Energy Efficient Wood Heat with a Catalytic Fireplace Insert

[Music] Hey it's Brock here with Rock Hill Farms And today we're going to build a fire in My high efficiency fireplace insert and Then we're just going to watch it burn For a while and have a conversation About what makes this a high efficiency Unit how it compares to an open Fireplace and a wood stove and a wood Boiler and just share some of my Thoughts on this type of a insert so Should be a lot of fun let's get started So the first thing I need to do before I Start a fire is reinstall the catalytic Element So we'll pop this open And we've got four bolts in the lid of It right here I don't think that's the right Terminology that this is a lid this is Uh goes in between your actual fire It's kind of like looks like the roof of The Firebox but it actually just Separates your catalytic element from The Firebox Okay we've got our four bolts out and This drops down Sure These will all vary depending on what Kind of stove you have but mine's just This flat plate Okay so then I pulled it one bolt out [Music] A little tip taparoo and it'll fall out

Then our element that we've cleaned goes In here And then we put it back in place So there are like four little hooks that That tray slides up into the hooks tabs Slide over those hooks and hold it in Place then you put the bolt on To really secure it That's not something you need to get Super tight and now that that's in place We'll put this tray back in [Music] [Music] Foreign Just saw the yearly maintenance for this Which is not bad at all I think before We do this I'll go ahead and check the Moisture level on This wood I've got It's all Hardwood Primarily Oak but there's a few Different things we'll check it on the End first this is 9.3 on the end 15 to 20 is dry enough Foreign this is 8.5 So this is well beyond dry enough for Firewood And I was particular knowing I was doing This video to make sure that I brought In some wood that was as well seasoned As anything I have but I also brought in Some wood that may not be so this is Some of the Walnut I've been working With

And I believe this is off the tree I cut This down a year ago but it's only been Split for a couple weeks so let's see What we got 21.8 Check this piece This is Hackberry Same story with it basically 22 so all of this looks like it's up in The 20s Low 20s 21 22 This piece 16 So it's not terrible but this is a Little bit wet but I'm gonna burn it Anyway it's a conversation that's Important to have while we're doing this Is it's very important what you put in Your wood stove even more so probably With the high efficiency units A mistake I made when I was younger was Burning Junk and you don't want to burn Cardboard or plywood scraps or anything Like that you want to use good seasoned Firewood so let's get this thing going Huh These are just some generic fire Starters Foreign [Applause] [Music] All right So let's just watch that burn for a Minute then I'll go over some features

On the stove and some things I should Have mentioned while I was lighting this So there's a hundred different ways to Build a wood fire and everyone's got Their own techniques whether they're Using newspaper or whatever the case may Be what I did was put down three pieces Of that really seasoned dry firewood and Then I laid pieces of fat wood across it And then I alternated directions and This thing is built a huge fire very Quickly it's already getting really hot To sit next to it and I think it's been Let me actually check see how long it's Been It's been 15 minutes since I first lit This fire and it's really taken off How the difference between building any Other Fire and Building A Fire Inside Your Home is obviously you don't want Any smoke or as little amount of Possible as smoke to filter out into Your house And what prevents smoke from coming into Your house besides when the door is Fully closed it's sealed but as you're Building your fire and starting it The only thing that keeps that smoke From coming back into the house is an Updraft and that updraft is caused when There's enough heat that heat is Naturally pulling up and out the chimney And that pulls the smoke with it so You want to get that heated up pretty

Quickly to help prevent and when it's First starting the big takeaway there is When your Fire's first starting you Don't want to open this door any more Than you have to until it's hot enough That you're not going to get that smoke Back into the house So when you're starting a fire in one of These inserts you want to open these Vents right here these vents are what Suck air in for the fire this one Primarily brings air into the bottom Front And so you've got air feeding right There And then the other one brings air Actually to the top You know what this is getting so hot to Set next to I'm actually going to go Ahead and partially close these now That's going to Partially Starve the fire of air And slow down the burn rate So this fire has been burning for about 20 minutes and about three or four Minutes ago I partially closed the air Intakes to slow the rate of burn down The second thing that I haven't Mentioned yet that you want to do before Starting your fire is you want to open This damper right here it's actually a Bypass Now when I open that the way it is right

Now pulled out Smoke's going straight up out the back Of the stove up the flue out the chimney Then after the fire gets going you Monitor this temperature gauge right Here when it passes 500 Degrees you want To close that and that causes your smoke To bypass and come around and go through Your catalytic burner and re-burn any Combustibles that are still in your Smoke My temperature gauge right here shows The stove's now up to a thousand degrees Recommended burn temperature is 800 to 1000 so we don't need it to get any Hotter we actually want to cool it down And let it burn longer I could have Built a much smaller fire in here and That would also be another way to do That but if you want a long burning fire You're going to put more wood in there And just not give it as much oxygen so We're about two hours removed from Lighting this fire I've got the fan Running and the temperature in the room Is coming up Currently The stove is burning at about 500 Degrees So we've cooled it off a lot by running It with these vents closed and if you Look in there you're really not seeing Much flame so let's open those back up And as soon as I open those you can see

It the flame kicks back on I wonder if This fan is making it harder to hear me We'll turn off the fan for the rest of The video but that fan comes on Automatically when the stove gets hot And then you've got a manual control you Can override that But as you can see right there if we Leave those open We could cook ourselves out of the house Pretty quickly but you're wasting a lot Of wood that way too so I filmed my Conclusion of this video hours ago and Gave all my thoughts on it and wrapped Up the video and I thought I'm getting Ready to add some wood to it and stir The fire up might as well show that too So most of all the wood that's in here Is just coals now We've got a fantastic bed of hot coals The two pieces on the outside are barely Burned at all So we'll put those back in move those Into the center on top of the coals So if I was going to be here the rest of The day I wouldn't have messed with that At all But I just stoked it and really got it Burning hot the way I did because I'm Going to be leaving for about the next Four hours my wife will be home in about An hour but this way she won't have to Mess with this and when I get back it Should still be burning hot I'll

Probably add some more wood before going To bed So I've been gone for several hours the Fire has been going for Seven and a half hours And it's cooled way off we're down to 200 degrees but the house is still warm It's actually 75 in the house right now And that's Thermostat is not in here by the stove It's down the hallway We've got a decent bed of coals here but For the most part the wood that I Started this fire with is almost gone so You saw what I put in there And figure that seven or eight hours of Heating your house And that essentially means And I can fill this back up and we Should be good for all night I'm telling you the in-house temperature So I guess it would be relevant to tell You the outside temperature the high Today was high 30s and I think it's in The 20s right now so we'll open these Vents back up for a little bit I'm Guessing this will start right back up Okay [Applause] It honestly probably didn't need re-lit It would have Taken back off on its own so now you've Seen one day of burning in this type of An insert now I'm going to jump back in

Time a little bit and give you my Thoughts on this type of insert compared To a wood burning Open fireplace and a regular wood stove So the conversation about the different Types of wood burning appliances isn't Going to be comprehensive it's just Going to be my experiences and some Things I like and some things I would Stay away from so when I was a kid my Grandparents and my dad had a shop that Ran a outdoor wood boiler those things Are versatile because they're so big you Can put your big chunks of wood in there That are harder to split you actually Are better off using bigger chunks of Wood so that means less work splitting But it also in my experience it's Seems like it's less efficient at using The heat than some of the other options And you've got to go outside to tend Your fire which Is not ideal on those really super cold Bad weather days if I've got the ability I like to just stay in the house next Thing whenever I was in my mid-20s so 15 Years ago I guess We had a wood stove we actually moved Into a house that didn't have a heat Source so I had to figure something out And we bought a pot belly wood stove Nothing fancy like this it didn't have The glass on the door just an old pot Belly wood stove

And I think two or might have been three Years we heated the home entirely with That wood stove And those put off a tremendous amount of Heat but there are some negatives to Them number one they occupy a big Section of your house because not only The size of the stove but you really Can't put anything within six feet of it Or more and it's a safety concern And I think they might be a little bit More of a fire hazard so that's the Least expensive option and it has its Uses especially the best use I think for A wood boiler or a traditional wood Stove like that is in a workshop or Somewhere where you have that available Space and you can just clear off away From it and you're not running it 24 7. Now let's talk about fireplaces the House we lived in before this one had Two fireplaces actually and they used The same chimney one was upstairs one Was downstairs in the basement and the One upstairs was completely open and it Was a corner fireplace so you could see It from two sides and it was huge the Firebox on that was four foot long And Two and a half three foot deep this Fireplace was enormous And you could build a big fire in there But

And when we moved in I really liked it I Liked that it was neat but I got where I absolutely didn't use it I Didn't even want to use it as a backup Heat Source like an emergency situation Because They don't necessarily draft well it was My experience That With that it didn't have any doors on it So whenever That fire was just starting or when it Was just going out it would stop Drafting and smoke up the whole house And the worst thing that you could have Happen is have your fire go out Overnight And stop Drafting and fill your house With smoke so in my opinion I'm no Expert on any of this A completely open fireplace like that is Really dangerous Now the downstairs fireplace in that House had doors on it But it wasn't sealed doors they were Kind of flimsy and you could slide them Closed it helped some and I never I didn't really love burning in That either it was a little bit safer in My opinion than the other one that was Completely open but it wasn't efficient They say I don't know Exact numbers but I have looked it up That you're getting about 25 percent of

The heat from that fireplace coming into Your house On those older open style and this one Can be as much as 75 percent of the heat From the fire coming into your house Obviously One big thing is that I'm able to Completely control my burn rate by Controlling my airflow and the amount of Fuel I put in rather than only having The one input The second reason is it's re-burning all Of that smoke so on an open fireplace All your smoke just goes out the chimney And It's lost it's gone and some of it Crystallizes as creosote on the walls of Your chimney But in this scenario That catalytic burner is taking that Smoke and burning it a second time Generating more heat and putting out Cleaner exhaust is more environmentally Friendly the other reason this is more Energy efficient is that it's got the Fans built into it it brings air on all Sides of this Firebox and pushes that Heat out into the house so your fire Doesn't have to be as hot to heat the House there's a lot of other variations On heating a home with wood but I can't Talk about them because I don't have Experience with them I can only talk About what I know I have no affiliation

With this brand or any other brand of Wood heat I have no reason to recommend Them but if you're going to burn wood For heat I would absolutely spend that Extra Amount of money and get one of these High efficiency fireplace inserts Anyway I appreciate you taking time to Watch this video I'll put links on the Screen to a couple more of our videos I'll see you next time

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