How To Operate A Catalytic Stove/Insert

Although a catalytic wood stove or insert behaves similarly to a regular wood fire, there are a few key differences in operation. These differences help the catalytic stove produce long, stable burns. With proper operation, a catalytic combustor can easily last 10 years before it needs to be replaced and Regency offers the industry’s best warranty on catalytic combustors, alongside our leading Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Starting a fire in a Catalytic Stove/Insert

For the best results make sure there is a 1-2” thick bed of ashes before starting your fire.

  1. Crumple black and white newspaper (avoid colored newspaper or paper with lots of ink)
  2. Ensure both the bypass & air control are fully open
  3. Build a log cabin/teepee of small finger sized pieces of wood
  4. Light Paper & Close Door 95% of the way – allowing space for significant airflow
  5. Once small wood has ignited add wrist sized pieces of wood and close door again approx. 95% of the way
  6. Once this wood has ignited, add larger pieces of wood and close the door completely
  7. Allow the wood to ignite and adjust the air control to the desired level
  8. Let the stove or insert heat up
  9. Once the catalytic probe reads Active (on wood stoves) or the digital thermometer reads 500 oF (or 260 oC) engage the catalytic combustor by pushing the bypass rod towards the unit
  10. Walk away! Your wood stove/insert is now burning efficiently, cleanly, and will produce stable heat for hours to come!

Maintaining a fire in a Catalytic Stove/Insert

If you are adding wood to your catalytic stove you will need to first disengage the catalytic combustor before opening the door. The catalytic bypass rod may be hot so make sure to use the tool or wood glove that came with your unit. Once the bypass has been opened you can open the door and reload as you would a traditional fire. Once the door has been closed, re-engage the catalyst by closing the catalytic bypass (again using the tool or a glove). The stove is now ready to burn for many more hours!

Key Differences between Catalytic & Non-Catalytic Stoves

The primary difference between a catalytic wood stove and a non-catalytic wood stove is the need to disengage the catalytic combustor prior to opening the door. The catalytic combustor requires a certain temperature to operate correctly and opening the door while it is engaged has the potential to cause damage to the combustor.

The catalytic combustor is also susceptible to damage from burning objects other than properly seasoned wood. If you burn paper materials with heavy levels of ink, extremely wet wood, trash, or biological material you risk damaging the catalytic combustor. It is very important to only burn properly seasoned wood in your wood stove and nothing else.

Burning Tip: High levels of airflow will result in quick, hot, and visually stunning fires, whereas a low airflow setting will result in darker, stable heat producing, and longer-term burns.

Building a fire in the Regency Cascades Catalytic Insert