Better burn times 2nd year

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New Member
Nov 9, 2022
So, this is my second season with a catalytic insert since I got the BK Ashford insert installed on February 2023.
I've noticed I've been getting much longer burn times compared to last season. Initially I thought it was due to the shoulder season and still not being too cold.
For reference, the longest burn I got initially was around 13hrs in March with a fully tetris packed firebox. Now I've been getting 14 and 15hr burns without even trying to fully fill the firebox. Last night was a cold night at around 30F, partially filled around 9pm, and this morning still going strong, should last 3 more hours at least.

So my question, has anyone else noticed improved performance after the first season? This stoves don't need to be broken in beyond the first 3-5 initial fires for pain curing. So I wonder why I'm getting improved performance. I know the wood is as equally dry, so that's not it. I did add some very minor home insulation (window draft) but that's about it.
Window draft can be a very large portion of air infiltration in a house. Insulating them makes a big difference. It is more about blocking the infiltration than the insulation value added.
2nd season with AF 25. Was running an 18 hour cycle this weekend. Mostly credit better wood. I am running it better and pack it better some times than other times. Generally I run 10 -15 hour cycles depending on my schedule.
Have the sirocco insert, so almost identical. Definitely get longer burn time with experience. Timing of engaging cat, where to set your air input, size of split (i like 3 chunky logs for overnight, and making sure to keep your next load of wood for the stove inside and dry (room temp for loading). Definitely look at how seasoned/what kind of wood you're using this year vs last.
I also looked into air circulation from the room/level I have my stove and it had drastically improved keeping the air temperature even throughout the house.
Normal burn times are around 12 hours for me. Try to load 2x per day

Several here have and love this model, glad to see you seem to be enjoying yours too.
Can you guys post pictures of your stove loaded up? I’m curious what the loads look like that are getting max burn times. Thanks!
18" long (bottom row a bit shorter).
First pic is pine, so not very long burn. But like that, oak (second pic) or mix oak and locust these days.

IMG_20240105_203238675_HDR.jpg IMG_20221223_221654976.jpg
18" long (bottom row a bit shorter).
First pic is pine, so not very long burn. But like that, oak (second pic) or mix oak and locust these days.

View attachment 323382 View attachment 323383
Looks good brother. Oh that sweet stanky Locust. That stuff is wood burning gold, but smells pretty terrible when burned. That’s the stove not the insert, correct?
Stove indeed. I don't smell it; system has enough draft to not have roll out when it starts burning before the door is closed.(and this was my first two nights with it, and it's blowing here from the north , and with a 26 ft tall chimney I don't get to smell it)

Also, next time I'm taking the bark off.toomuc airy (ridged) and low btu stuff when it's thick.
A properly tetrissed oak load did better for me...
Now that the temps are in the 20s in Maryland and very windy, I cant get 14+ hours no matter what. Max I get is like 8hrs if lucky, and if running on very low, and it won't hold my house temp where I want it.
Insulation and air sealing.
I had a 12.5 hr run at 18 F, and the 2.9 cu ft stove is in the basement, upstairs was 68 at lowest.
It's not the stove that did that but my insulation (windows and attic; walls are original 1978) and air sealing.
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