FAQ - Alaska Stove

Frequently Asked Questions

1What size coal will the Kodiak model stove burn?

Pea or Nut Coal.

2What size coal will burn in an Alaska Stoker Stove?

Rice coal only.

3What is used to light my stove?

Alaska Company, Inc. firestarters. Place one on the back of the grate, cover with coal, and light fuse. As soon as there is burning coal, plug stove into wall receptacle. Coal will be burning quickly.

Instant light charcoal. Take 3 or 4 briquettes and break them into smaller pieces. Place them on the grate and light with a match. Wait until the charcoal is burning white hot around the edges, then sprinkle with coal and plug stove in.

4How do I vent my stove?

Masonry chimney – All stove models.

Power Venter System – All models except for the Gnome 40 and Kodiak models. Typically used when putting a stove in the basement, when most of the basement is below ground level. This is an all stainless steel motorized vent system.

Direct Vent System – Can be used on the following models: Stoker Stove II, Gnome 40, Kast Console III rear vent, and Channing III rear vent. This is a motorized vent system that attaches to the back bottom rear of the stove and then goes straight out through the wall. Typically used on a first floor application or anywhere there is a whole wall exposed to the outside.

5How often will stove need attended to?

Depends on the weather. In the Spring and Fall, the hopper could go several days. In warmer weather, the hopper could last a week. Through the heart of winter, generally, the hopper would be topped off once a day.

6How much coal will I burn in a heating season?

It all depends on the outside air temperature, amount of insulation, the size of the home, and how warm you want your home to be. The average usage of coal is 3-4 ton.

7How do I choose from a top vent stove and a rear vent stove?

For Class A chimney systems and masonry chimneys the height of the flue determines this. If the flue height is higher than the stove then a top vent stove is used. If the flue height is below the top of the stove then a rear vent stove is used.

Power Vented systems can use either top vent or rear vent stoves.

Direct vented systems can only be used on the Stoker Stove II, Channing III rear vent, and Kast Console III rear vent.

8How often do I need to clean out the exhaust pipe?

Every two ton of coal the pipe should be cleaned out, or about every 4 weeks. On direct vent systems, in cold weather, it may be necessary to clean more frequently.

9When burning the stove for the first time, is it normal for the stove to smoke?

Any newly painted stove will “smoke”. The paint and the steel have to cure. Open a door and some windows and by using a fan, direct the smoke to the outside. This curing process will last about thirty minutes.

10What is the difference between the “Auto Heat Control Box” and the “Thermostat System”?

The Auto Heat Control Box is a box that is numbered, with a knob that you manually turn to adjust the heat output of the stove.

The Thermostat System is a digital box with a low fire setting (that you can vary) and a high fire setting (that you can vary) that adjusts the stove through a wall thermostat. You set your wall thermostat to whatever temperature you want it and the thermostat system controls the stove.

11Why is it recommended using a barometric damper on chimney models?

Room temperature air enters through the barometric draft control in the precise amount needed to overcome the excess drafts caused by temperature variations, wind fluctuations, and barometric pressure changes. Combustion of fuel is complete and the process is stabilized. The velocity of the combustions gases through the heat exchanger is slowed so more heat is extracted. The unit operates more efficiently.

12Can I hook up my coal stove into the same chimney as my oil furnace?

Not unless there are two flues in the chimney. Check your local building codes.

13Will this stove make my house dirty?

A common misconception of a coal stove is that it is dirty. It can be. It is all in how you handle your coal and your ashes. Keep the coal damp before you dump it into the hopper. This will eliminate any black dust. Pull your ash pan out of the stove half way, slowly, and mist the top of the ashes with water. When you pick the pan up and carry it, they will not stir around creating a fly ash dust.

14How do I turn my stove off?

For stoves using the Auto Heat Control Box, turn the Auto Heat Control Box all the way down to the lowest number and wait for the fire to get small. Then unplug the stove (and the vent system, if it has one).

For stoves using the Thermostat System, turn the wall thermostat down as low as it goes and wait for the fire to get small. Then unplug the stove (and the vent system, if it has one).

15What exactly is the “Duct Ring” option?

The Duct Ring option is a collar that is added to the air jacket system of the stove to direct air to a floor register. It is not recommended to hook this duct ring up to a whole house duct system.

16Can I heat water using my stove?

Alaska Company, Inc. offers a domestic hot water coil that can be added to the stove to preheat water before it goes into the hot water heater.

17Can I burn wood pellets in my stove?

No. Alaska Stoves are designed to burn Anthracite Coal only. Burning wood pellets will result in a hopper fire.