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Wood Stove Thermometer

A wood stove thermometer is a critical part for your heating system. Heating at the right temperature will ensure a long life for your stove as well as optimum heating efficiency.

The heating temperature needs to be in the right range or your stove won't function properly. Operating your stove at a cold temperature will create creosote. This will block up your stove, flue, and chimney with nasty black gunk. Operating at too high a temperature will damage the metal surfaces and wear out your stove prematurely. Not too mention that it will be blazing hot in your home! Operating at the right temperature will burn the wood and related gases efficiently, without smoke and buildup and without a blazing inferno. Most thermometers, and thus stoves, are set for good operation between 250 and 450 degrees or so. You should definitely check with your manufacturer and owners manual as that is still a wide range.

There are two main types of thermometers, surface and probe.

Surface: These units have magnetic backs and attach directly to the stovepipe. They are cheaper and easier to install since everything sits on top of your current pipe. They have the following drawbacks though. They don't work with insulated stovepipe, basically anything more than single-wall. Even with single-wall stovepipe you won't get a 100% accurate temperature as it is not internal to your stove.

Probe: These units are installed directly into your stovepipe and thus will give a much more accurate reading, regardless of pipe. However, they do require installation, but this is usually just a matter of drilling a hole in your pipe and snaking your probe down the hole. Also, the probe are a little more expensive than the surface units, but only by a couple of bucks.

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