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Air Setting with Fire starter and Kindling

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Huntindog1, Feb 8, 2013.

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  1. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Wanted to point out.
    If you are using a fire starter and kindling.
    You can close your air some while the fire starter and the small kindling are burning.
    As they will burn just fine at lower input air air settings.
    The result is your stove will heat up quicker. Less heat flushed up the flue.
    Time and experience you will learn how much you can close the air on your fire starter and kindling
    to get the quickest heatup of the stove.

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  2. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Worth trying, and i will tomorrow. Not sure it's going to work the same way with different stoves and different drafts.
  3. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Have another twist
    Close air off like we were saying for 4 or 5 minutes on reload and hot coals then crack the door and poof it goes from no flames to lots of flames
    Mr A likes this.
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    No way. Flat dangerous when that smoke ignites all at once and blasts you in the face. Dangerous posts like this will deleted.
  5. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    This is the worst advice/suggestion/idea I've seen posted on Hearth.com for some years.
  6. tfdchief

    tfdchief Minister of Fire

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    Oh my, really bad idea for sure. In a structure fire we call it a flashover, or worse can happen, a backdraft<>
    corey21 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  7. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    You guys might want to mention this in any discussion of getting fires started. It's not intuitive to your average burner, especially newbies. I've done it occasionally unintentially in the course of trying to get things going (open the door on a smoldering fire in order to push the pieces around to let air come up in between, etc.) without incident, and I bet most folks are totally unaware of how dangerous this potentially is.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It's not only dangerous, the reason for doing so is not justified. You want the flue to get warmed up on startup. This is not waste heat, it's serving the purpose of warming up the flue to above creosote condensating temps.
    corey21 and Backwoods Savage like this.
  9. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Because of Hearth.com, I stopped using the ash pan door to pump extra air into the stove and literally create jets of flame from under the coals. I haven't done this at all this year...Well admittedly, the ash drawer is full from last year's ashes. :)

    I don't understand the post. Sometimes I crack my door or open it completely, but it never creates a back draft and a stove full of flames like that. It just pulls more air over the coals / burning wood and helps things along. What I don't get is what was meant by shutting the air off. I can close the air control down, but it never closes it off completely.
  10. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I prefer to leave my air control and stove door open while I'm lighting a fire. With the door wide open, it operates more like an open fireplace, so no danger of backdraft. Once the wood is charred, I start to close her up and choke the air control back. The wasted fuel is made-up by the fact that the wood is charred and more is ignited more quickly I think.
  11. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    One thing I have noticed some of you guys live off creating paranoia.;lol

    The reality is the air is never fully shut down in these stoves. There is always air flow in the stove from three sources not just one.


    1. Primary is never fully shut down , just because the lever is all the way closed there is still primary air coming in.

    2. Secondary air is wide open always.

    3. Doghouse air is always open.

    You can not get build up like your talking about with air flushing up the flue as there is a big 6" vent at the top of the stove called a flue vent and air flushing thru the stove all the time even if you think you got it shut all the way down.
  12. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    And the reality is, more air is not always a bad thing.

    pen
    Huntindog1 likes this.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    All these assumptions are incorrect. Not every one is burning the same stove, some aren't even EPA stoves. All stoves are not made or designed the same. Some stoves don't have a secondary air supply. Some don't have a doghouse. It's irresponsible to make statements like this mainly because we get a wide range of people that visit hearth.com from neophytes to experience burners. Sometimes I'm not sure who is more at risk. Putting out a suggestion like this could be very dangerous in the wrong conditions. These statements may be true for a particular group of stoves, but they don't apply to all stoves and conditions. They seem to demonstrate a lack of knowledge about the diversity of stoves, flues, burning conditions and things that can and do go wrong, like draft reversal.
  14. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    I see what your saying. I should keep those things in mind.

    I tried to get a another board added here for technical talk but webbie wouldnt do it so we are all here mixed together.

    No mater how hard you guys work Darwins theory will always win out.
  15. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I find that when I start a fire with fire starter and kindling I can close the stove door, rather than leave it open as I usually do when the fire is young. The fire starter and a little bit of kindling do not require a lot of air to burn and i think the tove does heat up faster this way. The problem is that as the fire spreads, if i keep the door closed the fire sort of stalls. Rather than spreading fast, the fire will begin to smoulder. So, for me it works better to leave the door cracked open rather than start with the door closed and air wide open.

    I don't have a great draft, so for me the door closed and air wide open might be similar to setting the air partially closed on huntingdog1's stove.
  16. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    Even with a Supercedar and the little 2X4 sections I use as kindling, I prefer to leave that door open at least part way for several minutes. After that fire is going for 10 minutes, I close the door, then after another 20 start to close the air. The wasted fuel and slightly slower heating up gets the fire going better. Once lit, my fire is kept going for days at a time. I'm with my stove all day long feeding her.
  17. gandrimp

    gandrimp Member

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    Not sure how your stove is made, but my castine on starting a cool or cold stove, if I leave my primary fully open sometimes thats just to much air, I actually have good results cutting the air back to half open. It seems when I do this the air isnt blowing out the secondary flame
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Gandrimp, that does not surprise me at all because we do the same. Cutting the draft about 50% allows the stove to heat up much quicker. Leaving the draft open full will get our flue way too hot.
  19. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Dennis, I can believe you as your wood is dryer than a popcorn fart.

    I recently got into some of my really good dry wood, extra dry and it opens up a whole new world in wood burning.

    The wood should be the focal point of wood burning as any of these epa stoves will burn great with high quality seasoned wood.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It is funny that a few folks at Woodstock do not agree with my super dry wood. However, when we put some of our wood in one of their stoves at their factory, it really burned great! Not sure if I won them all over or not but have not heard anything negative from any of them since that time.
  21. gyrfalcon

    gyrfalcon Minister of Fire

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    Burned great, but... for how long and with how much heat compared to slightly less dry wood? Can you remember the Woostock folks' reasons for thinking this?

    I don't know the answer, but I did have an interesting experience a year or so ago. Following Battenkiller's fascinating experiments with drying wood indoors and suffering with, yet again, a load of stuff that wasn't fully seasoned, I split a good batch of un-dry Beech way down and stacked it loosely near the stove. A couple of weeks later, it was noticeably lighter and quite dry. The next really cold night, I put it in the stove happily anticipating a roaring hot fire. No such thing. It roared, but produced significantly less heat than I have always gotten from "properly" seasoned Beech. Battenkiller wasn't surprised and had a convincing scientific explanation for this that I couldn't begin to restate.
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It burned as well and as for about the same length of time. We don't even have a problem burning lumber cut-offs. We've never had a run-a-way fire from dry wood. It just does not happen here.

    Battenkiller is a great guy and has some good ideas but as with most situations like this, I can't agree 100% with his "scientific" experiments and explanations. KISS still has a good place even for burning firewood.
  23. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Opening the door on a smouldering fire shouldn't be any problem, as long as you have your air supply reasonably opened, and open the air supply fully before opening the door. It is the sudden inrush of oxygen to an oxygen deprived fire that causes the flash: as in, when you open the door while and after having had the air supply closed. It's OK to open your door on start up to fiddle with the load if necessary, as long as your air supply is and has been open for a bit before opening the door.
  24. KodiakII

    KodiakII Feeling the Heat

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    Ever seen the movie backdraft? It is the same thing when the smoke and gasses ignite or "flash"you could be seriously burnt!
    firecracker_77 likes this.
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