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Burning wood stove in high winds (like, 50-75 mph)

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mfglickman, Oct 26, 2012.

  1. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    I suspect there are things I should know about this...

    Current models (which change constantly) have shown that we are likely to have 50 mph winds with higher gusts M-T next week. It will not be very cold unless Frankenstorm happens and it combines with snow. But I'm not thinking about that right now. ;)

    HOWEVER if we lose power we'll want the wood stove on for light, mild heating, and cooking/heating water for tea etc.

    Anything I need to know about burning with high winds? I imagine the draft will be crazy, but is that bad?

    Sorry for the newbie question, just hadn't really thought about this before...

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  2. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    When we had wind storms last year, we noticed it did draft like mad when the wind came from the right direction. It also burned through more wood, no matter what the air was set at. Found we did better with smaller "feedings" to keep it under control better. We just got a little "weather center" with an anemometer this year so I don't know what kind of winds we were dealing with (weather reports are enver reflective of our position here), but I know our sliding doors were creaking pretty good (and they're brand new).
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I think the high winds combined with mild temps will be more of an issue.

    During the winter my area can see days of 50mph gusts. Usually isn't a problem and my draft is just fine. I only notice a problem when it is windy and mild temps, which is what we will probably have as it looks like the temps will be in the 40s and 50s.
  4. Agent

    Agent Member

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    Once going, you'll just end up burning a bit more.
    Getting the fire started in a cold stove is another story, however...
  5. HollowHill

    HollowHill Minister of Fire

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    I had the same questions, so thanks for the thread. The smaller feedings sounds like a good course of action. I know in my situation, the fire will flare up when the wind hits the chimney just so...
  6. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

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    I'd probably wait until the heavy winds are passed before I light up. With a 2 day storm in the 40s or 50s, the house will stay at temp well enough to be fine without a fire.

    Matt
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I normally have strong draft in pretty much any temps. Fifty mile an hour winds and the venturi effect make my stove hard to handle. I don't dare load'em up so I go with smaller loads.
  8. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

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    BB has it, smaller loads, if the btu,s aren't in there the wind will not draft you into an over fire. High winds is also about the only time I use hard wood rounds, they tend to burn slower than splits. (naturally) I keep a few now & then in the stacks and back stack them for this purpose.
    barn burner and JBinKC like this.
  9. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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  10. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I think it depends on temperature (as mentioned above) and the height of the chimney. In colder weather, whether your chimney runs entirely through the heated space could make a differnce on draft issues. The high wind in cold weather would increase draft obviously. I would follow the advice on determining the draft before fully loading as was mentioned above.
  11. woodchip

    woodchip Minister of Fire

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    We often get high winds and rain here during Autumn, so when lighting up we use plenty of kindling to get the gases moving up the flue as quickly as possible. I also keep a close eye on the wind direction to make sure any changes don't suddenly leave a slightly open window causing a vacuum in the house. We found windy weather a bigger problem when we had an open fire than with the stove. My wife always found smoky smuts on the furniture. Somehow, it always seemed to be my fault.........;)
  12. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I have never used my stove in high wind yet.
  13. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    That flue is like an engine. When it's really cold and windy, the temp differential will pull more air up the stack as the wind blows away any hot air coming out. The next time there is moderate wind, open your stove door and listen. You'll definitely hear it through the stove.
  14. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah it sounds like whistle blowing across the the cap.
  15. Andrew James Sobota

    Andrew James Sobota New Member

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    I don't know about a temp differential pulling more air up, but I do know Bernoulli's Principle predicts this sort of occurrence. Just like why smoke is pulled out of a moving car with a crack in the window. High velocity (outside of house/car) creates lower pressure. Same reason airplanes fly, curve balls curve, and shower curtains attack.
    Gark likes this.
  16. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I'm not a big science guy, but it would make sense to me that the hotter air would rise faster somehow, but I hear you on the pressure differential drawing out that heated air. I guess the test would be if you had wind blowing across the stack without the air heated much...say an open stove door, no fire; versus a raging fire. How much air would be moving through that pipe? I still believe the heat plays into it, but I can't prove it either way. Just a guess.
  17. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    No problems with winds and wood-burning stoves here. Colorado with high winds, a lot. As others have said, the stove will use more wood. However, we have a wood-stove-heated house, and I don't recall ever deciding not to light a fire due to high winds. I broke down and bought a Davis weather station last year, and I recorded a high wind of 115 mph last November. The stove did fine. That is an unusually high wind, by the way. I don't usually experience more than about 90 mph, and that only a few times a winter. But we often will see 50+ mph.

    Just make darn certain your chimney is well cabled down to the roof.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It all depends. Some folks have a big problem in high wind situations while others don't. Some have a problem only if the wind is in a certain direction. A lot depends upon the surrounding area and how the wind currents are. When we moved in here we thought we would definitely have a problem especially with the high winds we sometimes get from the NW in winter because of all the tall oaks by the house. We are happy to report we've never encountered a stove problem in high winds.
  19. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Hot air rises because its less dense than the surrounding cold air. This is what forms our draft to begin with and is why the draft is stronger the hotter the fire.

    As Andrew mentioned high winds also create draw due to bernoullis principle. This would be particularly strong if you have no cap and just the pipe opening straight up to the air. Many caps have wind screens/shields that help reduce the effect somewhat.
  20. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    High winds don't effect my stove either unless maybe I forget to close the by-pass..but that would be operator error..I have done it!
    I still have the old key damper but I never use it..even with high winds.
    I just could not bring myself to remove it when I went from a non cat to one with.
  21. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    We get 50mph regularly, and 70mph gusts during storms. I don't load the stove as heavily during high winds, but ther isn't usually much difference.

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