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How Do I Politely Help a Neighbor Burn More Efficiently?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Fechmup, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. Fechmup

    Fechmup Member

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    Loc:
    Southeastern DE
    A neighbor of mine had an F600 installed shortly after our install was complete two years ago. I constantly notice smoke billowing out of his chimney, not just for 20 min upon reloading - for hours. I've even had other neighbors ask if we were burning this year because they never see smoke rising up from our chimney like our neighbors. He's even mentioned to me that the stove hardly makes a difference in his home, but his comment was during a neighborhood poker game and it wasn't appropriate for me get into it at the time. We're burning wood from the same source, which has been stacked for 15 months. I'm using the same wood keep and keep our house temps easily at 75, burning more like shoulder season. (very mild winter along the Mid Atlantic) My chimney sweep tells me everything looks great, whatever I'm doing, keep it up. (I like the piece of paper that proves it was professionally maintained - just personal preference)

    How have any of you approached a friend/neighbor and offered a little advice? I don't want to come across like a know it all, but I feel like it's a matter of efficiency, and more importantly, safety.
    Dairyman likes this.

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  2. mtcates

    mtcates Member

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    Loc:
    Central NC
    Join him one evening at his house and bring over some dry wood for a fire and let him see the difference himself.
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    Tell him about Hearth.com!
  4. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    I've had this issue with friends - you want to show them a better way to burn but don't want to sound like a know-it-all. I did bring go dry red maple and I did show my friend the difference in burn and heat (also discussed how to burn hotter and not smoulder the fire) - but......he didn't seem to appreciate the new info - no big change in his burn habits). Cheers!
  5. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like the wood is not the issue. Pilot error?
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    LLigetfa is right. That is, so long as his chimney is right. He may have some leaks in flue, stove, chimney. He may need some gaskets changed. He just may not be burning right but with the same wood he should be able to get results.

    I would approach it by bringing up his statement about, "the stove hardly makes a difference in his home." Then start asking questions. The first question I would ask is his opinion of why his stove is not making a difference. After that, it all depends upon his answers. It may be he is just hard headed but it also might be that with his statement, he was really seeking advice. Help him if you can but be sure to point out the difference in smoke. That should not be with having the same stove and burning the same wood.
  7. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Just let him know you would be interested in the Firelight if he wants to sell it.
  8. SmokeyCity

    SmokeyCity Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Western Pa
    and direct him to the "Dragon Burner Bad Citizen" thread

    j/k Don't do that

    [edit] props to you for at least thinking about civility
  9. Adabiviak

    Adabiviak Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Sierra Nevadas, California
    Seconded. That's a good way to do it without having to put yourself on the hook and possibly breach a sensitive subject.
  10. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    " You can lead a horse to water..............."
  11. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    The biggest problem I run into is that people never open the air, they simply open the door and throw more in. I bet he had an old smoke dragon before the Jotul. Most of these "seasoned" wood burners are scared of the flames, "my old stove didn't have flames like that". The new stoves won't shut down completely, but they do there best at trying to. The truth is they never turned it up enough to get flames so it just smoldered. I would have him over for some other reason and while he's there show him how yours runs and that it doesnt smoke! I bet he thinks it's normal. Ask how hot he runs the stovetop, I would also bet he doesn't have a thermometer on the stove. I would help him out on way or another.
  12. elmoleaf

    elmoleaf Feeling the Heat

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    Unless you're good friends with these folks, don't get involved.
    Telling another how to burn is like talking sex or politics in the workplace: nothing good will come of it.
  13. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    I would appreciate someone helping me with a problem if it was done politely. Ask him if his stove has that secondary burn, as if if you don't know more than him. Tell him how it works and that it will burn all the smoke after it's turned down, if it's allowed to get hot first. I find that most people don't know anything about the secondary combustion, once they see those flames dancing in the top, they will thank you.
  14. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    You forgot religion. ;-)
  15. Hardrockmaple

    Hardrockmaple Feeling the Heat

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    Nova Scotia
    +1

    If your friend thought there was a problem, would he not ask you how it is yours works so much better than his? ;-)
  16. Stump_Branch

    Stump_Branch Minister of Fire

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    Tough. Dont want to impose, like to help. Has he been over while your burning? It would be a good interlude to have them over. Load up the stove while hes there so you can strike up the conversation. Offer to go over to his place and run a load or so with the pending questions.


    Dont worry too much. some folk just arent going to change their ways.

    Good luck.
  17. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Miss Manners 2012
    Never discuss politics, religion, wood burning, or specific ladies in polite company. Probably good advice.

    Been telling myself all day not to discuss the cat stove at the super bowl party. Not even if someone raises the topic. Once started, I lose control. Next come the knives, guns, and sorrys all round. Tired of that scene. Just stick to how is the family, munchies are good, NE sucks, NY sucks - topics we all get along in. :cheese:
  18. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Is there a game today?
  19. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    No. It was last night. Missouri 74 - Kansas 71.
    Today is just a party. Men only. Seems the wimmins are glad to get rid of us for a day.
  20. Fredo

    Fredo Member

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    Mi
    I would confront your neighbor when your stove is running at the same time his is. After all, you can tell when your neighbor is running his stove by the smoke that is bellowing out of his chimney, correct? Bring to his attention what you are doing to achieve a clean burn and hopefully it will do the trick.



    Fredo

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