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With the continuing rise of fuel prices, wood and coal burning have become the “in” things once again.
While burning wood or coal is a pleasure, there are procedures that should be followed to ensure the best
possible experience. We hope these tips help as you learn or relearn the process.
Good luck and most of all, be patient!
1. Read the manual supplied with your unit. It gives invaluable information for operating and maintaining the fireplace, insert, furnace, or stove. You will also find the terms of the manufacturer supplied warranty located here.
2. Use good quality fuel! What does this mean? Here are some pointers:
3. Clean, clean, clean!! Wood / coal burning is enjoyable, but it also involves some work. Here are some things you will need to do on a daily basis:
4. Do a visual inspection of the unit itself – do all gaskets look good and seal properly, are the surfaces free of any foreign objects, is the glass intact, do all doors latch properly?
5. Make sure to go over entire stove during the summer. This is your annual maintenance and will include some or all of the following depending on your individual unit:
6. Order any needed parts during the summer if possible. This ensures your burning season is not interrupted. Most parts are available in 7-14 business days and some can be shipped directly to you. We try to stock some common parts and gaskets, but it is not possible to stock everything. Remember, most people wait until the last minute to order parts then wait in line to get them - get ahead of the game!!
7. Things to remember!
8. Glossary of terms – hear are some words that are important to be familiar with
This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions here at Bush’s Quality Fireplace. In the hope that we can make your decision a bit easier, we created this paper to show you the pro’s and con’s of both vented and vent free gas products. Purchasing a fireplace is an individual decision. We hope that this helps you to weigh the benefits of each type of fireplace.
Vent Free Fireplaces
•Less realistic flame patterns
• Up to 82% efficient
Burning anthracite coal is an art. It is altogether different than burning wood, but once learned, it will take less time in the long run. These tips are provided as a supplement to the information provided in the manual that came with your coal burning product. Used together, we hope you have years of enjoyable coal burning! Above all else, be patient!
Starting your coal fire:
1. Use paper and kindling to start the fire.
2. Add small pieces of wood after the kindling is burning hot. Make sure your damper and thermostat / draft control are open.
3. Continue adding wood. When you have a good base of red, hot wood coals (3”-4”), start building a coal base. Do a thin layer of coal on top of the wood coals. Wait five to ten minutes and add another thin layer. Repeat this until you have approximately 2” of burning coal.
4. Fill the stove to its maximum level. This is where many people make a mistake. Coal burns from bottom up. You must have coal above the base to maintain your fire.
5. Once the coal ignites and you see blue flames, adjust your damper and thermostat / draft control.
Don’t burn coal until the outside temperature is below 55 degrees all day. If the temperatures rise above this, your chimney will not be able to develop enough draft.
1. If you don’t have kindling, you can use Matchlight charcoal. Spread the charcoal until the grates are barely covered. Place a small amount of anthracite on top but don’t cover the charcoal completely. Open your damper and thermostat / damper control. Light the charcoal. When you have blue flames, add more coal as in #5 above.
2. Before you start burning, make sure your chimney is drafting up. Some chimneys, especially those that sit on the outside of the house, tend to want to draft down. You can reverse your draft by sticking a piece of newspaper into the flue of your stove and lighting it. This will help warm the chimney and reverse the draft. Some people have success with heat guns or torches as well.
3. Never poke into the bed of coal. This will break it up and you might lose your fire. Only poke around the edges to get rid of dead ash if necessary
.4. Use high quality, low ash coal.
Shaking down your stove:
1. Most people can get on a schedule of shaking the stove down two times a day. In colder weather, this number could increase.
2. Shake only a hot stove. If the fire is low, follow these steps:
• Open your damper and thermostat / draft control completely.
• Shake the coal slightly to help get some air.
• Add more coal if needed.
• When the fire is burning hot again, shake the stove thoroughly.
3. Use vigorous short motions when shaking. On many stoves, if you go too far, you could dump your coal bed.
4. If you shake your coal and only see ash in the ash pan, shaking is not complete. Continue shaking until you see dots of red coal in the ash pan. Remember, coal is a much denser material than wood and will create greater amounts of ash.
1. Don’t let the ash pan fill with ash to the point of touching the grates. This causes a forge effect and will result in bowed grates.
2. The glass will get dirty when you use wood to start your coal fire. This can be cleaned with oven cleaner or specially formulated cleaners made for cleaning creosote from glass.
3. Exhaust and ash from coal contain sulfur. This can damage pipe much faster than exhaust from wood fires. You can help neutralize this and lengthen the life of your pipe by making slurry from baking soda and water. Soak a rag in the mixture and swab the inside of the pipe. You can wrap the rag around a chimney brush to accomplish this.
4. Do maintenance in the summer months. Order any needed parts during the summer if possible. This ensures your burning season is not interrupted. Most parts are available in 7-14 business days and some can be shipped directly to you. We try to stock some common parts and gaskets, but it is not possible to stock everything. Remember, most people wait until the last minute to order parts then wait in line to get them - get ahead of the game!!
1. Use caution when loading the stove or opening any doors. Doors should be opened slowly allowing air to enter the stove and combustion gases to exit into the pipe.
2. Don’t leave your ash pan open. This introduces large amounts of air into the burn chamber and can result in damage to the stove.