Exploitation :

Burning

         If you do not use a fireplace or masonry heater continuously, especially during the cold season, smoke channels become damp and cold and therefore circulation problems may occur when trying to burn it. This happens because the cold air in smoke channels and chimney prevents hot gas from traveling through them. In other words, there is no circulation. Experienced stove makers suggest opening the top cleaning duct doors and burning there a piece of paper or lath. The cold air will warm up in the canal this way opening the way for hot gases. Gradually, smoke channels will warm up and circulation will stabilise as well as smell of smoke will disappear.
To aid the ignition of the stove, it is advisable to place a piece of paper followed by few laths and small logs. Then light up the paper and close the burning duct door leaving the door for air supply open. If ignition is still not good enough, you can slightly open the burning duct door.
Fuel for masonry heaters and fireplaces

          It is advisable to use birch, oak, maple tree or black alder logs to burn in masonry heaters and fireplaces as they give out more heat as well as provide an equal and quiet combustion. Birch and oak wood is regarded as solid wood; such logs burn with a tranquil flame and masonry stove heats up well. Soft type wood (fir, pine, etc.) burns faster, produces lots of sparks and less heat. It is not worth using logs that are too dry as they will burn quickly. The best is to use firewood that is kept in the woodshed with the roof. Such wood is naturally moist and burns well. Birchwood produces lots of soot but it burns for a long time.  Burning black alder, alder or aspen logs emit soot which settles onto smoke channels. When burning damp wood, stove heats up slower and moisture builds up on the walls of smoke channels, more ash appears in the main burner chamber and as a result masonry heater efficiency ratio decreases.    
         Firewood logs should be not too big nor too small – they should be 2/3 or 3/4 of depth comparing to the burning duct.
When ships and small logs flame up, 2/3 of the burning duct should be filled up with the firewood. Burning duct should be topped up with more firewood before it completely burns down.
It is not recommended to top up burning duct often with only few logs.

Firewood burning

      The burning time and intensity of firewood as well as efficiency ratio depends on the supply of the air to the burning duct and its control via latches as well as dampness, type and quantity of logs. Smaller logs in larger quantities are used to maintain the intensity of combustion. Slower combustion can be achieved by using smaller amount of larger logs. It is worth noting that frequent use of a slow burning mode is more likely to result in contamination of the burning duct, smoke channels and glass door. During the optimal burning, firewood is burning calmly, there is no humming noise and flame is of golden colour. Burning duct door must be closed for the better emission of heat as well as reasons of fire safety.  It is not advisable to open the burning duct door swiftly in order to avoid retraction and smoke appearance in the room.
              Very often masonry heater or fireplace produces smoke due to chimney elevation or its diameter being too small.

Exploitation and maintenance of smoke channels

           Maintenance of smoke channels must be carried out in accordance with fire safety requirements. Technical condition of smoke channels should be checked once a year. Cleaning of the masonry heater including its smoke channels – also small repairs if needed, needs to be carried out before the heating season. If there is a need, this can be done during the heating season also. Checks and cleaning should be carried out by specialists.
Circulation in masonry heater may depend on meteorological conditions, wind gusts, fog and low atmospheric pressure.
At the end of the heating season, smoke channels must be cleaned via the lee door. A good cleaning method for smoke channels is to burn aspen logs or potato peelings.

During the exploitation of masonry heaters or fireplaces it is strictly forbidden to:

  ·  Change the design of the masonry heater or fireplace without consulting with the stove maker;
  ·  To use it in a non-intended manner;
  ·  Burn household waste, plastic and other substances that may cause fire in smoke ducts and chimney; furthermore, burning of the household waste pollutes the environment;
  ·  Pour water into the burning duct or onto coal;
  ·  Hang onto the stove and dry flammable materials;
  ·  Clean burning duct before it completely cooled down;
  ·  Use a masonry heater or fireplace that is in disrepair (masonry heater or fireplace produces smoke, has cracks through which you can see flame or how smoke travels, etc.);
  ·  Leave children near the masonry heater or fireplace unattended;
  ·  Light up the stove or fireplace by using flammable liquids (petrol, kerosene, acetone, etc.)






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