Q: How does wood burn?
A: As wood is heated it first gives up its moisture. After the water boils off and its temperature is increased to 450°F. the wood particles begin evolving volatiles. Thereafter the volatiles and fixed carbon mix with oxygen and burn separately. All of the visible flames in wood fire are from combustion of the volatiles.
Q: Does that mean that ignition occurs
A: No….Wood is composed of 79% combustibles and 21% water and ash. First the water boils off then at 450°F the wood particles begin evolving volatiles. Carbon ignites between 765°F and 1115°F the volatiles, which include hydrogen, Methane, Ethylene, Ethane, Benzene and Carbon Monoxide ignite within a range of 1000°F to 1300°F. The EcoFire™ Super-Grate burns from 1600°F to 2000°F in the combustion zone. The volatiles burn ten to one thousand times as fast as with a normal fire. Burning at higher temperatures is a major factor in reducing pollution.
Q: What temperature does a normal
A: Measurements made in several oak log fires indicated that the maximum temperature of the fire (in the crevice between the logs) was 900°F to 1200°F and that the gas just outside the flame envelope was 200°F to 400°F. A temperature of 900°-1200°F is barely the ignition temperature of the volatiles and results in their slowest reaction rates. Temperatures of 200°-400°F are cool enough to stop any combustion reaction.
Q: Do you use more wood with the EcoFire™
A: Not really…..Per piece the wood will burn minimally faster. However, with the EcoFire™ Super-Grate you are getting the maximum energy and heat out of each log. In order to achieve a roaring fire with a regular grate, you actually end up using more wood.
Q: Does the EcoFire use much electricity?
A: No….because the EcoFire™ Super-Grate runs on a small 25 watt motor. You can burn it all evening for a few pennies.
Q: When would you not suggest the Ecofire
A: I wouldn't suggest it for old masonry fireplaces & chimneys that have not been brought up to code. We strongly suggest that you have your fireplace and chimney inspected by a certified professional, particularly if you are in doubt of it's condition.
Q: What causes chimney fires?
A: Creosote is the residue which coats the inside your chimney. It is primarily caused by smoldering fires, burning unseasoned wood, and/or burning with inadequate ventilation. It is highly combustible. When you have a chimney fire, it is the creosote which ignites and burns at extremely high temperatures -- sometimes hot enough to melt the mortar, metal and crack tile, & bricks. When this happens the frame of the house may be exposed to flames & conductive heat, quickly spreading the fire to the attached walls or roof. The first chimney fire may not burn the house... However, it may do enough damage that the second chimney fire may burn the house down.
Again, we want to stress, if you are uncertain as to the condition of your fireplace or chimney, or if you think that you might have had a chimney fire it is well worth the effort to call in a professional. Having a qualified chimney sweep inspect and clean your fireplace & chimney is it's own insurance policy.
Some ways to prevent chimney fires include: