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How do you "push it"

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by DaveGunter, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter Member

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    burning an 30 nc in my basement for whole house heating, and has been going great so far. The last couple of days have turned colder and I am having a little bit of trouble keeping up by burning the stove as I have so far, full loads...get it hot...secondaries kick in...cut the air way back...reload in 6-10 hours after the coaling has died down. I have heard people mention "pushing their stove" when it gets really cold to maintain higher btu output all the time. How exactly does one do that in terms of loading the stove and air settings without losing too much heat up the chimney or getting excessive coal build up?

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  2. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Well... see.. when you "push it" You lose heat up the chimney and end up with coal buildup, because you are trying to keep the stove in the first, hottest part of the burn. The first third or so of the burn is that high heat part, probably half the bTu's of the load, then the second two thirds, has the other half..

    The real question is, is your basement insulated/finished? If not, the bTu's going into your walls and ground which is giant heat sink, is nearly insurmountable.
  3. DanCorcoran

    DanCorcoran Minister of Fire

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    I reload more frequently, before the coals are completely burned down. To do this more than once, however, you end up either putting in fewer splits or removing hot coals, since the incompletely burned coals take up space. It's kind of a pain to do, but I've done this when it was in single digits outside.

    I also use the blower, which allows less heat to go up the flue.
  4. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    More air. More wood. More luvin'. That'll push it.

    Push it real good.
    jotulguy likes this.
  5. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter Member

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    Insulated, 2" polyiso on the inside, not finished
  6. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Good, then, how big is your house total, and how are you moving the air around, and how well insulated is the rest of the house?
  7. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    How hot does the basement get compared to the rest of the house?

    How well does the heat circulate?

    How does the heat get from floor to floor?

    How big is the house, including the basement?

    How well insulated is the house?

    Sorry for all the questions, just trying to get some more background info.

    -SF
  8. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    My stove is in my basement. The house was built with insulation on the outside of the concrete walls. Once I have the basement heated, I leave the door to the basement open and let natural convection take over. Downstairs can stay at 72-74' upstairs stays around 65-67.

    The suggestions above will help, as for pushing the stove, I just run normal cycles on my stove.
  9. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    P.s. my kitchen area, which is right at the top of the basement stairs, regularly is reading 78 degrees.
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    It's the usual drill just a little different. It requires that you burn it E/W and the big coal pile goes up front with the new stuff behind it. That way the coal bed and the piece on top of it are keeping the stove hot. And the coals are getting torched on the reload and adding to the heat while the new stuff is charring. Rinse and repeat.

    Requires a good long pair of gloves on the reloads.
  11. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    If you put a fan blowing air into your basement from your upstairs you will get more air circulating into the upstairs. I did this and got 4 degrees.
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    How hot are you getting the 30?
  13. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    If I want some serious heat on a cold day I'll burn a full load down with the air set so I can maintain a 500 degree stove, if I do two loads like that then coals start buildin' up, then I'll take some smaller half splits and just put 2 of em in there on top the coals and open up the air all the way....do that a couple times and the coals burn down, then rake and start all over again.
  14. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

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    Like pushing it in a car, there are efficiency trade-offs. If the primary goal is to heat the house, once the stove temp starts dropping (in the last third of the burn), it is time to start opening up the air to get rid of those coals. Also, if I need extra heat I will reload on top of a deeper bed of coals than usual (i.e., sooner). You can only do this for a limited number of reloads if you don't have grates/ash pan - ashes from the wood on top will insulate coals below and the depth builds up. When I push a stove with grates, I rake the coals before reloading to work ash down through the grates. Afterward, I find small pieces of coals in the ash pan that normally would have burned completely. Still, if the point is to heat the house, it is a very small trade-off.
  15. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    For me that means waiting a bit longer to adjust the air control but i do not like going past 700 on the stove temp.
  16. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter Member

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    Wow lots of questions/suggestions you guys/gals are serious. I have already implemented many valuable suggestions from this forum.

    The house is a typical 2000sqft rectangular box two story colonial with an additional 1000sqft poured concrete basement. It is a "stick built quality" American made (Keiser) modular home built in 2003. The insulation is code/typical for the northeast, which probably means OK but not great. Blown-in insulation in the attic is in the future after some second floor ceiling sheet rock work is complete (a bit of mold in a improperly vented bathroom). I have spent considerable time air sealing with spray foam from attic to basement so it is fairly tight.

    The stove (30nc) is in the insulated basement on a gable end, I have a temporary "wall" made of 2" polyiso dividing the basement 60/40 so the part of the basement where the stove is, is open to the first floor via the stairs. I have cut a register into the floor very near but directly above the stove and have a fan blowing colder 1st floor air down into the basement. The basement typically gets to 80, which gets the first floor to 67-68 and the second floor to 65-66, so it is doing OK right now. The other night (mid teens) it was 68 first floor when I went to bed with a full rake-the-coals-forward-E/W load burning well stove top at 550-600 and the pipe at 300 (surface) the air is just a smidge open. When I got up I had big coals in the back with the stove top at 200 the first floor was down to 64. If that is going to be typical performance I am a little worried when it gets colder for an extended period about being able to maintain without having to burn oil.

    So the question is how do you load the stove to "push it" to bring the house temp back up and avoid excessive coaling up? If I am understanding correctly...rake the coals forward and burn a smaller load put directly on the coals? How long do you typically see 500-600 stove top temp with a full well burning load, I think I am getting 2-2.5 hours at that temp...how long with a smaller load. I can get it back up to 5-600 from 200 in about 10 minutes on a reload using the rake the coals forward strategy.
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I can see 600-700+ temps E/W when I close down the air properly. You would definitely feel a 100-200+ degree difference. The stove feels a lot different at 700 than it does at 500.
  18. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I agree but i don't really try to go 700 on purpose
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    It's a big steel box. 700 isn't going to cause any problems. If you are heating your home just fine without hitting 700, then there is nothing to worry about. But, if you need the extra heat, you will not damage the stove running it that hot.

    With the 30, it seems happiest running between 600-750. Also, the glass stays the cleanest at those temps. At least for me, at this point.
  20. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    I don't know if this is pushing the stove, but when it's really cold I load smaller loads more often. This keeps things hotter longer. This is when having an oversized stove works out awesome. When I had a smaller stove, I would turn the heat on in the morning while reloading the stove to bring house temps up. Then turn the heat down and let the Stove hold the house temps.
  21. Mrs. Krabappel

    Mrs. Krabappel Minister of Fire

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    Same here
  22. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    That is good to know that it wont hurt it because mine likes to go to the temps you listed above it is like it is programed.

    Sorry if i hijacked the thread.
  23. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I sometimes wonder if a few of these "the stove went nuclear on me" threads are just burns where the stove is just trying to do what it was made to do.
  24. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Yeah i wonder the same thing.
  25. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    On this note: as stated by Brother Bart, burning EW tends to slow this. I have been burning EW most of the year and I find it burns much slower and at a lower temp. Don't get me wrong stove top will get to 600, but when I burn NS I can regularly hit 750. That's fine the stove can handle it, but the wood burns longer when I keep it at lower temps.
    corey21 likes this.

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