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Burn Cycles? (reloading)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Brian850, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Brian850

    Brian850 Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    5
    Hi,
    I am new to wood burning and have learned allot of great information browsing the forum. I have a large Cat stove (Kuma Sequoia, 3.6 Cf) My goal is to heat my house 24/7 with the stove. I have read allot on the forum about long overnight burns but not so much on burn cycles during the day.

    My question is, from the morning after a long over night burn untill preperation for the next overnight burn, how do you guys run your stove? Load every free inch with large dense wood like long burns?
    Shorter burns? How often to reload?

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  2. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
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    2,241
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    It all depends on your heating needs and how much you want to tend the stove.

    Welcome. Hope that helps.
  3. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    844
    Loc:
    Mineral County, WV
    I reload depending on outside temperature. 99% of the time my inside temp is never below 80 after an overnight burn but I go ahead and load my liberty as full as I can get it and that will usually take me to 4 or 5 o'clock then just small loads to get me to the overnight load time. As I sit here typing this my stove was just loaded with 8 splits about two hours ago and burning lazy at 550 which it never does with a full load after not having a fire for two days so it was 60 degrees in here this morning. Once it warms up to 85 to 90 will start running small loads(ya right not in this stove) or just let it go out because of the warm up that's coming.
  4. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    I think it really depends on how low you can run that large cat stove and still burn clean. As long as you aren't putting too much heat into the room, load it up full and let it simmer away. Of course, if you can time it so that your next reload is at a convenient time adjust your load accordingly.

    That pretty much is what I have done in the past. Now with the PH I'm learning it is hard to burn as low as I like with a full load so I temper the heat output by reducing the amount of wood in the stove as well but the theory is basically the same - My goal is to load as infrequently as possible while not wasting wood overheating the house (with a clean/smoke free burn assumed here).
  5. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Messages:
    659
    Loc:
    Central NC
    I have a big cat as well and my general routine is to load it up pretty full about 11:00 pm and in the morning I'll load it again but not quite as full around 9:00. Still have a stove FULL of coals at that point and sometimes I'll put a split on it and open it wide open. Load it up again but not quite as full as the night time load and someone, myself, my wife or my daughter will load it again around 6-7 but only about half or less. That gets us to the 11-12 hour and full loads again. This is when the weather is in the 20's to low 30's at night and maybe in the 40's during the day. My insulation and windows aren't great so every situation is different. For me, the key is the early evening load and the timing to get it to the overnight load. Don't know if that helps but that is the routine I've settled into in the normal winter weather in central NC.
  6. loudog

    loudog Member

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    105
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    As I'm guessing you've gathered...it depends. If it's Saturday and I'm home, and it's cold, I'll light a couple medium loads and time 'em to burn up by the time I'm ready for overnight loading. If it's warm, I'd just do a couple small loads.

    If it's a weekday, and the wife isn't home to load, I'll basically start another "overnight" burn in the morning so there's plenty to work with when I get home after work. That re-light will be a small load to get me to the overnighter. That's if it's a cold day. On a warmer cold day, I just light a medium load in the morning...there will typically still be enough when I get home for an easy re-light.

    That's me.
  7. Brian850

    Brian850 Member

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    May 2, 2012
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    5
    Great advice, Thank you for the help
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum Brian.

    You have asked an excellent question. The daytime loads are usually a bit different than the night loads simply because the outdoor daytime temperatures are higher. It also can vary depending upon your needs. Workdays? Is anyone home to tend the fires? Or do you need to try to run the stove on a cycle of, say 12 hours?

    For us, we rarely will fill the stove during the daytime. The only time would be if it is the coldest time of winter and/or if we are to be gone away for the better share of the day. But the biggest factor is what the weather is doing. If one day your high temperature is 20 you will not want to run the stove the same as if it is 40 outside.

    If we are home, when we get up we might put in 3 or 4 splits. Then we may have to add some in mid afternoon or might not. For nights, again, we always look at the weather forecast to help determine how much and what type of wood to burn. During the fall months and most of December we will put in only 3 or 4 splits for nights. During January and February we will most times load the stove full and load it with the best wood. I hope this helps.

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