Question: Hi, My wife and I just bought our first home. Its a 2200SF post and beam, and its primary method of heat is a previous generation Hearthstone. I think its a Mach I or something along that line. I'm told it will burn a 22 or 24 inch log and can put out some good heat. The upstairs bedrooms walls don't touch the ceiling so the heat can flow in freely. This upcoming winter will be our first in the house. I have read ( on your site, its great ! ) that burning too little in a large stove is bad. Assuming I'm burning oak ( got a couple cords on the way ) how many logs should I throw in when starting the fire, and how long can I expect a fire to burn, approx., assuming oak is the wood being burned. Thanks a bunch and thanks for this site. I've already learned a lot. Answer: Rich, starting the fire is a bit of an art, and I'm sure the article on starting a fire at http://hearth.com/what/specific.html can help you there. As far as wood burning techniques, keep in mind the following... I am assuming that the stove is an older non-epa (not clean burning) design. 1. Start the fires hot and fast to warm the chimney and stove and establish a good bed of coals and an updraft. 2. Better to put less wood in the firebox (1/3 tp 1/2 full) when you are around the house, and burn this wood with a decent air supply. Always try to keep a good flame on the fire...not smoldering 3. Dry..and seasoned wood..split it so each piece is 6" or less in diameter 4. For overnight burns, load the stove at least 30-45 minutes before bed and burn with air intakes open..then adjust them for the night. 5. Check chimney regularly until you are familiar with how much creosote builds up.