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Operating Your Appliance 27
Travis Industries 100-01140 4150522
Understanding Your Heater’s Combustion System
This heater uses a dual combustion system detailed below:
Primary Combustion: This is the combustion (fire) that takes place directly on the wood. Primary combustion
determines how fast the fire burns. Air for primary combustion is supplied through the air control. When you
adjust the air control you control the amount of air that reaches the fire and creates primary combustion. The air
control supplies air to the air wash (the air holes above the door opening – used to help clean the glass) and
through the pilot orifice (center bottom of the door opening). By using the air control, and supplying air through
these two openings, you control primary combustion.
Secondary Combustion: This is the combustion (fire) that does not contact the wood. Secondary combustion
burns the visible emissions or smoke that is not consumed during primary combustion. During some phases of
combustion you will see secondary combustion. It appears as a glowing flame at the top of the firebox. Air for
secondary combustion is supplied by the air tubes at the top of the firebox.
Items to Consider:
During medium and high burn rates the stove will manage secondary and primary combustion on its own.
When the heater is set to a low burn rate more care is needed to ensure the secondary combustion system
works properly. Make sure the stove is hot and a good coal bed is established before adjusting your heater to
low burn.
Understanding the combustion system in this heater will help minimize the visible emissions this heater
releases into the environment. The primary pilot orifice at the center bottom of the door opening is designed
to help the secondary combustion at low burn settings. The pilot provides a small amount of air that burns up
through the fuel load providing the heat and flame needed for the secondary system to ignite. The air tubes
under the baffle need to remain ignited for low burns to be effective.
As you load your heater for a low burn, take care in placing the wood. This will affect how well your
secondary system works as the wood is consumed. Do not block the pilot orifice. Stack wood so the pilot air
can burn its way up between the pieces, helping your heater burn effectively throughout the low fire. This will
reduce the visible emissions your heater produces and increase the amount of heat you get from the wood. If
you are unsure how well your heater is burning look at the chimney cap to monitor visible emissions.
Burning Your Heater
Starting a Fire: When starting a fire it is imperative to get the heater hot and drafting as quickly as possible.
This promotes combustion and reduces emissions. There are many ways to start a fire and you will become
adept as you become familiar with the way your heater burns. Before you start, make sure your burn rate setting
(air control) is all the way open and the by-pass (if equipped) is open. We suggest that you use a layer of
crumpled newspaper covered with a three layers of small kindling, stacked tic tac toe style with approximately ½”-
1”gaps between them. Continue to layer wood on top of the kindling with the same air gaps using slightly bigger
pieces increasing in size as you stack upward with the final layer being 3-5” diameter pieces loaded on the top.
This should fill the firebox. Light the newspaper in several places near the door opening. Shut the door but do not
latch it, creating a small opening to allow air to feed the kindling fire. Never leave your heater unattended if your
door is not latched shut. While the kindling burns the fire will heat and ignite the larger pieces above. Once the
whole load is burning shut and latch the door leaving the burn rate on high. Depending on your heater, the
chimney, and the outside environment, you may need to leave your bypass open for up to 20 minutes after
lighting the fire. If the fire dies when you shut the bypass you will need to leave it open longer. The presence of a
hot coalbed is critical to good combustion. We cannot overstate the importance of a hot coal bed before slowing
your burn rate or re-loading your heater. We recommend that you allow the first ignition load of wood to burn
through at the high burn rate. This will get your heater up to temperature and establish a coal bed.
Reloading: When reloading a hot heater set the burn rate on high for at least 15 min before slowing it down.
Low Burn: If preparing for an overnight or low burn a longer heat up period may be necessary. Reload the
heater full of wood making sure there are air gaps between the wood pieces so the pilot air can burn up through
the middle load keeping the secondary combustion system hot and active throughout the burn. After loading, burn
the heater on high for at least 15 minutes before setting the air control to low. Excessive creosote buildup (or
sooting) in the heater at the end of a low burn signifies that the heater was not hot enough and the wood load was
not burned long enough on high after loading before shutting down the air control.
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