Do you leave your door open on cold start?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Swedishchef, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    678
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    Hey guys

    When I load my stove in the morning (after letting it go out the previous evening) I keep my door open for 10-15 minutes. It is only open about 1 inch or so. I leave it open until the probe temp says 400 and stove top is about 400. I then close it, wait a few minutes and then turn down the primary air. My instruction manual says it can stay open for up to 30 minutes.

    What about you guys?

    Andrew
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. pen

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

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,722
    Likes Received:
    1,519
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    In general, I find that it's just not necessary for me to get the fire going so I keep it closed with the air wide open. Once my flue temp (read externally) gets to about 325 I close the air down in increments. The temp will drop on the flue pipe to about 300, when it gets to about 350 I'll close down a bit more, do that again until I'm where I want it set for cruising.

    I'll occasionally get a down draft or weak draft in colder weather. In these cases, if I were to leave the door open I'd stink the house up.

    pen
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  3. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    388
    Loc:
    Putnam, NY
    I only have to leave mine open a half inch for a max of 15 minutes, usually only about 5 minutes. It will cold start, however, with a closed door, but it can fog up the glass with smoke and dumps a lot of smoke out the chimney. The Super Cedar pucks, I've found, work great for start ups.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    bboulier likes this.
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    678
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    Pen: does your owner manual state that you should/can leave it open?

    NortheastAl: I leave mine open for about that as well. I truly think it is based on the design of the stoves. Some stove's primary air intake must allow for more air to enter than other stoves. I don't think, with primary air only, I could ever get a fire going without the door open. It would simply smolder.

    A
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  5. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    676
    Likes Received:
    388
    Loc:
    Putnam, NY
    Swedishchef, my manual does state that I can leave the door open on startup. I think most probably do. Right now I have tons of coals and about 300° on the stovetop. I can put on a split and it will take off in under 30 seconds with the door only about a quarter inch open. I can also leave the door closed with the primary open and get flame in about 45-60 seconds.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  6. pen

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

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,722
    Likes Received:
    1,519
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    The way I read the Englander 30's manual, it can be left cracked open when establishing draft using only paper and some small kindling. Once the draft is going, and regular cord wood is loaded, it says to close the door.

    pen
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  7. Slow1

    Slow1
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2008
    Messages:
    2,671
    Likes Received:
    286
    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    I imagine it has a lot to do with draft and flue temps as well as stove design.

    My first stove (VC Encore NC) I had to keep the door open a crack at least to get the fire going pretty much no matter what.

    Once I switched to the FV I found that I could do top-down starts without leaving the door open and not have much if any smoke buildup, if I did a bottom up type fire then I'd have more smoke but it would still start in most cases with the door closed.

    With the PH I don't think opening the door helps as there is so much air being let in from the primary/secondary air with the air control opened all the way that smoke will try and spill out the intakes if I do open it. I've had no issues starting up cold with the door shut either. I do generally do a modified top-down start though as it seems to work best for me in terms of a quick startup (i.e. time from first flame to controls set to walk away). I don't recall what the manual recommends regarding door open/closed on startup.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  8. mcollect

    mcollect
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    12
    Loc:
    Garrett County, Md
    With my jotul 550 I find that if I leave the door cracked just 1/4" the fire starts quicker with less smoke. I don't leave the room, been there and won't do it again! When the insert reaches around 400 I close the door. Works great for morning starts with even a few coals.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  9. jatoxico

    jatoxico
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,806
    Likes Received:
    851
    Loc:
    Long Island NY
    Went through the exact scenario descibed in the original post. Stove was warm but not hot. In addition its not real cold this am. Left the door cracked an 1/8 to move things along otherwise smoky, slow start. Used to bother me since I figured it was something wrong with the stove or the install or the wood or me.

    None of this needed on a hot reload.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  10. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    I have to for about 5 minutes then the pipe starts to draft and I can shut the door set the air and literally walk off. We have some air pressure issues that a cap solved however the wind cap does slow draft considerably when its cold out until its hot. On a hot reload I just shut the door and it takes right off.

    Pete
     
  11. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    678
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    Thanks for the input!

    I think I mainly leave my stove door open to help accelerate the process. I don't like taking 45 mins to get a fire established.

    My manual says "Once the updraft movement is initiated, you are ready to ignite the stove by lighting the paper and kindling wood inside the combustion chamber. We therefore advise you to leave the door slightly opened (1/4") for a 10 to 30 minutes period, under supervision, in order to allow for good combustion. After this time, you must close the door and progressively adjust the air control to obtain the desired temperature."
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  12. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    8,876
    Likes Received:
    634
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Yes.


     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  13. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,741
    Likes Received:
    1,520
    Loc:
    Next to nuke plant Berwick, PA.
    Door stays closed except to reload, then closed immediately after reload.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  14. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    With a good bed of coals and dry, normal sized splits, no, I can now keep the doors closed on all three stoves on a reload. For some of the massive splits I have, I'll crack a door to quicken the process.

    It is best to put smaller diameter splits into the Encore first and then the bigger splits on top for them to catch quickly so I can avoid cracking the door.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  15. aussiedog3

    aussiedog3
    Expand Collapse
    Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Messages:
    297
    Likes Received:
    74
    Loc:
    West Michigan
    Maybe for 5 minutes or so on an ice cold restart, but NEVER leave the stove unattended when my doors are not securly latched.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  16. turbocruiser

    turbocruiser
    Expand Collapse
    Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    Messages:
    321
    Likes Received:
    29
    Loc:
    Rocky Mountains Majesty
    I only open the door to reload the stove then close it as fast as possible; all the air that I need is provided through the air control alone.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  17. begreen

    begreen
    Expand Collapse
    Mooderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    60,657
    Likes Received:
    7,676
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It depends. On a cold start yes, I typically leave the door ajar about 1/4" for about 5 minutes. On a restart from coals, no.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
    PapaDave and aussiedog3 like this.
  18. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    678
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    Same here. I only leave it open on cold starts. A good bed of coals, no.

    And yes, I always try to stay around when it is open. I think we have all had that "Oh Sh&T" where we realize the doors are open and can smell curing paint. Red pipes, etc etc.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Well, no need to rush. It's not like a monster is going to jump out and get you.

    On a reload with the 30 I'll have the door wide open as I walk back and forth grabbing splits to load into the stove from the other side of the room. No smell, no smoke, everything under control.

    \Just watch for sparks and everything is just fine.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  20. begreen

    begreen
    Expand Collapse
    Mooderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    60,657
    Likes Received:
    7,676
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I'm usually making coffee or tea when the fire is starting up from cold. At that point, there's not enough wood in there to do a dangerous runaway. Just a couple 3" splits with a supercedar or newspaper balls in between and some cabinetry scraps criss-crossed above them. I'll check back once I have the water heating and the coffee in the Bodum or tea in the filter. Make a adjustment if necessary. If not, I put on a couple small carpentry scraps (split with a hatchet into 1 by scraps) and close the door.

    I don't leave the door wide open though. There have been too many times where a vigorous pop sends an ember flying. Some wood is really bad this way. But I don't live in a stone house either. ;)
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  21. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Well, I'm also not off making coffee while the door is wide open. :)

    I was just getting at the fact that you should not be in a rush, or scared, while the door of the stove open.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  22. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,841
    Likes Received:
    371
    Loc:
    South Central Indiana
    On a cold start meaning no hot coals if you use kindling it will burn better with less air as in having the door shut.

    I have found that making my kindling out of good wood like dry white oak split to like 1" or less the higher Btu wood heats the stove much faster. Its amazingly fast if its good and dry.

    If you have an insulated flue or insulated flue liner your draft or flue draw will happen much quicker and easier thus if you have the door closed air will be pulled in quicker and at a higher rate. If you have trouble getting the flue draft going then opening the door helps compensate for this. Its the warming of the flue that creates draw and the fact that an insulated flue is much easier to heat up that gets easier startups.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  23. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,452
    Likes Received:
    186
    Loc:
    Central Kentucky
    Nope. Never have. Manual allows it. Never needed.
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  24. jharkin

    jharkin
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,694
    Likes Received:
    1,203
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    On a true cold start, I leave the door cracked 3-5 minutes, basically until the kindling is fully burning. I've never needed to open it for a reload on coals.... Unless I'm trying to nurse a couple embers back to life after being gone all day (say like 18 hr).
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature
  25. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef
    Expand Collapse
    Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    3,212
    Likes Received:
    678
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    I am not in a "rush" but when it's cold I like the heat to start sooner than later. I only leave the door open 1 inch or less for 5-10 minutes.

    And I mean COLD start. Cold as in the stove is COLD (cool) to the touch.
    :)

    A
     
    Collapse Signature Expand Signature

Share This Page