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Posted By toddnic,
Jul 13, 2013 at 8:34 PM
rideau is hot and bothered! Watch out, guys.
Six full cords is amazing. Were you able to close the air down enough to keep the flue cool and the flames off the wood? I lost a lot of heat up my chimney, at least in part because I have too much draft. If you have a tall chimney, if you have not already I would install a flue thermometer. If your flue temps are not dropping precipitously once the cat is engaged, I'd consider getting a damper in the chimney.
I don't use anywhere near that much wood to heat a larger home in Southern Ontario, even with heat lost up the chimney. Are you burning hardwoods or softwoods? I think you'd have to have the stove completely full all the time for six solid months to burn that much wood, and you should not have to do that.
This is the wood and moisture content I burned in both stoves (BK And PH):
Ash.......... 17% to 28 %
kiln dried Doug. Fir.....13% to 18%
Doug. Fir.... 20% to 30%
Bear bricks.....9% to 11% (similar to your bio bricks..(All natural 100% pine)
The progress hybrid does its best job with the bear bricks , but struggles with a lot of the wetter cordwood.
P.S. Hang in there with that heat.
NC 30, my apx %: 8- kiln dry but will absorb and stabilize at about 12 depending ambient conditions, 12-15 is about optimum, 15-20 is some what marginal , 20 and above is a creosote nightmare. Harbor Freight moisture meter. Wiggle room on these #'s
Cheek method, respilt a split down the middle if it feels damp to cheek, too wet. ( top or bottom cheeks your choice.)
Ram, I can not answer your question from my own experiences simply because I have never used, nor even felt as if I needed a moisture meter. However, most seem to recommend 20% for the top number. Still, bear in mind that the MM gives you a general idea but not necessarily exact number for the moisture content.
One year at Woodstock we had smuggled in some of our wood and I knew this wood had been in the stack 7 years. Actually a bit over 7 years because we split and stack in March or April. So that wood was actually at the time 7 years plus 5 months. We got a couple different readings but if my memory is right none was over 11%. This is particularly interesting because Woodstock and I have always disagreed on the ideal burning moisture. Although I did not know the exact percentage in our wood, I knew for sure it would be under 20%. So the wood we took was tested (they have one of the very best MM) and super low moisture. So, I then said, "Let's see how it burns." I believe it was Lewis who put the wood in the Fireview; not the Progress (both were burning at the time). It burned beautifully! Since that date, I've not heard anyone from Woodstock tell me my wood is too dry.
Well I just got some great news. A neighbor has a large 'very dead' yellow birch that they want taken down. It is so dead that the bark is already off of it and it is still standing. Looks like it will probably be around one cord of wood. Anyone burn yellow birch? Very thankful for some very dry wood!
Yellow birch is one of the better birch trees to get for firewood . . . when fresh cut it has a nice wintergreen-like smell when cut.
I hope that Birch is still good, I've seen a lot of dead birch rot from the inside out and when you buck it up the inside is either like a wet sponge or its major punk. Maybe you will be alright since it's barkless but birch bark tends to keep the moisture in.
My only experience is with white birch. I didn't realize the other birches were also "watertight". If the others are as bad as white....I've never seen a white, except when cut when it starts to die, that was salvageable for firewood...the bark still makes great fire starter though.
My wood score for the day!! Really excited about getting some dry wood. I think it is yellow birch It is almost a full cord!
That wood surely looks fine. What length are the splits?
Kinda hard to tell from the pics but that wood looks solid from here. Yellow Birch is about like White Ash heat-wise, very good stuff. If it's anything like the River Birch I cut last summer, even if it's a little wet it will dry really fast. Mine was fresh-cut wood, sopping wet, but was dry in a few months.
Nice score toddnic. Looks like you are making "progress".
Well why is a flue thermometer? Please post info and a picture, thank you... Rideau
Wood lengths are anywhere from 16" to 22".
Did you pull that trailer with that van? The van doesnt even look squatted down in the back.
The vehicle is not a van. It is a 1999 Dodge Durango with a 5.9 engine with 268,000 miles. It is a workhorse!! I believe in getting every ounce of $$$$ out of my vehicles.....unless it is my wife's vehicle....then it is only a few years old
I had the 5.9 2001 i think. Only lasted half of yours with regular maint. wasnt upset because it got around 14 mpg
Thank you Joful
You're getting a lot of good advice here. It's all about the wood. Your oak is probably not ready after one year. Put a moisture meter on all the wood you have. Use the driest wood to get the fires going hot, then if you need to use more moist wood to stretch the supply, put that on while the fire is hot. It will be inefficient but you won't create a lot of creosote that way. Keep the fires hot enough to fire the secondaries and flue temps up.
The next few years will go much better as your wood dries out. Almost everyone has to suffer through the first year with less than ideal wood, but it can be dealt with. You may want to consider getting some manufactured "biobricks" or similar. These products are bone dry with a lot of BTU content and can help a lot.
Some inexpensive but invaluable tools to have are a moisture meter (a must have), stove top thermometer and a flue thermometer.
Keep in mind that all bark is waterproof. That's its main purpose. Standing wood or long rounds with the bark still intact is not likely to be dry and may be rotten inside. I've personally been fooled by this on my own property.
So important , its all about the wood, people go buy a more expensive EPA approved stoves over a cheaper EPA stoves that might get you 2 or 3 or 4 extra percent improvement in efficiency, but if your wood is not good you could ruin your efficiency by I am guessing at least 10-15% or more , as the key to these stoves is a good secondary flames up in the top of the stove burning the wood smoke gas. Boiling the water out of the wood keeps the secondary burning cooled down so I bet its not doing as best it can. Plus the energy used to boil the moisture out of the wood steals heat you need in the house.