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Damper control question.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Robbie, Aug 29, 2006.

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  1. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    610
    Loc:
    East Tennessee- Great Smoky Mountains.
    My manual says load stove and pull damper all the way out for a full, long lasting burn, all night long. I learned this early on last year, and it worked like a charm. Next morning, or about 8 or 9 hours later (sometimes 10), I could just open damper and within a few seconds the coals would be glowing hot and the stove would come to life again.

    My question is this, what do you do if you want to keep an even steady heat (flame) after you load the box, but do not want to get it too hot while your asleep ? Is this a happy medium I will just have to learn to do, like open damper a quarter after loading box full and see how it burns ?

    Does the damper operations get easier with time ?

    Obviously red oak will not burn as fast as pine, so damper settings would be different, does damper operations need to be tweaked for different woods ?

    I think I know the answers to most of these questions before I ask them, but I am not sure if I can do it this way and lay down and go to sleep with a fire burning at approx. 1/3 of full open damper. I may have to watch it all night a few times until I feel like it won't get too hot.

    My damper works like a charm, it is a fine tuning apparatus for sure, so a slight movement inward and the fire will show, same way pulling out.

    Last winter, I made sure my house was warm as toast at bed time, usually 78 degrees, (I know, a bit warm). Then I would set the gas heat thermometer on 74, (I know, a bit warm per my wife). Then I loaded the stove to the max and damper all the way down, and go to bed.

    Most nights it never reached 74 by 6 am, so gas heat did not run hardly ever. Sometimes I would sneak and set the gas heat for 72, just in case my stove did not put off as much heat during the early morning hours.

    Most nights, this was perfect, house stayed warm and when morning arrived I just added wood and it was burning like a dream in a couple minutes.


    Give me your opinions, experiences.

    Robbie

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  2. buildafire

    buildafire New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Loc:
    Washington
    Stoves are developed and tested with Doug Fir... All of them. That's the EPA fuel of choice. They are then tuned on four burn levels that are dependent on the cubic feet of the firebox. Those levels are perscribed in pounds/hour burn rate, again depending on box size. Those rates will determine how the developer will tune the stove (air to fuel ratio) for the amount of BTUs desired out of the stove. Hard wood will burn longer on the same air setting (more pounds per hour because it's heavier), softer wood will burn faster. All that said, if you give the stove a little more air over night (relative to last winter) by moving your control just a little more in, it will burn a little hotter and burn up your fuel load a little faster as well. There are only so many BTUs in a load of wood. You get to decide how quickly you pump them into your home..!
  3. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    610
    Loc:
    East Tennessee- Great Smoky Mountains.
    Thank you Bill D. Fire , that is a very clear answer. I knew there were tricks of the trade, I just need to hear from people that know these tricks.

    I'm sure there are lots of ideas, I would like to hear a lot of them before fall.......... :)


    Robbie
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    What works for me is I do two additional things For over night when a decent vollume of heat is required I my last laod up I employ a mother log or two Not a split but dried rounds I then tweek the air controls . For me dampering down works well when temps are above 20 degrees./ When I need heat I run the stove between 500 and 600 If that means getting up at 3:am and reloading so be it.
    My wife does not like freezing and she is usually up first. IF there is wood available she may toss in a split or two.
    Most of the time if someone is around we run small hot fires and feed the stove as need be. If I know is is going to be a relitively warm winter day I may let it run out just for ash cleaning. Every stove and home enviorment is different It takes time to learn how to control the desired heat A stove top thermo is the best tool Bought at local hardware stores and in a month at the Box stores or
    mail order.
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