little nasties to gum up your chimney.

Coming Up:
In the next few posts we will describe:
1) What type of thermometer to pick for your stove
2) How to install a thermometer.