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How often are folks refilling their stoves

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Caruso293, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. Caruso293

    Caruso293 New Member

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    First year with the Lopi Freedom Bay I'm very impressed with it so far. I do seem to be burning through wood though a bit too fast, or so I think. I seem to be going through about 1 cord every 3 weeks. Once the fire is going well 650 plus degrees, I cut back on the air and let the secondaries do most of the work. Small but noticeable flame. I usually put 3-4 splits in at a time. I let the stove get to around 400 then I had another 3-4 splits. It seems like I am refilling almost every 90 minutes. I'm burning mixed hardwoods seasoned close to 18 months. Mostly maple, hickory, birch, and oak. Wood is between 20-23 percent moisture, I know it should be less than 20 but.... I burn 24/7 and never turn the oil furnace on. House is 2100 sf and it never drops under 70. Just curious if I'm missing a trick or tip to help the wood last longer. My stack is almost gone and were still in January!!! Thanks in advance.

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  2. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Try cutting the air back at 400 and see what happens.
    PapaDave likes this.
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I'd also try to let the stove cool more before reloading. Reloading with a 400* stove top I'd guess you have a bunch of good fuel(coals) left in it. With my non cat I'd be down to the 250-300 range before reloading.
    dorkweed, Oldhippie, corey21 and 2 others like this.
  4. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    It does sound to me like you are burning more wood than you should for that size home. I assume those are "real" 128cuft cords btw. I'm heating over 2500sqft here and have burned less than 1.25 cords this whole season - I don't think it is much warmer here than where you are and my home is not super insulated or anything. Now if your house is unusually drafty or something then that could explain it.

    I don't know your stove, but I do wonder if you could get more heat out of it by burning differently as Corey is suggesting. Maybe your wood isn't as dry as you think either - that can make a difference.
  5. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    You should burn more efficiently if you fill the stove every time rather than just adding a few splits. Also, try cutting the air down sooner.
  6. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    How big are your splits? If they are on the small size, split some of them larger for next year, and load a large one on an ash bed at the back section of the firebox, coals pulled forward. That should extend your burn. And don't add new splits so soon. Let the fire die down more....when the stove gets to about 300, try opening the air to get the remaining colas to burn hotter and more quickly to keep up your heat output. Then, when the coals are burned down, reload as the first time. If your splits are on the smaller size, do put your largest in the back, and load 5 or 6 splits as close together as you can with as little air space at the time you initially lay the fire, instead of adding part way into the burn. Hopefully these techniquies will give you a longer burn.
  7. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    We have the Lopi Liberty, like rdust we reload around 200, just a bit lower than rdust. When we burn with Cherry for our fuel we will get 8-10 hour burn, with Beech or Sugar Maple we will get 10-12 hour burn.
  8. Caruso293

    Caruso293 New Member

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    Wow, this is all great advice. I have let the stove go down in temp in the past around 250-300. I found that if I added 1 or 2 splits at a time I was fine, it got hot pretty quick. If I tried loading the stove full it seemed the wood was smothering coals, and would not ignite. I am getting more wood delivered tomorrow. I am anxious to try these new tips. I will also re split the wood and see how dry this wood is with a meter. It seems if others can fill their stoves up at 250 and it lights fast maybe my wood is not dry enough. On the last load of wood I got, the ends were all cracked and most of the bark you could pull off, or it had fallen off. When hitting them together it gave that nice hollow sound rather than a thud. All signs showed it was pretty dry. There is usually 2-3 inches of ash on the bottom of the insert. If it gets any deeper I scoop some out otherwise I can not fit enough wood in it. Thanks again for the quick responses.
  9. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    If you are getting your wood delivered, there's a very good chance it's not as dry as you think. With good dry wood, it doesn't take a ton of coals to get going.
  10. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I bet your wood supply is not seasoned.
  11. Caruso293

    Caruso293 New Member

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    You may be right about the wood, however there is no smoke coming out the chimney just a clear haze, and my glass stays pretty clear. I ussually clean it about once a week. I have about 3 cords that have been seasoning for 9 months that I am not going to touch until next season. There are lots of trees coming down on our property very soon so my stacks should be very nice for the year after next. Now Im working on scrounging that semi seasoned wood to burn next year.
  12. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Yep, your wood isn't quite as dry as it needs to be. You have to burn with the air open pretty far to get your wood burning so you are "seasoning" the wood with valuable BTUs. Loading on coals, dry wood should start burning before long, even if you fill the stove. In that case, you have to be careful that too much wood doesn't get burning too fast, overheating your stove.
    The sound of the wood can be deceiving sometimes. Depending on the size and shape of the split, it might not be the best indicator. A "hollow" sound is better than a thud, but a resonant, almost ringing sound is what you want to hear. You will also get a feel for the weight of different wood species with experience, and will be able to judge the dryness that way as well. If you can stack wood near the stove (not too near) for a week or so, that will help, but it's hard to dry enough wood that way to stay ahead of a big stove. It sounds as though your fuel supply will be in much better shape next year. As you're cutting the trees that are coming down, test the moisture on those and try to separate the drier stuff. As you said, anything with the bark starting to fall off is bound to be drier, and smaller limbs will generally be drier.
    Joful likes this.
  13. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    I am burning seasoned oak at night and some random hardwood not that well seasoned by day. During the day, I leave the air open sometimes part of the way and chuck wood in there. All wood burns if it's moderately seasoned and will provide heat. I save my high BTUs for overnight. If you can get ahead with your supply as everyone points out, you are better off. Don't stress too much though if you cannot just yet. You will burn more wood and may have creosote issues to worry about, but other than that, it's not the end of the world. Just be mindful of the chimney risk with creosote. That is the biggest concern moreso than wasted money on wood.
  14. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I load my stove based on temps in teh house, not stove temps. I don't really care if the stove is 400* or -30* as long as it's 70ish in the house.
    jdp1152 and APersonalMatter like this.
  15. firecracker_77

    firecracker_77 Minister of Fire

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    In Alaska, you have to be burning a fair amount of wood annually? You have colder weather and a longer season for sure than us down in the continental US
  16. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    I find my liberty uses less wood doing full loads than 3 or 4 at a time. I can get 8 to 12 hours out of a burn with oak and locust with enough coals to use regular size wood for reloads, but have gotten 17 with handful of coals left
  17. Caruso293

    Caruso293 New Member

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    Thanks all. What would you guys say is the ideal temp to cruise along at.
  18. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    my liberty cruises between 650 and 750.
  19. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    I burn around 3-3.5 cords a winter.

  20. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    500 to 750.
  21. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    That seems like way to much wood for that size home! Do you have a window open somewhere you dont know about? haha. But seriously i would think you would have to really work to burn that amount in 3 weeks, but i guess if you putting 4 splits in every 1.5 hours you can do it!! 4 even small splits would burn in my stove for at least 3 hours with the cat engaged and easily heat 1800sqft with the winter were having.
  22. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    I'm not sure how useful this really is given the great variability in split size etc, but my general rule of thumb has been to average a split per hour at a moderately high burn. Clearly I'm not opening the stove every hour, but if I load up 4 splits I expect at least 4 hours burn before I have to re-load unless I'm running the stove 'hot' to raise the house temp (i.e. house cold from fire being out) or it is unusually cold outside. Most of the last month I have been burning between 12-18 splits a day as it has been warm for a January and I've been running the stove at a lower burn.

    To burn 4 splits every 1.5 hours would imply something like 27 splits in an 18hr day (have to sleep sometime there and you can't be feeding it every 1.5 hours at night eh?) take it to a full 24 hrs and that would be 36 splits/day. I think I've burned that many once or twice (literally) in the last 4 years. I'd have to check the log logs to verify that though.
  23. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I can get by one 1 load a day in the harman unless its very cold out. Anything over 30(outside) and i fire up late at light and she,s cookin all night and just cruisin the next day but the house stays fairly warm(above 70) until i load er up again at night. if its really cold out i throw a few splits in during the day as well.
  24. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Every 12 hours, 2x per day, full loads per loading.
  25. Caruso293

    Caruso293 New Member

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    I can't help but wonder if I have some type of air leak in my stove.last night I filled my stove pretty full cut back the oxygen at around 400 degrees and the fire only lasted about 3 to 4 hours before It was down to coals. I'm going to run a test this weekend. I'm going to take 18 splits in bring them up stairs. Those are the only logs I'm going to allow myself to burn and I'm going to try to force myself to make it last all day. I think it's crazy how people can get 12 hours out of a full load I can't even come close to that. if I can't find out whether or not it's the user error within the next couple of weeks I may have to make a call to the company that installed my stove see if they can come and check it out.thank you everyone for the suggestions day been very helpful.

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