1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
  1. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    Delaware
    At what temp do you guys let your stove get down to before a reload? I'm trying to let it run it's course as long as possible with out having to destroy next load just getting temps up

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Firedancer

    Firedancer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    This may be the wrong thing to do....because I'm new at this but I add wood if I want more heat. If my house temp is comfortable then I don't mind the stove temp dropping. It's my understanding that very little creosote is being created if the wood is pretty much burned up.

    I do try to add more wood before it becomes a "chore" to start up again.
  3. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    Delaware
    Sounds legit to me. Thanks
  4. Firedancer

    Firedancer New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2013
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Well it may not be lol.
  5. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,355
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    Well then I would be wrong right along with you. lol
    ColdNH likes this.
  6. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    Delaware
    We will stay warm somehow, right or wrong lol
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Firedancer is not far off at all. If you need the heat, then it is time to reload. If you don't need the heat, why waste wood. That, by analogy is like opening windows and doors while leaving your thermostat for the oil furnace turned to 75. Wood costs dollars just like oil, gas, or electricity; don't waste it.

    This time of the year it is not uncommon at all if our house is warm enough and it isn't going to get cold, we simply go to bed and don't think about the stove until morning. If the house is real warm but say it is going to get down to the mid or low twenties, then I may put in 2 split or 3 at most then go to bed.

    As for letting the fire go out, we never think twice about it. We've even been known to do this in mid winter if we hit a warm spell. As for restarting a fire, that is really simple to do and does not take that much time at all. If someone is having problems getting fires going, there are possibly 2 different problems. One is that the person just has not that much experience in starting fires. That is okay but take the time to learn how to do it.

    In addition, one of the very best things for starting fires in your stove is called Super Cedars. Do a search on this forum for Super Cedar and simply send Thomas a note asking for some samples. You can usually get those in less than a week. Break each one into 4 pieces so you have enough there to start 4 fires. Thomas will give you two so you have enough to start 8 fires. Use kindling wood if you need to also but most folks who use the super cedars have stopped using kindling. We still like to use a few pieces of it.

    The other problem, and most likely this is the biggest problem with most folks when they are new at burning wood. Simple; the wood is not dry enough. You can not go out and cut the wood and then expect to burn it. Sorry, it does not work that way. Wood has moisture in it and we still have not found a good way to burn water so you wood has to dry out. This happens after you split it and then stack it out in the wind to air dry.

    Ah, but what about those who buy their wood? It is the same problem as the above paragraph. Wood sellers can't split and stack their wood like home owners do so the split it and deliver it. That wood is not dry enough to burn properly even if they tell you it is. It just does not happen in most cases. I'd venture to guess that perhaps 1-2% of the wood sellers truly have dry wood. That means your chances are pretty darned low of buying ready to burn wood.


    But back to the original post. What to do about reloads. As we get into winter (we are still into autumn) then you will be reloading once you get the fire down to coals and the stove top temperature drops to perhaps 300-350 (this can vary a lot more than that). This time of the year, why try to keep the stove going if you don't need the heat? Do you open your wallet and drop a dollar or two just because you don't want to carry that around? Wasting wood is just like doing that.
  8. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    Delaware
    Great advice. Thanks. I also got my sample starters yesterday. They are awesome. I ordered 72 count this morning. Right now the days are warm and the nights have not been bad, last night was first night that it was cold. 30 degrees and cold when we woke up. Of course I had to put a gasket on yesterday and waited the 24 hour cure time on the silicone. 60 degree days all week and I picked yesterday lol
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan

    You had an excellent post going there Firedancer until that last sentence. I never add wood just to avoid the chore of restarting a fire nor would I advise anyone else to do so.

    You are very correct that the last part of the burn is not where you will get creosote. But if you do things correctly, you won't get any creosote even at the start of the fire! Case in point; we put up a new chimney in 2007. Have cleaned it once. We have had zero creosote in this chimney. All we get is some soot and fly ash. I will add, and most on here know this, that we try to burn wood that has been split and stacked for 3 years and many times much longer. We are burning some wood this year that was cut during the winter of 2008-2009. It was all dead ash. It was split and stacked in early April 2009. It is some sweet burning wood too!

    This brings up one more point. We constantly hear that ash is one wood you can cut and burn right away. Never believe that. Well, you can burn it if you wish but you will have very poor results. Leave that ash at least a year before burning. If you can leave it 2 years or more, so much the better. The benefits of having many years worth of wood on hand are numerous. In fact, we've had several cases of folks on this forum who have been injured or gotten sick and could not put up wood for a year or more. Those who had their 3 year supply of wood on hand got along just fine. Those who didn't, most ended up buying wood that was still green and had all sorts of problems. This 3 year plan is about the best you can do. It may take some time and a lot of work to get that far ahead but once you do, you will never be sorry nor would you ever go back to the "old" ways.

    Okay, sermon finished.
    Kevin Dolan, Firedancer and JohnKoP like this.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    ;lol Yes, sometimes our timing seems to be off a bit. Most of us can relate. But 30 at night is not yet cold so you should have been fine. Wait until the nights get into the teens and lower; then you'll really appreciate a good fire.

    I was amazed today. They forecast us to get into the 50's. I came inside just a short time ago and the heat really felt great because I was cold. Ha! The temperature is still in the high 40's!!!! I could hardly believe it, but that wind is really cold. But aren't days like this great when you are cold then come in to a nice wood fired stove to warm you?!
  11. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    Delaware
    They are awesome! I am working night outside this week so 30 degrees to the wife and kids is cold , they like the warmth of that stove cooking. Who doesn't. Our house actually hold heat pretty well. It is old so I'm surprised by that. Pre stove I'd keep house cold in winter lol. Put on a warm shirt! Lol. Now the stove is here this family is liking warm nights haha
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  12. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    It does not take long for folks to get used to the warm house. That is the nicest thing about burning wood.
    Elle likes this.
  13. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    617
    Loc:
    SE PA
    Interesting this topic came up. Was just thinking about it today, when I decided that my master bathroom (usually the coldest room in the house) was a little chilly. So even though I might have normally waited until the main areas dropped below 70 before reloading, I figured what the heck, what am I trying to prove here, so I reloaded when the main rooms were still at about 71, got the stove hot, close to 800F at the hot spot, and cut it back. Went out for less than an hour and when I got back, the main rooms are at 73 (not too hot) and the bathroom's comfortable.

    It's taking awhile getting used to the Summit, compared to the Century which was just too small. With that stove, there was just no way to get ahead of things like with the Summit where I'm only loading a few times a day. With the Century I was reloading every couple hours just to keep the main rooms from dropping below about 68F and fighting the coals.

    I'm sure it's going to be different when we get into the teens and single digits, then it will likely either be being satisfied with temps in the 60's, fighting coaling (which I haven't yet run into with the Summit), or using some propane boiler heat to supplement. So far this season, other than turning on the boiler a couple times basically to make sure everything's working, I haven't used ANY propane for heating. In Sept and Oct, when I needed a little heat in the mornings or evenings, I just built a small fire and the house got warmed up about as fast as it would have taken the baseboard heat.
  14. Sully

    Sully Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    Delaware
    Same here. At a civic meting the other day we were only house who did not turn our heater in yet! Makes me feel good.
  15. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    256
    Loc:
    Boston NW suburbs
    Thanks all for this really interesting info--like many in various threads over the last couple of weeks I am experimenting at this time of year to find the balance between getting the heat up enough so as not to lose smoke and not getting too hot. And at the risk of being redundant with asking this question in a different way on another thread, should I stop being so obsessed about smoke up the flue? (I know Backwoods Savage and BeGreen have answered something like this question but I still need to be sure--so thanks in advance for indulging me).

    Right now I am sweltering--had to put my ceiling fan into summer mode and change into beach clothes!! I have a fan in my front door entrance area which is below my stove room and just a few steps up from a basement room with heat off and it is pointed up to the stove room. Also have a fan at the far end of the house--same floor but cooler area--facing towards the stove room. It is still very hot. THe reason is my stove is probably a bit big for my space, but I have been trying to burn hot enough to be completely efficient since this forum has made me totally paranoid about creosote.

    I am getting the idea that this time of year I should burn less wood, not worry about smoke and let it burn down to coals. It seems like I get clean burning at the beginning as the box heats up enough to engage secondaries, then cools down to below that engagement temp for quite a long time when the stove and the house are plenty warm but there is some smoke going out the flue, then down to coals and no smoke for quite a while. If I start with 3 or 4 small to medium splits that whole process lasts several hours and the house stays warm even when the coals are quite low.

    BTW--I have a T5 which I am running in about 900 sq ft but with 20 foot vaulted ceilings and I am pretty sure my wood is quite dry as it scorches up and starts to burn from coals within a couple of minutes. So perhaps that creosote thing is more about wetness of wood than about smoke from a not so hot fire.

    And one more thing--For monitoring the stove temp--I have a magnetic thermometer on the flue about 18" above the stove top--would I be better off to have one on the stove top instead.
  16. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    256
    Loc:
    Boston NW suburbs
    I think I found the answer to my own question on the stuff to read if you are new to burning from Sept. 2011

    " I'm surprised the EPA hasn't put a restriction on shoulder season fires since they don't allow the stove to go into high efficiency mode. Next they'll have the stoves automatically shut down after a pre-determined amount of time under temp.
    But seriously, I can see this shoulder season fire debate as one that has lots of solutions with lots of variables. The key being to get the top of the stove hot quickly." Thanks forum monitors for providing that section.
  17. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2012
    Messages:
    2,183
    Loc:
    Kennett Square, PA
    I'm with Backwoods Savage with the three years seasoning. It all good things about that. I feel various oaks burn even better with four or five years. It's amazing the difference that time does to your firewood.
  18. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,355
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    Don't worry so much about the creosote..but do check your flue now and then of course.
    People do burn tube stoves lower in the shoulders without the secondary's actually firing.
    Sure it's not ideal and will contribute to creosote but it can be done and is often.
    Have friends that have them.
    One guy has a outside chimney with no liner and he burns anyway he wants and he never seems to get much crap in his chimney.
    Even though I always tell him he will..but he does check it a lot.
    He does have really dry wood though.
  19. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,148
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    No, with dry wood it does not.

    Start speaking of what you have experienced. This talk of "tube stoves" is getting old.
  20. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,355
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    I don't follow what you're saying.
    What I'm saying is the buddy of mine does not bring his stove up to a temp to where the secondarys kick in during warmer shoulder seasons.
    Dyerkutn was worried about creosote build up from not burning hot and I posted what I posted and to show that this guy gets away with it..that said he burns really dry wood and does check his flue a lot.
    Not sure whats wrong with saying that.
    I'm at his house regularly so i do know his situation .
  21. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    29,148
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Pretty much saying that any of your unending posts about non-cat stoves, until you buy one, are going to disappear. They contribute nothing to the discussion.
  22. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2010
    Messages:
    3,355
    Loc:
    Rochester,Ny.
    Well that is not going to happen...and your opinion is your opinion about contributing.
    I have said both types of stoves have their place.
    A big old drafty house is perfect for a non cat stove .
    A much better insulted big house is fine for a catalytic stove.
    As far as shoulders you can burn hot short and let the non cat go out till a another fire is needed..i just find that a pain but to each their own. Cheers!
    BTW you're a mod so check my likes..6 pages of them..I must contribute something..lol.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  23. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,055
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    It's true that it's a bit of an art to know how much to burn in the shoulder weather and when to reload. The other day I overdid it and ended up with a 79 degree house (I know, it's just right for some:)) Tonight I kind of wished I'd reloaded in the afternoon, but now it's almost bedtime and I'll let it go til morning. It's still warmer than I would have set a furnace, though! Spoiled.

    Totally agree to reload when you want more heat and not before just because. It's so easy to start a new fire if the coals are gone, I don't even think about that. I'll admit that I cheat, though, and use Super Cedars which makes starting a new fire a total non-issue.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2013
  24. dyerkutn

    dyerkutn Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    256
    Loc:
    Boston NW suburbs
    That is about where I am now!!

    I use newspaper and a couple of small sticks---starts right up.

    BTW, thanks for all the info about fans from the other post--that was really helpful.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,450
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Right now we're moving away from the shoulder season fires and into the 24/7 burning which is much, much easier.

    However, burning during the shoulder season can be done easily enough . . . without burning inefficiently and without driving you out of the house . . . just learn from my mistakes.

    -- You do not need to load the stove to the gills if you are just taking the chill out of the air. You can do a partial load and still get a good burn.

    -- Avoid the temptation to reload the stove . . . even if it is still cool OUTSIDE if it is plenty warm inside. A hot or warm stove and warm walls, furniture, etc. will radiate/hold the heat for a decent amount of time. Still . . . it is so tempting to reload when you are firing up the stove for those first few cold days and nights.

    -- Use up your punks, chunks and uglies. This is the time to use your "second class" firewood -- the softwood, the poplar, the silver maple or other wood that cannot stack up to the BTU producing power of the oak, black locust and osage orange. To every season there is a species . . . the shoulder season is the time for the shunned woods to shine. And this is also the time to use the wood that is a bit punky (but dry) . . . or your chunks . . . or those pieces of wood that are twisted or have nubs and crooks in them so badly that they just will not allow you to fill up the firebox.
    DTrain, CenterTree, dmmoss51 and 2 others like this.

Share This Page