1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Air Control As Fire Gets Lower

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by velvetfoot, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    5,935
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    As the fire gets lower, down to coals, is opening the air control more the proper way to go? I'm not talking about necessarily burning down the coals, though that is a factor for sure. This assuming one is hanging around near the stove and can fiddle with it. Is there a downside with opening it, like, all the way, when down to coals? I can see maybe losing more air up the stack or something, but I'm currently not seeing any downside to opening it up.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    596
    Loc:
    SE PA
    It's what I do sometimes, but I'd love to hear other opinions. If I'm sitting right there and there are lots of coals, but stovetop temperature is falling below 400F, I draw the coals forward in front of the doghouse, open up the air and soon it looks like a forge furnace. Stovetop temperatures will go up only slightly, so I assume I'm losing more heat this way. Especially useful if I need to speed up time to reload.

    TE
  3. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    Messages:
    1,113
    Loc:
    Brookhaven, Long Island
    I do that to loose some of the coals so I can reload. It also gets more heat quicker out of the end cycle of the coals, otherwise it spreads that heat out over an hour or two....
  4. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Loc:
    Putnam, NY
    I open it up when I have a good size coal bed, and I can get the coals bright and hot. The thing is I do not notice the thermometer moving up much at all. Mostly, I see 300° on the stovetop and will drag more coals toward the front so I can just burn them down whenever the temp gets to around 250°. I don't see any downside to giving the coals more air, but I don't see much of an upside as far as getting appreciable heat. There are times I open the door on a good coal bed and its like a blast furnace in there. It just doesn't manage to transfer that heat into the room once the door is closed. I'm sure there is a logical answer, but I'm stumped.
    Kevin Dolan likes this.
  5. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    5,935
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I haven't been doing any systematic temperature measurement (insert).
  6. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,217
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan
    I do it to burn down the coals for the next load.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. tim1

    tim1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    135
    Loc:
    columbia river gorge,portland or
    That is what the ebt on the summit does. It opens during firing and closes during cruzing temps and when dying down, it opens again. Tim

    Attached Files:

    velvetfoot likes this.
  8. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,889
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    I don't get any additional heat from having the air up on the coals either. I think it's because any additional heat generated is getting flushed up the chimney with the extra air.

    I just keep the air all the way down for coals now since there is little or no creosote then anyway and it keeps them going awhile longer.
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    1,889
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    Ed, why do like to burn the coals down for the next load? I like to use them to help start the next load if they are still hot enough. I figure the hotter they are the better.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    I do this. It increases stove top temps and manages coal beds.
  11. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,110
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    I usually run my Fireview wide open for about a half hour when it is down to a bed of coals. This keeps temps up and makes more room for the next load. A reload on a hot bed of coals goes much faster and makes less smoke too.
  12. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,217
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan

    I usually do this when there is alot of coals, I do this to keep stove temps up and I always have more than enough coals to start a new load.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  13. HomeBruin

    HomeBruin New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Messages:
    47
    Loc:
    Califon, NJ
    My Vermont Casting Aspen was built to do this automatically. It has a coil style thermostat which would open the damper when the temp dropped, to liven up the coals. When it reached the temp you set it at, it would begin to close the damper, and would countinue to ebb and flow in this manner throughout the burn.
    velvetfoot likes this.
  14. ohlongarm

    ohlongarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2011
    Messages:
    723
    Loc:
    Northeastern Ohio
    Good question,when I'm home and a coal bed is built up in the BK I open the air all the way as I rake the coals to the front,I can easily get increased stovetop temps in the 500*range for 4 or more hours until the coals are just hot ashes,good enough to start a new load up easily. I would like to hear more input from other stove owners,BK owners in particular.
  15. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    5,935
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    What's the point of raking them together if you're not going to reload? Wouldn't spreading the coals out level and opening the air do a better job because of more surface area? I'd been wrestling with all this stuff during the last cold spell.
  16. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Messages:
    5,110
    Loc:
    Croton-on-Hudson, suburbs of NYC
    The air comes into the fron of the firebox on the Fireview. That's why I rake them forward, so they get blasted with air and burn faster.
  17. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,762
    Loc:
    Michigan
    When just burning down the coals I will only level them out. We've actually had the best luck this way. Also when burning during the daytime on reloads we just level them out. Only rake them forward for the night burn.
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    5,935
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I would think that raking the coals forward in a pile could also have the effect of banking them.
  19. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    It closes as the fire dies down according to the description on chimney sweep.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    5,935
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Well, that's a whole nother thing.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    44,508
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    You're both right. It opens up again on cool down until the temp is low at which point it closes down again.
  22. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    It closes down after the secondary burn is over to extend the burn cycle, so in reference to what he was talking about it does the opposite.

Share This Page