The importance of a stove thermometer on any wood burner cannot be stressed too much. This cheap and easily installed device can indicate to the user the combustion rate of the stove is either too low,at it's most efficient or too high. To ensure minimum maintenance, which is necessary on any domestic appliance, the equipment must run at the most efficient rate. This obviously ensures that any necessary attention to the heating appliance is kept to a minimum. Whilst we seek to ensure the heat supplied is sufficient to create a relaxing warm environment it is also necessary from to ensure that the fuel is used in the most efficient.
Obviously economy of fuel use is most important but whilst best combustion means that there are monetary savings it also ensures that because of efficient burning there is no build up of wood tars such as creosote which can cause problems with flue fires and contamination of air by smoke and fumes. Most wood burners would be fitted with a stove fan to ensure even distribution of heat and increased fuel efficiency and whilst these items are fairly robust the subjection to excess temperatures over the course of time will lead to a breakdown of the electrical components.
The three temperature ranges indicated by most thermometers are:
1. Too low or creosote zone which is when the heat produces a residue from the wood called creosote a tarry substance which builds up in the stove and flue and causes discoloration and is a fire risk in the chimney. This is nominally less than 110 °C
2. Best or optimum temperature 115 °C – 245°C (240°F – 475°F) beneficent burning,minimal residue and best value for money and least harmful to appliance and with the aid of a stove fan air circulation maximum comfort in the room
3. Overheating which can cause electrical damage to fans and equipment so indicates dampening of airflow probably required could occur if the temperature reaches 245 °C (475°F)
The stove thermometer should be attached to the stove top and ideally to the flue by wire which is usually supplied with it. Most are magnetic and therefore do not need extra securing but if attached by another method of retention it ensures they cannot be knocked of and burn either people or furnishings.
They are easily installed by the owner and if the stove thermometer is correctly monitored and notice taken of the readings and action taken they should pay for themselves in a very short time by better fuel consumption and less maintenance costs.