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How often are you starting from Cold?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Bster13, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Wondering how often folks are starting their stoves from cold when in prime time burning season?

    Fire building is an important skill of course, but I am hoping my stove brings me nice hot coals in the morning where I just pack the fire box again with splits and open the air up.

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  2. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Every night, but I'm hoping to change that...
  3. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    Granted I have what seems to be an infinite supply of shards of wood from the splitting process, but I figure that won't last forever when I get brining if I have to light a fire every day. I also don't regularly receive a newspaper so kindling would be finite (and no supercedars for me, I'm cheap!). I truly hope I bought a stove that will leave a bed of coals for relight so long as I get back home in <12hrs in the dead of winter. :eek:
  4. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Thoughts:

    Splitter trash makes lousy kindling, hard to store and dry in any kind of quantity. :confused:

    I'm pretty sure 1 whole super cedar would light a pile of cinder blocks on fire. ==c

    Don't need to subscribe to the paper, just collecting the mail every Thurs. and Fri. provides adequate fire starting material. ::-)

    The frequency of cold-starts will highly depend upon your wood supply and how dry it is, you and your spouse's work schedules, plus how well matched (size-wise) your stove is to your home/insulation. ;)

    Last year I was starting cold almost daily. Not the end of the world since the house was retaining adequate heat as such that one fire would bring us back up to the mid 70's again.
    firebroad likes this.
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Remember that with a cat stove, the glossy junkmail is poison. Plain newsprint only.

    We go weeks without starting a fire when it's cold out but when I need to, I have a steel hoop full of large kindling. The stuff is like three hot dogs held together so like 1.5" across cut from split down firewood. To ignite the kindling I buy a box of walmart firestarter blocks for 10$ which will last for years. I chop them up into pingpong ball sized chunks until I fill a coffee can. These little chunks are easy to light with a lighter and make no smoke. Supposedly safe for cats.

    I don't pay to get a newspaper either. A local paper gets thrown on my driveway twice a week. It makes me feel old to read newspapers, like when my dad used to read the stocks from the wall street journal. Remember that, the long list of stocks and daily gains or losses? How times have changed.
  6. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    What about the colored newsprint? It's not glossy and has the same texture and feel of Black & White stuff.
  7. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    I hope my BK Princess insert is appropriately sized for my 1974 sq ft one story ranch built in 1957. *gulp* We shall see, it's real world heating ability according to BK is 1500-2500 sq ft.

    The wife and I are out the door in the morning @ 8:45am at the very latest and I am home around 6:45-7:45 in the evening. I can't count on the wife messing with the fire, but I hope she will "warm" up to the idea over time. :p

    I was thinking of using a milk crate to sift through the chunks of kindling that are worthy of keeping by the fire for fire starting duty. the junk that falls through the milk crate will just be bagged and put by the curb for pickup in our suburb.
  8. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Should a BK Princess not be able to burn a 12 hour fire on the colder days? With the size of the house (just under 2000 sq ft) and the build date (1957) I'm guessing the morning fires would see the stove packed to the gills. I know nothing about BK's but just from what I've read here, the long burn times are legendary, no...?
  9. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    The burn times are legendary, provided I learn how to use the stove correctly. :p

    Just hoping to grab some experience from other forum members in hopes that I won't be starting fires from cold all that often.
    bag of hammers likes this.
  10. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    If you have to light a fire every night, with that insert, in Connecticut, then you gots problems.
  11. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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  12. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    In the dead of winter . . . not too many cold starts . . . usually there are enough coals in the morning to put some kindling on it (or in my wife's case as she is much more patient -- small splits) . . . and away it goes.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Same here. In winter the stove gets lit once and stays lit. Any time I start up the stove between now and late Sept. will be from cold. SuperCedars make this a non-event.
  14. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Lots of variables. I don't spend the night in my workshop...so every day during burning season that I'm going to spend some time out there (quite often), I'm lighting a cold stove in the morning. Since my wife died (late 2010) and I'm the only one here, I don't keep a fire going in the Lopi in the house as consistently as I used to, so that stove quite often goes cold, as well. Lots of variables. Rick
  15. MaintenanceMan

    MaintenanceMan Burning Hunk

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    Every morning. I usually have some glowing embers. I've been able to relight in the morning occasionally, but most of the time I start from scratch every morning.
  16. charly

    charly Guest

    Fireview always had coals... even when cleaning the cat;lol
  17. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    I haven't counted but I'd guess I've had less than a dozen cold starts from the end of September till now. With my stove I couldn't imagine not having coals left after 12 hours. I've heard the insert doesn't burn as long, I'd imagine it's close.
  18. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Because of my work schedule, I cold start every night. During the weekends I usually keep the homefires burning, then let it go out on Sunday night. Saves wood, but I wonder if it is hard on my gaskets; the window gasket is so shot I have to be careful. Getting all the gaskets changed this weekend, it the the door and the window have had it, I am sure the baffle is ready, too. (Insert was installed fall of 2011).
  19. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

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    One definite downside to a updraft boiler with storage, I need to relight it every night during heating season.
  20. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    That's a relatively new stove. My stove is starting to develop a slight dark spot near the handle where I suspect the door gasket is starting to leak just a bit. I'm wondering if 2 - 3 years is reasonable for gaskets to wear out, as a loose rule-of-thumb?

    Just kinda bugs me - my old smoke dragon still has the same door gasket on it, over 10 years weekend burning - but the newer stove is leaking after 3 years? Perhaps I should be starting a new thread (apologies to the OP for going off track here) to see what people think...?
  21. privatejoker75

    privatejoker75 Member

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    Every single day because we have an old heatrola estate here that i'm hoping to replace next winter. That's why i signed up to this forum...to find a replacement. But now i'm even more confused due to so many conflicting reviews and options
  22. Patapsco Mike

    Patapsco Mike Feeling the Heat

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    I light my Princess insert once in the fall, early October, and it runs until late March. It only goes out if I'm gone for a long weekend. I probably lit three fires all winter. You will not believe how long you can go without starting a new fire.
  23. n3pro

    n3pro Minister of Fire

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    Quite often. Here in South Central PA it usually don't go from hot to cold, sometimes September can get quite cold for a fire and til the end of November there can be some relatively nice days, same way March and April. Wood, weather, load size, burn rate all contribute. I have been surprised by the amount of coals I had to do a hot start, other times I have been extremely disappointed by the lack of coals. It's all a part of the challenge and the fun. For me it sure is much more fun then tweeking the thermostat.
  24. Apprentice_GM

    Apprentice_GM Member

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    We start a new fire every evening during winter and a month or so of shoulder (~May through September, I'm Down Under, maybe 150 new fires?) as we don't need to burn during the day, and as someone who hauls / cuts / stacks the wood himself, the less I need to burn the better. We have an unlimited amount of free kindling from trees, so the only downside is the time to build a fire, which is around 2 minutes. We build top-down fires and swear by them, can't believe we were doing it "wrong" before. The combination of ease of build, quick draft and heat build up, almost zero smoke and not having to return quickly to reload large splits is a winner for us.
  25. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Almost every time I want a fire...

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