Ashford 30.2 first impressions.

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Eric in IL

Aug 18, 2013
Central Illinois
Ordered my Ashford 30 back at the end of August 2022, it was a long wait but it was finally installed this week. My wife and I were both home Wednesday when it was installed and outside temps were in the 50’s ( probably a poor day for the draft) It was a perfect day to do the break in fire.
We put about a half load of wood in, placed kindling on top and lit it with a propane torch, left the door cracked for about five min and then closed it with the thermostat set to high. Within 20 to 25 min the temp prob was up in the active zone so we closed the bypass. We left the thermostat on high and prepared ourselves for the paint curing smoke show. The cat probe went about 3/4 of the way into the active zone and then we started seeing a little bit of smoke coming off the outside. Opened the sliding door and a few windows, it actually end up smoking way less then we thought it would, it stunk up the house for maybe 30 min but wasn’t to bad.
Fast forward to yesterday, we got what will probably be our last cold snap of the year. Temps got down to 12F with winds out of the Northwest at 17-25 mph. Lit the Ashford when I got home from work yesterday evening, got it up to temp with zero effort. Set the thermostat to about the 4 o’clock position, sat back and let the stove do its thing. Added a few more splits at 8pm and went to bed. Got up at 4:15am to a stove that was just purring along and the house was at 72F. It wasn’t nowhere near needing wood added yet but I had to work today so I crammed in five more splits. I let them catch fire, closed the bypass and turned the thermostat back to the 4 o’clock position and left for work. I keep checking my Nest thermostat and the house has stayed between 71 and 73F.
With the limited use I have had with the Ashford I’m pretty impressed so far. I’m amazed at how fast the thermostat reacts when turning down the temp. Seems like you can go from a raging fire to zero flames in under a couple min just by turning it down. The room temp feels fairly even, you can get close to the stove and it’s not a melt your face off heat ( unless your face is at the door glass level lol) but you can tell it’s hot. The procedure for lighting a cold stove or even reloading it when it’s hot is pretty basic once you have done it a couple times. The draft with my chimney setup seems spot on, even on a 50F day. The next couple weeks will give us a chance to play with the lower temp settings and really test how long of a burn we can get from a load of wood.
Oh….. one more positive, this thing is a magnet for our cats. Lol
Yup, it is an easy stove to run and control, going into my fourth season with zero complaints.