Compressed bricks for long burns?

burnermike Posted By burnermike, Jun 30, 2018 at 8:26 PM

  1. burnermike

    burnermike
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    Jun 28, 2018
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    We're moving and looking at a wood or pellet stove as the primary heat source for a 1600 sqft split level house. Connecticut. Winter stays 32 or just under most of the time. Friends and family have wood stoves, but this will be the first of my own.

    My goals are keeping the house at around 68-72, conserving energy, and tending the fire as little as possible. I suppose no more or less than firewood. With a pellet stove I think I would get the low, steady, all-day, constant heat. Are bricks suitable for such a task?
     
  2. Rickb

    Rickb
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    With the right stove yes..... With out no......

    But with the right stove you can do the same with regular firewood. Compressed bricks are not much different. I mix them in when its to wet or snowy to get to my stacks.

    Honestly what are your expectations? Load once to twice a day and keep the house warm or do you think you will be able to load 2 times a week and never touch the stove and it will just work?
     
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  3. burnermike

    burnermike
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    What I want is as long as I can get. From hanging out on here, it seems I can expect 12 hour burns from wood. Once in the morning before work. Once in the evening.

    What should I look for in a wood stove to get long burn times? From what I can tell cats burn longer and cooler than noncats.
     
  4. Rickb

    Rickb
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    I would say yes, you can/will get longer burn times with a cat stove, but if its cold and your house is large or not well insulated you wont be burning low so the difference is not as much.

    I always burn on low so for me it works better, but might not for someone else.

    Might help others if you could post a layout to get a better idea of what your house might need.
     
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  5. BrotherBart

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    I have gotten good results with bricks in a non-cat. I would like to see the experiences of folks burning bricks in a cat stove. Should be fantastic results.
     
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  6. Rickb

    Rickb
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    I have never filled my stove with bricks but with 5-6 small bricks like these I get around 5 - 6 hours of good heat from them about the same as if I put in 4-5 small splits.

    http://www.grenheat.com/product-info.php
     
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  7. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    Burning bricks in a non cat didn't get me any better than seasoned wood, and didn't burn as well.
     
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  8. begreen

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    I've gotten decent burn times and heat from solid fuel testing in the Castine, a medium-sized stove if the solid fuel is of very high quality. I have also tested some products that were not so great and a few that were total crap. The latter were flakey logs formed under low compression. Highly compressed bricks and logs worked the best. With BioBricks optimum results were achieved by following their directions and creating a wall of bricks. It's a more expensive way to heat unless you have the means to pick the stuff up at the factory in palette loads, but if the alternative is unseasoned wood, then highly compressed fuel can be a good source of heat.

    The tests are posted here: https://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/fuels/
     
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  9. xman23

    xman23
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    I tried a few packages of the compressed wood from tractor supply. I don't recall the brand. they burned ok, decent burn time, but no better than my oak. The issue was as many as I burned, just as many fell apart because I got them wet. My fault, they were under my covered deck with my wood for the season.

    So the OP question is the same as all of us seasoned burners strive for. Heat the house with the longest burn time with the least amount of work and cost. There is no Holy Grail of wood stoves that will fix what you have. The house construction will determine how much heat is needed. But there are a number of small things we all do to make the chore easier. So simple answer is no, your not going to load the stove two times a day, unless you want to freeze. I'm not a pellet burner, but I assume the automatic feeds keep it heating when your not there.
     
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  10. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    Sure you can. I load the stove once per day until temperatures drop to below freezing and then just two fill ups (partials) per day when temperatures get colder. Single digit temps, two loads per day no problem. If performance is your goal, cat stoves are great.
     
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  11. edyit

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  12. mellow

    mellow
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    I burned bricks in mine to help fill up the voids from the wood, that worked good. Burning bricks by themselves did not work all that great for me in a cat stove, I could never get a complete burn and had to empty the ash more often.
     
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  13. begreen

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    If you can get hold of some NIELs try them. They produce very little ash.
     
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  14. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot
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    I get good results using Liberty Bricks for my overnight burns. I put 10 in the back of my firebox and load the rest with regular splits. These burns go for 13-14 hours where they normally go for about 10. As much as it pains me to spend money on them (I get my wood for free), they are totally worth it when I want to have a relaxing evening and sleep in in the morning.
     
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