Installing a supplemental heater to warm your home is a great way to keep the wintry cold at bay, and coal stoves are a popular choice. If you have operated a stove for any period of time, you may have left the ash door open and caused the coal stove to overheat. Overheating is not simply inconvenient but can also pose significant safety risks, such as house fires. Left unchecked, it could also damage your stove.
Consider some of the steps below that you can take to avoid the risks associated with overheating and optimize the performance of your stove.
Implement Appropriate Draft Regulation Features
An important consideration when addressing overheating is checking the air intake rate and other aspects of the draft regulation. Air intake rate affects both combustion and heat control. You check the air intake rate by measuring the chimney draft; this will tell you the amount of air going through the stove and, by extension, the heat output. You check the draft with a manometer (draft gauge). The owner’s manual will specify the necessary range. Install a barometric damper into the flue to reduce the draft (air moving through the stove).
Most household coal heaters use a manual damper, but thermostatic dampers are more popular for larger furnaces and automated ones. After choosing the correct damper, properly adjust it to allow sufficient air intake to maintain the desired heat output. Note that if the glass on your stove is broken or has a leaky gasket, you can neither control incoming air nor regulate the burn rate. Please do not use it until you replace the faulty parts.
Proper Installation and Operation
Some cases of overheating are the result of poor installation. Begin by checking whether you installed your stove properly, per the manufacturer’s instructions. All the gaskets should also be in place and in good condition to prevent potential leaks, which significantly affect performance. Confirm whether the openings of your stove, including the door, are properly closed.
Check the Heat Controls
A common cause of overheating could be your coal stove’s heat control system, which determines the heat output. Some units use a manual control, while others use an automatic control system. To confirm whether it works on a boiler, find the operating aquastat, turn it to its lowest possible setting, and check whether the heat level has reduced. In a manual system, turning the heat control down should reduce air input and slow down the coal fire. The air damper should respond to the change and reduce heat output if yours is controlled by a wall-mounted thermostat system, which is common on hot air furnaces.
Practice Regular Maintenance
Like all other household appliances, coal stoves function best when they get proper attention regularly. Considering relevant heating appliance maintenance tips will extend the life of your stove and ensure better performance. These include keeping the appliance clean, keeping parts in good working condition, and following the directions provided by the manufacturer. Putting these tips into practice and addressing the concerns mentioned above should minimize the chances of overheating and reduce appliance downtime.