Catalytic Wood Stove vs. Non-Catalytic

September 15, 2016

If you are in the market for a new woodstove, you’ve got some things to consider before taking the plunge. Wood stoves come in two varieties, catalytic and non-catalytic, each with their own pros and cons. Which type of stove you should get depends on several factors including your heating needs and your budget. Let’s first look at the difference between a catalytic wood stove and a non-catalytic wood stove, so you can make the best, most informed decision.

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Catalytic Wood Stove

A catalytic wood stove works just as it sounds like it would, using a catalyst to heat more efficiently. Catalytic wood stoves use a catalytic converter or catalytic combustor to lower the temperature at which smoke within the unit burns, thus allowing it to heat up quicker and more efficiently. As the catalyst gets hotter and hotter, the stove will require a smaller and smaller flame to maintain temperature and continue heating the room. Because the catalyst keeps the stove hot and the smoke inside continues to burn, these stoves require significantly less wood than a traditional wood stove, saving money in the long run.

Non-Catalytic Wood Stove

A non-catalytic wood stove is a traditional stove that burns wood and helps maintain heat using its thick cast iron body. Non-catalytic stoves use an air injector to create a draft within the stove that helps keep the fire burning by providing the flames with oxygen. This air injector helps keep fires burning and hot, but does not keep the stove burning anywhere near as long as the catalyst does in a catalytic stove. Traditional wood stoves also need to be refueled more frequently by adding more wood to the fire as it burns down.

Which is the Best Option for your Home?

Deciding which type of stove is best for your home depends entirely on your needs. Non-catalytic wood stoves cost significantly less, making them the more economical option, but they do not heat as hot, or as efficiently as catalytic stoves. Catalytic stoves on the other hand are more energy efficient and can save in fuel costs in the long run. These stoves also heat rooms better, so if your primary source of heat is your woodstove, these are a much better option. If you just want some supplementary heat and ambiance, a traditional wood stove will serve your needs well. Catalytic stoves also require less maintenance, because they burn with little fuel for hours, whereas a traditional stove will require frequent refueling.

If you are ready to add a wood stove to your home, or to replace an existing one before the temperatures begin to drop here in Maryland, give us at Fireside a call today at 410.203.2876! Our team of professionals can help you determine what qualities are most important to you in a wood stove. Whether you want a little extra heat on frigid winter days, or to replace your existing heat source, we’ve got you covered!