Catalytic Vs Non-Catalytic Wood Stove: Which One Should You Choose?

How To Choose Wood Burning Stove Impressive Climate Control


Wood stoves have been a popular heating option for centuries, and with advancements in technology, they have become more efficient and environmentally friendly. One of the choices you have to make when purchasing a wood stove is whether to go for a catalytic or non-catalytic model. This article will explore the differences between the two and help you make an informed decision.

What is a Catalytic Wood Stove?

A catalytic wood stove uses a catalytic combustor to reduce emissions and increase efficiency. The combustor is a honeycomb-like structure coated with a catalyst such as platinum or palladium. The smoke from the burning wood passes through the combustor, where the catalyst causes the combustion of the remaining gases and particulates.

Advantages of a Catalytic Wood Stove

– Lower emission levels – Higher efficiency – Longer burn times – Less creosote buildup in the chimney

Disadvantages of a Catalytic Wood Stove

– More expensive – Requires regular maintenance and replacement of the combustor – Can be sensitive to the type and quality of wood used – May not perform well at high altitudes

What is a Non-Catalytic Wood Stove?

A non-catalytic wood stove relies on the design of the stove itself to achieve efficient combustion. The stove has an air intake system that provides oxygen to the fire, and a baffle that redirects the smoke to increase heat transfer. Non-catalytic stoves typically have a larger firebox than catalytic stoves, allowing for larger logs and longer burn times.

Advantages of a Non-Catalytic Wood Stove

– Lower cost – No need for a combustor replacement – Can burn a wider variety of wood types – Easier to use and maintain

Disadvantages of a Non-Catalytic Wood Stove

– Higher emission levels – Lower efficiency – Shorter burn times – More frequent cleaning of the chimney

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between a catalytic and non-catalytic wood stove depends on your priorities and situation. If you prioritize lower emissions and higher efficiency, a catalytic stove may be the best option for you. However, if you are on a tight budget and value ease of use and maintenance, a non-catalytic stove may be a better fit.


Choosing between a catalytic and non-catalytic wood stove is not a straightforward decision, but understanding the differences between the two can help you make an informed choice. Consider your priorities and situation before making a purchase, and don’t hesitate to consult with a professional if you need guidance. With the right stove, you can enjoy the cozy warmth and comfort of a wood fire while minimizing your impact on the environment.