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First Fire of the year, an experiment, an observation and a question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by hilly, Sep 15, 2006.

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  1. hilly

    hilly Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 28, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Loc:
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Well, I got home from work today and it was a bit chilly, so I decided to light my first fire of the season. Since I was feeling rather adventurous, I decided to try lighting a top down fire. As I'm loading up the insert I'm thinking to myself that there is no way this is going to work, but low and behold it lit right up! It's neat finding things that are counter-intuitive.
    As I was admiring the crash-free (when the logs tip off the kindling) start-up I noticed that after about ten minutes it would continue to burn, but not vigorously. When I added another piece of wood everything started to burn very well. Does this happen to anyone else or is it the way I build fires?
    I'm still debating whether or not to get a blower for my insert because I'm not sure if I want the heat in the room or the in the large hearth that sits in the middle of the house. I don't think I'm losing much heat, but merely heating up a mass that will reradiate long after the fire is out. Maybe I'll wait until it gets cold (well what we call cold) to see if the room the insert is in will stay warm enough.

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  2. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2006
    Messages:
    394
    Get the blower! You will still get the benifits of heat retention in the large hearth. Just get a variable speed blower if you can. They also have an on off switch so you don't have to use it if you don't want to. But it is nice to have when you really want/need it.

    Not sure about the burn, as I am still new with my insert, but, you are regulating the air flow so it would seem normal to notice "a less vigorous" fire. This is how we get extended burn times. An open fireplace really does not have the air flow control like an insert so your observation does make sense. I get a drastic increase in airflow when I open the door to the insert when a fire is burning (the fire it more vigorous). KD
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    My stove came with a blower and I wouldn't use it with out. But my stove is installed into a 0 clearance majestic fire place that has almost no thermal mass.

    My Sister, however, has a Lopi Answer installed in a masonry firplace and after seeing my stove running with the blower, promptly went out and bought a blower for the Answer. Her Answer is like 8 years old. Once the blower was on the stove, she said it was like a new stove and seemed to double the heat output. I suspect that it was simply more effective at moving the heat. She tends to only run fires first thing in the morning and starting again around 3 pm and into the evening.

    If she truely burned 24/7, that masonry mass might also get pretty warm and help the stove out a bit.

    My overall advice...get the blower. You'll be happy you did.
  4. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    610
    Loc:
    East Tennessee- Great Smoky Mountains.
    For sure get the blower, you will not be dissapointed I'm sure. It makes a huge difference when it gets cold, and the great thing is.......if you don't need it, turn it off.

    A blower will push hot air all over your house, even the back rooms will be warm after it runs a while. We keep our blower on low and my Avalon mission stove heats 1850 sq.ft. easily, even upstairs 2 bedrooms and bath.

    I honestly could not imagine not having a blower. We even have a battery operated fan ready to place near our stove if the power goes off.


    Robbie
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    2,859
    Loc:
    Eastern Nebraska
    So ....................a ........................I guess you can say now after 8 years she finally has the "right Answer" .
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    2,248
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    :roll: Sigh...that was bad... LOL!!
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