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10 degrees and can't keep up....

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by TTigano, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Mr.Hardwoods

    Mr.Hardwoods New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Michigan (Fenton)
    I was doing cartwheels down the hallway when I found out that today it was going to be 21 degrees. The last few days I only saw a high of single digits, night time in the negatives. I still haven't made my upgrade though, I am still burning an old (1980) Majestic ZC fireplace. At least it does have a large firebox and a blower. I also have a good layout in my house for wood heat (tri-level house), and was luck to see 65 degrees the last few days, but I had to burn an ungodly amount of wood.

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  2. RORY12553

    RORY12553 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    502
    Loc:
    Southern NY
    What are you burning that give you useful heat for 12 hours and keeps your house at above 72? I honestly think i'm doing something wrong ...my stove can burn for 8 hours and the temps get up in the house but it won't stay consistent and drops very quickly...either my stove is to small for my house or i'm not doing something else right
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
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    5,435
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    Philadelphia
    Just remember, you need a net BTU/h to keep house temps up. Even if you're running oil or propane to get up to 70F, every BTU you get from the stove is still cutting down on oil usage. Figure decent mixed hardwoods at roughly 200,000 BTU per cubic foot, times whatever efficiency you assume for your stove, and keep feeding it. I've gone thru a half cord (~12.8 million BTU's) this week, so even though I'm still burning some oil, I saved maybe 90 gallons (considering efficiencies of both appliances). That's more than $300 back in my pocket, almost enough to cover the cost of one of my chain saws... in one week!
    ailanthus and RORY12553 like this.
  4. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,132
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    You can always tell a cold spell because the site gets filled with these 'I cant keep up' threads. I think its just the nature of the beast, if we all installed stoves that would keep us toasty in these temps we would get baked out the rest of the season.

    I'm a weekend burner with the luxury of natural gas so I cheat and let the boiler run periodically. I LOVE my stove but the 140,000 BTU steam boiler can do things the stove just cant even dream of.

    The thermostat is in the stove room so I set it high (73-74) and that kicks the boiler on a few times a day for 20-30 minutes to warm up the radiators and even out the heat in the house. Without the stove that boiler would be running almost nonstop right now.

    ETA: running the boiler a couple times a day has kept my uninsulated basement at 60 even in this cold.
    loon likes this.
  5. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    300
    Loc:
    Shen Valley, VA
    I think I'd pass out in that heat! That stove must be a real monster!
  6. Fod01

    Fod01 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    306
    Loc:
    Long Island
    Last night I didn't load the stove full. I had a couple extra long splits that would only fit in the front or diagonal in the stove. I should-a/ would-a/ could-a gone back outside to get a proper load, but the dumb-arse in me just put in what I could.

    64 in the hallway this morning, and it wasn't even the lowest overnight temp we've seen.

    Dope<>
  7. HomeBruin

    HomeBruin New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Messages:
    47
    Loc:
    Califon, NJ
    Regency HI300 was the largest insert I could fit. If you've ever run a smaller stove, you don't know what a pleasure it is to have hot coals to restart in the morning, or after work. It's been unusually cold since I filled my oil tank 15 days ago, but thanks to the woodstove going 24/7, the tank gauge needle has barely budged. I have the thermostat on oil burner set for 65 day, 60 night. The oil burner only comes on for a few minutes probably less than once per hour (forced air sys). It's just damn cold. Glad I can supplement the woodstove with the oil burner. Wouldn't be a fan of the "good ol' days" when you would need to keep at least 2 stoves going.
  8. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    Oct 7, 2011
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    804
    Loc:
    Mineral County, WV
    It is a monster and the strange thing is I'm not running it hard. A full load of wood in my liberty will cruise at 750 for an hour or two and slowly start to drop. The thermometer said 90 but it sure didn't feel like it. Got up this morning and it was still 82 in here:) Now bring on the snow
  9. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    Mar 17, 2009
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    5,110
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    The furnace is helping the stove out this week. I hate to burn the gold laced, or at least priced like it is, propane, but if its only for a week, I'll deal. We'll be back to stove only next week.
  10. Mackj

    Mackj New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    36
    Loc:
    Fruitport MI
    My insert maintains well at about 15 and up. Below that it struggles. I just keep feeding it wod knowing that I am saving propane. Our house is 4 years old and well insulated. What makes me so mad is the stove rep came to our house and proclaimed this the perfect stove for our house. He said a bigger unit would be inneficient and would burn us out. We are no longer on speaking terms. I am also very dissapointed in burn time, usable heat. I love burning wood and am going back out here shortly css. Wish I had been on this site when I built this house. I definitely envy guys talking about all night burns and big loads. The thing is I was in a position to put in whatever would work best. Partly my fault I guess. Someday I will upgrade but it will be a while. At that point I want a lot more horses. Sorry just frustrating sometimes I guess I'm not the only one!
  11. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    260
    Loc:
    N.E. Ohio
    My Osburn 2200 requires more food when the temps dip below 15, but it does manage to keep up. Good wood and decent insulation are the key!!!!
  12. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Loc:
    NW CT
    Let's not go there, shall we? :p
    granpajohn and loon like this.
  13. blacktail

    blacktail Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    465
    Loc:
    Western WA
    Last week was one of the rare times I thought that. My insert puts out enough heat, but it's in the worst possible location to heat the house. A centrally located freestanding stove would spread the heat around much better. We don't get extreme temps here, so it works just fine most of the time.
    On the plus side, cleaning my chimney with a soot-eater is as easy as it gets, the install was simple and didn't require any roof mods, and I'm not taking up any of the limited space in my living room. That, and my electric heat RARELY kicks on. The blower on my insert makes a huge difference and I'm still experimenting with two different fans in the hall to move the heat.
  14. Hiram Maxim

    Hiram Maxim Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,055
    Loc:
    SE Michigan
    Not to hijack the post

    I use to be in this same boat.... And after about 2 weeks of frustrating -0::Fit got me thinking I need to do something:oops:

    After Winter 2007/2008 I made the executive decision to tight n up and insulate my 1951 era 2120 sqft Ranch.

    Replaced 27 windows, blew fiberglass in to attic, replaced the front door,.

    Double studded the walls to 8" in the main room of the house, filled the wall with 4" of closed cell spray foam and R15 fiberglass batt the other 4", for a total of R-35.

    Had a company come out and inject open cell foam into the rest of the exterior walls.

    Installed a second stove (free standing) Blaze King- King which would probably heat twice the space I have? And still have the Englander 30 (a hell of a stove in its own right)

    And Im currently installing 2" polystyrine closed cell foam board on my basement and crawl space walls, some that are above ground.

    It has made a big big difference......

    I think the best think to do is add Insulation into the attic,its very inexpensive and pays for its self fast....
  15. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Dec 15, 2011
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    2,273
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    you can get them on Amazon when box stores don't sell them for the season, they may do a bit better than that price. I remember I looked a few years ago but just deal with the fans I had for that pirce. I have seen them run though my mom/stepdad have some they use in the summer to circulate the air.
  16. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    2,273
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    My plan was to reduce by 75-80%, I have matched that but its like an addiction. YOU want more, more, more, constantly trying to keep that furnace off in a battle against the heat. I had not run heat in like 3 seasons or so, had family over and they set my heat on my side of the house instead of thiers (I guess that they cant sleep in the 60's where the wife and I sweat at anything over like 65), I heard it kick on early Christmas mourn, I jumped out of the bed like the house was on fire and looked to see, and cut it off!! Funny thing is it was like 64 outside my room and they had set it to 68, I don't even keep it turned to heat its off!!!!!!
    Mackj likes this.
  17. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Long Island NY
    Before the insert I would burn about 50g oil in these cold spells. Wasn't keeping the house at 72 but if you're saving 90g in a week you must have been using a whole lot of oil in a year w/o a stove.

    Can't say how much oil I'm saving guess I'll find out when all is said and done.
  18. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Central Mass
    Funny, I get pi$$ed when I hear the furnace kick on too but my hands are tied. I didnt hear it all day yesterday then late last night it kicked on, looked at the thermo it read 13, it dipped below the magic 15.
  19. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Well, I wasn't keeping the house as warm around the clock with oil. I was keeping most of the house at 62F, only heating parts of it to 72F for two hours in the morning and four or five hours in the evening. I was looking at roughly 1400 gal/year, which is not bad, I think. With wood, you're sort of stuck maintaining whatever temp you want around the clock, as it's hard to get things warmed back up when they cool off, with a 60 - 80,000 BTU "space heater".
  20. jatoxico

    jatoxico Minister of Fire

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    Long Island NY
    That's a bill right there. Used 800-900 before the insert and was mostly cold. Tough when you're using all that oil and the house is still cold most of the time. I use less oil now and it's warm.
  21. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2009
    Messages:
    339
    Loc:
    Western PA - Steeler Country!
    When it gets into the single digits, before we had our insert...our furnace would run 12-14 hours a day to keep the house at 68 (65 at night). Now on days like that, it might run 1-2 hours total for the day and our house never dips below 70-72 degree's - with the insert cranking away.

    I'm very happy with the performance. Next year we will be getting our whole house insulated, so I can't wait to see how that improves things. Right now only our kitchen (remodel) and attic is insulated...all other exterior walls are wide open. House is brick exterior with plaster interior walls...
    jatoxico likes this.
  22. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    1,689
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    WNY
    Its a balance...you gotta learn to build small, hot, fast burning fires from stuff like pine. And NOT reload too often, or you WILL get baked out! I am a little afraid of over insulating though, cuz shoulder season might get REALLY tricky then, lol.
  23. Jerry_NJ

    Jerry_NJ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2008
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    1,006
    Loc:
    New Jersey USA
    My Quad 4100I insert does well enough, I doubt a free standing could do a lot more. Of course I'm running the circulation fan on full speed, an free standing might do as well without the fan... yes, while the Insert has a bay window that sticks about 8" into the room, most of the insert is inside the fireplace.

    My house is an "all electric" built about 25 years ago. That means something like R38 in the ceiling and R15 in the walls - it is a two story 2000 sq foot house, with all double pain windows... not as good as newer, but these are Anderson so work pretty good. I still feel a cold draft on one side of the fireplace where I have a brick exterior wall and a wood bin with a door to the outside. The door is insulated and seals well, still with all that brick exposed to the outside with no insulation it is cold in the wood bin.

    I don't run my Insert to its maximum, I normally run it with just enough in it to run a couple of hours, the I grab a couple more splits and put them in. Before bed I put in a couple of large spits, I'll gess each about 20 pounds, or about 120,000 BTU. This holds the Insert room about the 65 degree setting on my geothermal HP for up to 3 hours I estimate. I go to bed around midnight and when up at about 7 am the Insert is warm but the fan has shut down and it takes some effort to restart the fire... still enough hot coals to get it started, but I've used some paper/cardboard and a match most mornings. I can also remove some ash, and yes, coals. I have a metal ash bucket with a lid, and it can get rather hot form the hot coals so I don't lose all the heat with the bucket setting on my hearth.

    Reading through the thread I'd like to drift off-topic to the point made my Hearth Mistress " best purchase I've made in a long time (other than my fiskars x27)." I've been thinking real hard about buying a Fiskar, I think the X27 has the 36" length. Given the "best purchase" rating I am encouraged. I have discuss the topic on Hearth Tool Shed, the right place, but I don't recall "seeing" Hearth Mistress there. My need is to split a few rounds too large and heavy to move to my house and electricity were I can use my small but effective electric log splitter. I have maul, axe, wedges but think a modern spitting axe might be a good move, seems other know so. I welcome off-thread correspondence on the subject.
  24. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Dec 11, 2007
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    1,491
    Loc:
    Sound Beach, LINY
    If you're losing heat like that it's the house. It's probably not because it's an insert. My house is drafty, but sounds like you guys have me beat by a lot. Frozen windex, YIKES!

    Because my house is so drafty, at BeGreen's advice I oversized my stove. So we've been able to keep the house warm even in these colder than average temps. We are lucky in the sense that our fireplace is centrally located. We do have electric space heaters in our bedrooms that we run to bring the temps up when needed.
  25. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Only time I really notice it hard to heat the house is when it's cold out, like close to -30*
    Joful likes this.

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