Best operating practices for EPA non-catalytic fixed burn rate stove

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TwoCoasts

New Member
Nov 17, 2021
7
Mid Hudson Valley, NY
Apologies if there’s already a thread for this, but I can’t find one. I have a EPA phase III, non-catalytic, fixed burn rate wood stove (a Stuv 16-78). I’m new to wood-burning, and while it’s mainly for ambiance and backup heat (not primary heating), I want to try to use it in an ecologically responsible and safe way. For me, ecologically responsible also means if I’m going to use it for ambiance, it should contribute effectively to our heating needs as well when I do. I’ve found good advice in these forums on operating stoves with air adjustments, some of which obviously also apply to my non-adjustable stove (testing firewood moisture level, for example). But can anyone point me to a summary of best practices for operating this kind of stove particularly? The operating instructions I found on the Stuv website are … minimal. A few specific questions:

1) What can I do to extend the burn time between loads?
2) Stove over-temperature conditions come up often in the forums, but I can’t find anything about safe surface temperatures for this stove. Any thoughts about what they might be, and how to measure them?
3) At least the way I’ve been using it, this stove produces a lot of heat—enough that the house can overheat if temperatures outdoors are in the 30s or higher while running the stove. Is there a way to operate a fixed burn rate stove that lowers its heat output?

Thanks for any advice from those more experienced with these types of stoves.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
1) What can I do to extend the burn time between loads?
2) Stove over-temperature conditions come up often in the forums, but I can’t find anything about safe surface temperatures for this stove. Any thoughts about what they might be, and how to measure them?
3) At least the way I’ve been using it, this stove produces a lot of heat—enough that the house can overheat if temperatures outdoors are in the 30s or higher while running the stove. Is there a way to operate a fixed burn rate stove that lowers its heat output?
Thicker splits will burn slower. Choose dense hardwood like oak, hickory, osage orange and locust. For less heat, burn just a couple splits at a time.

How tall is the flue system on this stove from stovetop to chimney top?
 
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TwoCoasts

New Member
Nov 17, 2021
7
Mid Hudson Valley, NY
Thicker splits will burn slower. Choose dense hardwood like oak, hickory, osage orange and locust. For less heat, burn just a couple splits at a time.

How tall is the flue system on this stove from stovetop to chimney top?
Thanks for the advice—I was hoping fewer and thicker splits might help me do what I want, but wasn’t sure, so that helps. The stovepipe is 6’ from stovetop to ceiling penetration, and about another 6 feet total through the roof and above the roofline.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
OK, that is not a tall chimney at all so it's unlikely that too strong draft is an issue here.
 
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TwoCoasts

New Member
Nov 17, 2021
7
Mid Hudson Valley, NY
OK, that is not a tall chimney at all so it's unlikely that too strong draft is an issue here.
That makes sense: the startup instructions on the Stuv website say to leave the door ajar for at least ten minutes to warm it up and establish draft before closing the door, and I find it usually takes more like 20. And BTW, around here the most readily available kinds of firewood are red and white oaks with some hickory, locust, and cherry thrown in. And I’ve got a couple of white oaks that are going to need to be taken down soon. So I’m set for dense hardwood.
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
954
SE PA
That makes sense: the startup instructions on the Stuv website say to leave the door ajar for at least ten minutes to warm it up and establish draft before closing the door, and I find it usually takes more like 20. And BTW, around here the most readily available kinds of firewood are red and white oaks with some hickory, locust, and cherry thrown in. And I’ve got a couple of white oaks that are going to need to be taken down soon. So I’m set for dense hardwood.
You're set for Winter 2024-2025 you mean. Please don't try burn oak until it has been cut and stacked for two Summers at the very minimum. You'll hate your stove, you'll be constantly cleaning the glass, and you'll fill the neighborhood with smoke. After two, and preferebly three years, you'll have some of the best wood around!

TE
 

TwoCoasts

New Member
Nov 17, 2021
7
Mid Hudson Valley, NY
You're set for Winter 2024-2025 you mean. Please don't try burn oak until it has been cut and stacked for two Summers at the very minimum. You'll hate your stove, you'll be constantly cleaning the glass, and you'll fill the neighborhood with smoke. After two, and preferebly three years, you'll have some of the best wood around!

TE
Point taken, I understand, and that is what I mean. I’m stocked for this winter, can purchase plenty of well seasoned wood for the next couple of winters, and once those two (large) oaks get taken down this year, split, and seasoned, I’ll have wood to hold me for… well, as long as you can keep dry wood for. I have a few years to figure out how long that is, I guess.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,675
SE North Carolina
Top down fire. I use lots of kindling. Get that flue hot and secondary combustion going early. Way less smoke better for the environment. Remember bigger splits take longer to dry. if You want less heat use lower btu wood. Softwoods Are great and dry fast same with poplar. But they burn fast too. I’d probably be tempted to start a fire get it hot then add one split at a time. Keeping the burn clean but not so hot that you really increase the draft. (More draft means faster hotter burn).
 
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kborndale

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2008
392
LI
Point taken, I understand, and that is what I mean. I’m stocked for this winter, can purchase plenty of well seasoned wood for the next couple of winters, and once those two (large) oaks get taken down this year, split, and seasoned, I’ll have wood to hold me for… well, as long as you can keep dry wood for. I have a few years to figure out how long that is, I guess.

Just know that you most likely can not buy well seasoned wood. What wood dealers sell as "seasoned wood" generally needs to be stacked and sit for a year before it is dry enough (below 20% moisture) to use.
 
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TwoCoasts

New Member
Nov 17, 2021
7
Mid Hudson Valley, NY
Just know that you most likely can not buy well seasoned wood. What wood dealers sell as "seasoned wood" generally needs to be stacked and sit for a year before it is dry enough (below 20% moisture) to use.
Good point. Probably worth buying next year’s stock this fall in case the one guy around here who reliably has truly well seasoned wood doesn’t have stock next year.
 

Garlicman

New Member
Nov 25, 2021
6
PA
Was anyone able to determine the proper operating temperature and where to take it for this type of stove? I have same question, different EPA fixed rate stove.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,801
South Puget Sound, WA
Was anyone able to determine the proper operating temperature and where to take it for this type of stove? I have same question, different EPA fixed rate stove.
For that Stuv the best location would be with an IR thermometer on the top of the stove door. That said, with a probe thermometer on the flue pipe it would be less important and one would have more meaningful guidance for operation.