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Liberty struggling to heat house

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by joshf172, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. joshf172

    joshf172 New Member

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    My liberty can't seem to get my house over 70-72 degrees. My house is 2100 sq ft. built in 1910 with no insulation. The house isn't drafty though. Right now were only heating the downstairs, say 1100 sq ft. Were in a cold snap right now, temps were around 9 last night. Loaded the stove up around 10pm, stove top got up to 700 degrees, however the living room (where the stove is, about 12x20.) maxed out at 69 degrees with the blower running. By 2am stove was down to 400, house 68, 3am house was down to 65 (heat turned on at that point) stove top down to 120.
    I have been fighting an overdraft issue, the dealer is going to install a damper. I'm not sure if this will help with heat output or not. I'm having a hard time believing that this stove can't keep up with my house, especially the fire room. I would think it would roast you out. I've also noticed on the blower anything over low and there's no heat output, seems like the top surface doesn't get too hot. I'm getting really aggravated with this stove, from everything I've been told it should heat me right out of my downstairs and it's struggling to keep up overnight forget it!

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  2. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    700 degree is pretty good cruising speed but its gonna burn your wood quicker at higher temps.

    Try to get your temps up before loading up at night as your not going to do it during the night while the coldest temps are happening.

    I am having the same issues. My stove is a bit undersized for single digit temps and wind chills below 0.

    The damper should help out a little bit maybe get you 100 deg more stove top temp.

    Pick out your best pieces of high BTU wood that will fit into the stove more compactly. Shapes are important, I pick out splits that are more Square like or rectangle like to fit more compact.

    Look at these pics in another posting:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/rake-coals-forward-and-stove-start-up-pictures.80659/

    Rake your coals forward so you an load in the back of the stove all the way to the bottom of the stove , lets you get more wood in the back.

    But its tricky getting coals burnt down to only have just enough so when rake to the front part of stove you only have half the bottom of the stove covered and that front half of coals isnt too deep also.

    Coal Management is important for all of this.

    I get my house up to like 72 and its back to 68 in the morning. The far ends of my house are cooler but we like to sleep cooler as we have the covers on. In an hour in the morning I can have temps back up to 70 in a 2500 sq foot house heated from the basement install 2.12 cu ft stove.

    Using your driest wood lets the temps come up higher easier and quicker. The more quickly you get temps up with out burning up too much of the wood for the all night burn the better the stove will perform. So if you have to use kindling and a fire starter even tho you dont need to as getting those temps up really fast and getting the air shut back down in the secondary burn mode of operation just gives that added bit of performance needed.

    At times I have used really dry wood like 15% moisture or less and the stove takes off on hot coals so fast and I get it shut down sooner as I know i loaded on hot coals really dry wood. The stoves performance is really good when I have a load of wood like that.
  3. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    I don't think the stove is the problem. Its having no insulation in the house. Got down to 7 here last night, I could only get three or the five splits in the stove last night because they where so big. When I went to bed it was 85 in my living room. When I got up the living room was 82 loaded the stove and now its up to 87. House is 2400 sqft by the way. Stove room is 25X13. I assume your wood is dry if you can get the stove up to 700. How long did it take to get to 700? How much wood did you load? At 700 degrees I know that stove is cranking out some serious heat because mine cruises between 700 and 750 most of the time. That stove should be running you out of the house
  4. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    In my experience with my Lopi stove, if you are running it at 700 degrees you are putting too much heat up the chimney. I found that longer burns with stove top temps around 550 to 600 give me much longer burns and end up transmitting much more heat into the house. I do have hot burns like 700ish to heat the house up, but I generally do that with a softer wood like maple so I can reload more quickly for a long burn. Could it be that your wood is less than ideal? I doubt this if you are getting that hot of a burn.

    Try a cycle of this: reload your stove and run the top up to 575 and try and keep it there. You may struggle with that if you have an overdraft condition so you will have to shut the draft down earlier. Try and run the stove below 600. When the wood burns mostly up and the temp drops to less than 500, open the damper all the way. That will keep it hotter and burn the coals down for a quicker reload. For milder weather, keep the damper where it was and you will have coals for a long time. I can reload 12 hours later when using oak.

    A couple of more thoughts. have you considered installing an OAK? That way you would not suck in so much outside air into your house to replace the air sucked into your stove. I have a stack thermometer, just a magnetic one, but it does help me know when I am putting too much heat up the chimney. That is really how I noticed the correlation between lower stack temps and longer burns times and a warmer house. And I do agree with the above poster.
  5. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Turn that blower down. You are sucking tons of cold air from every corner and crack in the house. Those stove top temps and burn times are great. The stove is working fine.
  6. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    What type of wood are you burning?
    How long is it seasoned for?

    I'm glad ours is in the basement (except for when it's minus 30) it will get certain parts of the basement to 80 if we want. I never had a problem with it putting out heat.
  7. joshf172

    joshf172 New Member

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    My wood is dry and seasoned as you stated. I'm burning hardwoods such as maple, oak, ash. We've even tried a load of wood from the stove shop, didn't seem to make a difference. I stuff my stove full before I go to bed, around 8-9 pieces. Once the wood ignites it shoots up to 700 pretty fast. I'm running the stove completely shut down and it still seems to burn pretty fast, within 2-3 hours were down to coals. I think this is where the damper will help. A couple weeks ago it was 45-50 degrees out and I could still only get the house to 70-72.

    Tonight I'm going to try running the heat, hot water with radiators. Get all the rooms to 70 then fire up the stove, see if that makes any difference. I'm also going to monitor my stack temp instead of stove top. BTW I have about 4 feet single wall inside, and around 20 double outside.
  8. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Now that concerns me, if the wood is good and dry and the stove is working proper you should be able to run around in your birthday suit in 50 degree weather.

    I would get a moisture meter and test that wood.
  9. joshf172

    joshf172 New Member

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    I'll double check the moisture content, But I've also tried wood from 2 other sources ;?
  10. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    How many months or years is the wood seasoned for?
  11. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    If the stove is getting up to 700 degrees, it doesn't matter if the wood is wet or dry. The stove is still hot and it's not heating the home. As someone with crappy insulation and drafts, I'd look to solving this issue.
  12. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Another vote to seal and insulate. Even if you don't actively feel drafts, a house of that vintage that has not been upgraded is leaking air like a sieve. A massive caulking program in the attic and basement could cut your heating load a third or more, insulate at the same time and your savings could be more than half.

    Where are you located? Some states offer generous subsidies for this work.
  13. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Yep 700 dregees is 700 degrees, my summit wont roast me out of my house either by any means and under the right conditions it struggles. 2500 sq ft or so
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    josh, get an energy audit done on the house. In some areas it's free. If you took an infrared picture of the house right now I'll bet you would see it glowing in areas that radiating heat to the outdoors. Get it insulated. Heating the outdoors is a losing (and expensive) battle.
  15. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    No expert here but I can tell you my experience is that with a "not very well" insulated house and temps dipping to below zero with highs in the teens I am struggling to keep above 70 continiously. Just the nature of my situation and this prompts me to look at better insulation. Temps that are 20's and above and it is no problem so I will just burn more this week and look into insulation as I go forward. I will add that is doesn't help that I leave the dog door in the door wall continiously and there is a monster draft there but hey - my heat is free and my dog is happy.
  16. MarkinNC

    MarkinNC Minister of Fire

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    I cut my air control back right after I posted my previous post. the temp was ~ 625 and it settled about 575 and was still there at 1130 when I left the house. The stove temp is now down to 425. So my comparison is heat at 500 plus degrees for hours or 700 for a couple. It is kind of the argument the BK guys make with that long sustained burn. If you are running your stove all the way shut down, I don't think you have good control of it. I think you should be able to stall the burn if you want to. Try turning that blower way way down like BB suggested. I rarely use mine anymore, the convection really works.
  17. joshf172

    joshf172 New Member

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    I double checked my moisture content between 8-12%. I've been on a caulking craze since last night. I also found a had a 12x12 ceiling tile missing which lead right into the attic. I've sealed quite a few minor leaks so we'll see how it goes. I also only run the blower turned down to the slowest speed. I think once I get the damper installed I'll also have better control over the stove and get longer burns over night!
  18. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    At these temps your fighting a losing battle. Your house is losing heat as fast as your making it. My house 3000 SF is 80% insulated and i can get 80 Deg in any weather. During cold snaps like this you will just have to assist with other heat sources until you get some insulation.
  19. joshf172

    joshf172 New Member

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    1Here's the funny thing, I emptied out the ash's today, about 1-1.5" of hot coals. The house got up to 74 with a small fire, no blower and the stove only running 500. I can actually feel the stove giving off heat! Now that I remember that I completely emptied it out early in the season and got the house got up to 78. Doesn't really make sense to me but it seems to do the trick. I'll just have to empty the ashes several times a week instead of once. I just can't figure out why when the top was 700 it wasn't really putting out heat. Can someone explain the logic of this? I guess it atleast made me look at some air leaks in my house.
  20. Firefighter4634

    Firefighter4634 Member

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    I think your stove is fine, maybe it is an insulation issue with the home. I have a Liberty 1750 in our basement family room. Out whole house is a single story ranch 1000 sq. ft. with an open stair way going upstairs. I can keep the upstairs living room at around 72 deg. even in sub zero weather. The basement I have a hard time not getting it to 85 deg.
  21. joshf172

    joshf172 New Member

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    Just an update, my house was up to 81 last night, stove seems to actually radiate the heat more. I guess I have to empty the coals more often. I'm still dropping by 3am but I think the damper will help burn time. I know heat loss in the home is also contributing.

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