1st Fire of season...need another break-in?

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TrippRick

New Member
Mar 22, 2022
12
Central Mass / Poland ME
Will be going into season 2 with my Regency I2500 when the temps drop. When the stove was brand new it required a few small fires to cure the paint and warm up the box, etc. After that the stove was ready for full / normal operation.

Do you need to start small every season to blow out accumulated moisture and warm up the stove?

I'll be using dry (measured) poplar, birch and some oak during the 1st part of shoulder season.

PS: love my stove...and this forum! Been burning wood for 40 years but in old standalones and an ancient insert until last year. This is WAY better!
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,604
07462
I always do a small fire as my first fire, I doesnt hurt anything and its way to ensure the chimney is free and clear from obstructions (like hornets / birds nests)
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
5,307
Long Island NY
I agree; safe start. Also note that some smell may reappear due to accumulated dust on the stove.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I run the rotary up in the fall. One time I had a bunch of beaten up yellow jackets fall out the bottom. Depending on it's size, a nest could cause an obstruction or even more excitement if a spark found it's dried out husk.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,045
Philadelphia
I run the rotary up in the fall. One time I had a bunch of beaten up yellow jackets fall out the bottom. Depending on it's size, a nest could cause an obstruction or even more excitement if a spark found it's dried out husk.
This is why I always do one very small fire each fall, before sweeping.

No matter your sweeping practice, a very small first fire is a good way to minimize "oh chit" scenarios, due to things which may not have been reconnected properly after sweeping, etc.
 

brazilbl

Burning Hunk
Aug 24, 2017
123
El Dorado County, CA
We have had a 50+ temp difference (from 114 to upper '50's) during the past two weeks. I'd like getting hit with Autumn with a fire hose!
Can't ignore the fact that some of us want to get in touch with the "fire starter" in us... :)
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,045
Philadelphia
Less exciting each year. And any enthusiasm for it dies a little earlier each season, as well.

My goal for this year is to keep usage under 8 cords. If I can't get wood usage down to that level, I'm going to have to build another shed.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
696
Central MA
My stove has a refractory cat chamber so I usually start the fire small to dry out any humidity that might have absorbed into it over the summer. Don't really know if it's necessary or not.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,620
South Puget Sound, WA
No harm done and for all the reasons stated, not a bad idea.
 

marty319

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2014
537
Belair mb
My first fire of the year as well.went down to 32° this morning.burning uglies up.

20220922_051632.jpg
 

Garbanzo62

New Member
Aug 25, 2022
37
Connecticut
Will be going into season 2 with my Regency I2500 when the temps drop. When the stove was brand new it required a few small fires to cure the paint and warm up the box, etc. After that the stove was ready for full / normal operation.

Do you need to start small every season to blow out accumulated moisture and warm up the stove?

I'll be using dry (measured) poplar, birch and some oak during the 1st part of shoulder season.

PS: love my stove...and this forum! Been burning wood for 40 years but in old standalones and an ancient insert until last year. This is WAY better!
Just purchased an I2500 will be installed in a few weeks. How do you like yours?
 

Rob_Red

Feeling the Heat
Feb 2, 2021
372
Southern New England
I always do a small fire or two out of excitement, I get the itch to burn once fall sets in even if it's still a bit mild. plus its good to cook out moisture in my soap stone bricks and give everything a low pressure test run.
 
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TrippRick

New Member
Mar 22, 2022
12
Central Mass / Poland ME
Just purchased an I2500 will be installed in a few weeks. How do you like yours? Been burning wood for 40 years but in old standalones and an ancient insert until last year. This is WAY better!

Just purchased an I2500 will be installed in a few weeks. How do you like yours?
Love it! Been burning wood for 40 years but in old standalones and an ancient insert until last year. This is WAY better! I'm pretty sure I'm not using it to it's absolute highest capability but my baseline is an ancient insert that I pulled out and replaced it with the I2500. That was real inefficient and noisy...but even at that I still liked the looking at the fire!
If it's 30 or above (or 25 and sunny) I just limp the fire along, not even engaging the CAT. I don't need a lot of heat, blower works awesome and pretty quiet even on high...which it almost alaways is. If a lot colder I put more wood in the box and use it as it was intended.
How do you plan to use your stove? Are you replacing something?
 

Garbanzo62

New Member
Aug 25, 2022
37
Connecticut
Love it! Been burning wood for 40 years but in old standalones and an ancient insert until last year. This is WAY better! I'm pretty sure I'm not using it to it's absolute highest capability but my baseline is an ancient insert that I pulled out and replaced it with the I2500. That was real inefficient and noisy...but even at that I still liked the looking at the fire!
If it's 30 or above (or 25 and sunny) I just limp the fire along, not even engaging the CAT. I don't need a lot of heat, blower works awesome and pretty quiet even on high...which it almost alaways is. If a lot colder I put more wood in the box and use it as it was intended.
How do you plan to use your stove? Are you replacing something?
Never used the fireplace because it made the house colder. After a couple of $800+ oil fillups last year, and this year looking to be just as bad or worse, decided to try the insert and see if I can cut my fuel bill. Figured out the gallons used and dollars spent on oil since Dec 2020 so I can see what savings if any I am getting and what the ROI is.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,045
Philadelphia
Never used the fireplace because it made the house colder. After a couple of $800+ oil fillups last year, and this year looking to be just as bad or worse, decided to try the insert and see if I can cut my fuel bill. Figured out the gallons used and dollars spent on oil since Dec 2020 so I can see what savings if any I am getting and what the ROI is.
Very rough numbers, but 1 cord of good hardwood replaces roughly 175 gallons of oil, for those of you who leave your thermostat at 75F all day every day. If you have a programmable thermostat that goes down at night, then scale accordingly. Wood stoves can't be programmed to go down at night and warm the place back up before you rise, so you tend to just always have the house warm. Heat loss is roughly proportional to the difference between inside and outside temperature, and heating costs scale very roughly with that (ignoring solar and other offsets).

In this way you can see it's not too tough to save some serious coin, depending on your oil usage. I've been replacing roughly 1750 gallons of oil per year with cord wood, although I'm keeping my house much warmer than I would have on oil, so the true "dollars only" savings may be under 1500 gallons. Of course, what value can you put on not freezing your pickle when you get up in the middle of the night to take a leak?

Some may argue about the efficiency of a boiler vs. woodstove skewing those numbers further, but honestly, the efficiency of an old boiler and a new wood stove are pretty similar (if not inverted).
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
5,307
Long Island NY
D*mn. That's a sour description.
 

Garbanzo62

New Member
Aug 25, 2022
37
Connecticut
Very rough numbers, but 1 cord of good hardwood replaces roughly 175 gallons of oil, for those of you who leave your thermostat at 75F all day every day. If you have a programmable thermostat that goes down at night, then scale accordingly. Wood stoves can't be programmed to go down at night and warm the place back up before you rise, so you tend to just always have the house warm. Heat loss is roughly proportional to the difference between inside and outside temperature, and heating costs scale very roughly with that (ignoring solar and other offsets).

In this way you can see it's not too tough to save some serious coin, depending on your oil usage. I've been replacing roughly 1750 gallons of oil per year with cord wood, although I'm keeping my house much warmer than I would have on oil, so the true "dollars only" savings may be under 1500 gallons. Of course, what value can you put on not freezing your pickle when you get up in the middle of the night to take a leak?

Some may argue about the efficiency of a boiler vs. woodstove skewing those numbers further, but honestly, the efficiency of an old boiler and a new wood stove are pretty similar (if not inverted).
I use between 750 and 1000 gallons a heating season. But at $5 a gallon if I can cut that in half, I'll pay off the stove in 2 years. (after factoring in the 26% tax credit). If oil goes much above that, then maybe only 1 year.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,045
Philadelphia
I use between 750 and 1000 gallons a heating season. But at $5 a gallon if I can cut that in half, I'll pay off the stove in 2 years. (after factoring in the 26% tax credit). If oil goes much above that, then maybe only 1 year.
Oil is peaked, due to what's happening in Europe, and likely to come back down a bit. But before that happens, we'll need to endure the usual seasonal rise for winter. It could be 2-3 years before things stabilize, and even then likely higher than it had been until months ago, but also likely lower than today.

Point is, I wouldn't expect it to rise by a lot, other than our usual 10 - 15% seasonal rise for winter. If you can pay your stove off in that time, all the better, but I expect 2024 prices to be a little lower than today, unless someone creates a new disaster between now and then.

Of course, these are just the thoughts of an armchair economist. I have no crystal ball, and I'm not even the most well-read person on the subject in this forum, but I do seem to get these things right more often than not.