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How far down do you let your coals burn down before reloading?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wahoowad, Feb 21, 2006.

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  1. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    I find my temps really start dropping once the solids in my logs are pretty much burnt out. The logs might look whole but will crumble apart into coals if I try to move them or rake them forward. Do folks stretch out the cycle and let them burn down to almost gone, or do you try to keep the stove from cooling off too much and reload while there are still a lot of coals? What's your guide?

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  2. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I usually just go by temperature of the house and factor in how I feel at the moment and what is coming up in the next several hours. If the house is warm enough and I plan to leave for an extended time, I will just let the fire die out. If I'm cold and plan to stick around, I may throw more wood in even if what is already there is still burning.

    About the only time I really try and gauge the coals is right at bed time. I try and have a nice bed of coals, but no solid wood left. That way, I can stoke the firebox full of fresh wood and easily burn through the night. If I wind up with a big, half burnt log at bed time, it usually means an early am stoking the next morning.


    Corey
  3. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Ditto what Cozy Heat said. It depends on the house temperature, if its 72 and I have a pile of coals, I will let it sit and burn them down for a couple of hours. If its 68 and falling, I set a few more splits on top and burn them. Evenings are crucial, you want just enough coals to have a nice row or pile in the front of the stove, and then pile all your big nighttime splits behind and above that.

    -- Mike
  4. adrpga498

    adrpga498 Minister of Fire

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    Mike is right on the money. Timing is everything in life. Had a bit of a chess game during the warmer days this winter. Also, don't forget to factor in type & size of wood splits when reloading.
  5. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    usually I go by the temp of the stove. I try to keep it so that I will not have to wait too long before reengaging the cat so I will get the stove up to 400-500, engage the cat. it climbs up a bit and when it comes back down to about 350-400, I put more wood in. Do I burn more wood? yep. so what. it's free. get a monster bed of charcoal and coals under the last to fat splits I put in at night and it does well at keeping the place warm thru the night.
  6. tutu_sue

    tutu_sue New Member

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    Northern NJ
    I usually reload when the stove top temp gets down to 350, however when it's in the 20's outside, 400F. Or by room temp, when it goes down about 5 or 6 degrees.
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