am i burning too much wood per day?

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Jotel me this

Feeling the Heat
Sep 21, 2018
302
Pennsylvania
i asked several questions as a newbie last month on how to use my Jotel Carabasset. so far so good. i learned a lot from you all and appreciate it.

on average (starting from once the stove is up to temp with coals and ready to be reloaded) im getting exactly 5.5 hours of burn time with the stove packed with 10-11 pieces of wood.

is this 'good'? so thats reloading 4 times a day, 10 pieces per reload.. thats 40 pieces a day? that sounds high to me. i dont understand in these forums when i read that people can heat their whole 2200sqft house with 3 cords per winter 24/7.

am i doing something wrong or is this normal? im getting heat thats for sure. the house is at 78F, getting secondary burns, air isnt up all the way. followed all your directions and advice.

do you use 40 pieces per 24 hours?
and if you dont, cause there always seem to be people at extreme opposites saying, "I burn 5 pieces a day and it heats my 4,500sqft house no problem"... how are you doing it?

thanks.
 
very good question. i think i see what youre asking. maybe theyre too small? moisture reads at 12% on the surface.. so maybe too try too??

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A reading on the surface means nothing at all. I seriously doubt anyone in pa has wood that is to dry this year.
 
A reading on the surface means nothing at all. I seriously doubt anyone in pa has wood that is to dry this year.

this wood is older. i just went outside and split one. inside moisture reading 17%. so im thinking maybe my pieces are too small and possible too dry.

im assuming the way to do it is to burn much larger pieces at night; less surface area?
 
How big are your splits?
Lopi Rockport
Blaze King Ashford 25

very good question. i think i see what youre asking. maybe theyre too small? moisture reads at 12% on the surface 17% on the inside.. so maybe too dry too??

am i burning too much wood per day?
 
this wood is older. i just went outside and split one. inside moisture reading 17%. so im thinking maybe my pieces are too small and possible too dry.
They are not to dry at 17% unless they are kiln dried there is no way to get wood to dry in our climate especially this year. And i split much smaller than what i see there. It looks fine. You will get the hang of it.
 
In this current weather by us (so far November is ranging from 24-50 HDD's, with 34 being the mean average), I'm burning an average of ~70lbs of well seasoned (6-7 years or so) wood a day. 40 splits seem like a lot to me. Your splits look to be about 3-5lbs a piece or so...?? That would be roughly 120 - 200lbs a day. That's a lot for this warmer weather. I assume the weather by you has not been very cold yet. Do you need it 78° in the house? ;lol
 
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In this weather by us (ranging from 24-50 HDD's, with 34 being the mean average), I'm burning an average of ~70lbs of well seasoned (6-7 years or so) wood a day. 40 splits seem like a lot to me. Your splits look to be about 3-5lbs a piece or so...?? That would be roughly 120 - 200lbs a day. That's a lot for this warmer weather. I assume the weather by you has not been very cold yet. Do you need it 78° in the house? ;lol

thanks. no. id like it cooler but thats one area i guess im not sure about. how do i adjust the heat temp in the house with a wood stove? if i lower the air intake, the flames/secondary burn die out and create smoke and just smolder making the glass hazy. if i dont load it to the brim with wood, i feel like i end up using even more wood.

and im not sure what a 'split' is defined as, but my pieces are more in quarters than split down the center as in halves of a whole log.
 
The easy answer would be to load less wood, but I can't help you with the details, as I don't have a stove. I have a computer controlled wood furnace made for dummies like me. ==c ;lol
 
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I have an F600 and heat a 2200 square foot house in central VA. One floor, open floor plan with three major rooms. The stove is in the middle (main) room. I heat with a mix of hardwoods and pine all between 16 and 20% moisture. I use between 2 and 4 cords per year.

As a gauge, today it was in the 50s and sunny during the day and currently 35 at night. On a day like today, I fired the stove at 7am with about seven 3-6 inch splits and then again tonight at 7pm with roughly the same number of splits. It is currently 77 degrees in the main room and will be in the mid to high 60s in the morning at 6am.

The key is dry wood and learning to maximize your efficiency with air intake control. In addition, we are able to heat so well with so little wood because our house is southward facing and designed as passive solar with maximum insulation.

This is just to give an example of wood use in our particular heating situation.
 
Try to cycle the heat output with when you need the heat. In the old days the house was cold all night and in the morning they were making a fire to heat up the place. Think of your house as a heat sponge. You put some in then it goes down. With a catalytic stove it is easier to cycle because there are less peaks but we still have peaks when we reload. That is why most of us reload early morning and in the evening (but not too late) unless it is really cold. Then we can load 4-5 times a day. It also depends of your wood. If you have oak or hard maple you get more heat per load so you reload less often. With a non catalytic stove it is normal to restart the fire 2-3 times a day , don’t expect to keep the fire going 24/7 when it’s 50 outside.
 
So the answer to your question is a little difficult. Your going to go through alot of wood trying to keep your home at 78 degrees. I keep my home at 70 to 68 degrees. So obviously I'm going to go through less would then you I am burning approximately 3 chords per year if it's a cold year possibly four. That being said i will burn less wood. The other factor is how well your house holds the heat my house holds the Heat well so therefore again I will go through less wood than someone whose house isn't as well insulated. The real question for you is are you prepared to burn the amount of wood needed to keep your house at 78 degrees. Your OP is speaking in terms of pieces of wood per day that's not how you figure would you purchase wood in cords a cord of wood is 128 square feet 4 x 8 x 4ft. What you need to do is figure out how many square feet of wood you burn per day x 's how many days you will burn and you will figure out how many cords of wood you need for the year. If your projected consumption at that point will be more than the wood on hand then the answer to your question is your burning too much if you have wood left over than the answer will be you're not burning too much. Some people's needs on this form are as much as six to ten cords so for me that is a lot for them that is just right because they have enough wood to fulfill their needs.
 
It will take a few seasons to get used to the stove, especially a cat stove. I load mine and get minimum 7 hours before i reload while keeping the house at 75 degrees, 1500 sq feet. I monitor my cat temp and don't reload until cat temp falls below 900 degrees, i keep my cat temp at 1000 to 1200 degrees by closing or opening the air intake as necessary. At cat temp of 1200 degrees and air almost fully closed and fan on low speed is the sweet spot for my high valley.You still get good heat with just a bed of coal and no flame so don't be tempted to reload before it is necessary.
 
I would get a thermometer on your stove pipe or stove, perhaps your over firing? And all that heat is really going out the flue? You mentioned lowering the air intake cause the glass to get dirty, I would then try adjusting not as much. Close it slower.
 
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The other part of your question being are you burning too much. This would be related to the species of wood that you are burning many of the species of Woods will put out different BTUs or heating capacity therefore cherry will put out less heat than say Oak so to keep your house at 78 degrees you would need more cherry verses less Oak to keep your house at the same temperature so obviously you would burn through more wood that is softer than a wood that is abundant in BTUs.
 
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I would get a thermometer on your stove pipe or stove, perhaps your over firing? And all that heat is really going out the flue? You mentioned lowering the air intake cause the glass to get dirty, I would then try adjusting not as much. Close it slower.

Would also be curious to know what your stove pipe temps are


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Why keep your house at 78? That sounds really uncomfortable. And it pushes the humidity down, especially with wood, making you more susceptible to colds and flu.

If you can also make the home tighter and better insulated, that will help, regardless of the fuel used.
 
And it pushes the humidity down, especially with wood, making you more susceptible to colds and flu.

Pretty sure I heard my grandmother say that. She also said I'd die of "consumption" if I didn't wear a scarf. Pretty sure it ain't true.
 
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Pretty sure I heard my grandmother say that. She also said I'd die of "consumption" if I didn't wear a scarf. Pretty sure it ain't true.

Beneath a certain humidity level -- I'd say 40% -- the mucous membranes are dryer and more susceptible to virus. It's a testable assumption -- no need to take any one person's word for it. See if keeping winter humidity up in the 40s helps your health. It's very unlike the idea that we could catch cold from being outside, or having wet hair.
 
Maybe I'm getting old or I'm missing something from the pic with the tape measure. I didn't see 1 split larger then 4" across the widest section of the split. Seems rather small to me. Could be the angle of the tape measure also ,who knows . good post though.
 
I spy Tulip Poplar in the upper right... great shoulder season wood but it burns super fast just like pine...

It also looks like your splits are pretty small, so your 40 splits would be most peoples 20 splits.

20 splits for me of shoulder wood like maple and tulip poplar is very realisic. Id say I go through 20 splits a day for 24/7 heating easy, id even go 30 without hesitation but never really counted.
 
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Yellow lines are going to pieces I feel confident in them being tulip poplar, though I could be wrong. Ive burned a lot of it, and its a good early season wood but performance isnt on par with classic hardwoods to get 8-12hr heating times.
 

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Hows the insulation in your house? About a month ago I finally got my attics up to snuff with blown in cellulose + air sealing. What a huge difference. I'm feeling stove heat in parts of the house I never did before.

I did the same for my attic summer 2017. HUGE differnence in heating the next winter. Well worth the $$$ I paid.
 
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thanks. no. id like it cooler but thats one area i guess im not sure about. how do i adjust the heat temp in the house with a wood stove? if i lower the air intake, the flames/secondary burn die out and create smoke and just smolder making the glass hazy. if i dont load it to the brim with wood, i feel like i end up using even more wood.

and im not sure what a 'split' is defined as, but my pieces are more in quarters than split down the center as in halves of a whole log.

I think 40 pieces is a little too much. That being said you have small splits looks like you're averaging 3" across. Are you letting the stove go down to coals or just stocking it up as you have room in the firebox? Also if you are burning softer wood you will go through more.

For reference with my non-cat EPA cert stove I go through about 60lbs. of dried wood a day heating a 3000 sq.ft. house. That is (4) 16" splits ranging from 6" to 4" across at the widest part and (3) 21" splits ranging from 3"- 4" across at the widest part.
 
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