Contrary to popular belief, a wood fireplace can get too hot. Many people think the more wood the better, right? That is not entirely true. In this article, we will discuss overfiring and why it's an important concept to understand so you can keep your wood stove or fireplace for years to come.
Overfiring happens when your wood fireplace gets hotter than it can handle. This can happen for a few reasons. The first reason is putting too much fuel in the fireplace. You don't need every square inch of the firebox to be full of wood for the fire to burn hot. Doing so will actually cause the fireplace to warp. So, check the manual when you get your appliance to see what type of wood and how much is best for optimal burning.
In addition to adding too much fuel, adding too much kindling can also be a problem. It's tempting to use softwoods, OSB sheathing, or other materials with flammable glues to get the fire burning more quickly. Though, engineered materials can cause overly hot fires that will warp the top of your fireplace or stove if used frequently. Stick with hardwoods and smaller-sized kindling that helps your fire to burn but doesn't take over the show.
Having too much air flow is another way overfiring can happen. You shouldn't keep the door to a wood stove open constantly. That amount of air will increase combustion and cause overfiring. Only use pumping bellows in the case of a stagnant fire. You don't need to continually use air pumping tools... even if they are fun.
To be certain of the temperature of your fire stays where it should, you can attach a thermometer to the flue if you have a stove. If your fire still burns too hot after checking the airflow and fuel usage, you may have an issue with the venting. Once you get to the point where you see the warping of the appliance, you'll know you have overfired your fireplace. Though, at that point, there isn't much you can do to fix the damage. The best way to deal with overfiring is to not do it in the first place.
Should you have any other questions or concerns about overfiring please our NFI certified techs at 800.203.1642