Do you burn differentley when its frigid

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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,883
Central Mass
Normally I batch load and when I have a few coals left I reload. Going through a frigid period (near zero) I've been adding a couple splits every couple of hours and keeping the stove temp at 450+ instead of letting it get below 300, anyone else burn like this in the cold weather, not talking to you BK guys, I know you can go hours at a higher temp.
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,883
Central Mass
Definitely adding more splits to keep the flue temp above 450. The bricks you can see in my profile pic are too hot to touch right now. I really think that adds to the radiant heating.
First year I try this, seems to be working well, had a high today of 9 and my furnace hasn't kicked on all day. 450 seems to be the magic number to keep the house at an even temp.
You're in Maine, you must be below zero tonight.
 
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Gearhead660

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2018
751
Southern WI
Temp dictates loading frequency for me. I like to throw a couple pine splits in during coaling period to keep temp up and help burn down the coals.
 
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MainePatsFan

Member
Nov 24, 2007
75
Southern Maine
First year I try this, seems to be working well, had a high today of 9 and my furnace hasn't kicked on all day. 450 seems to be the magic number to keep the house at an even temp.
You're in Maine, you must be below zero tonight.
I'm still just above at 3 degrees. I am at the southern tip of Maine just before NH. It is nice to have a woodstove and 3 cords of red oak in the wood shed on a night like this. :)
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,883
Central Mass
I'm still just above at 3 degrees. I am at the southern tip of Maine just before NH. It is nice to have a woodstove and 3 cords of red oak in the wood shed on a night like this. :)
You're near my sister, she has a Woodstock Keystone, she replaced an old VC that came with the house. 3 cords of oak should do nicely for you in the next couple of months.
 
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Max W

Member
Feb 4, 2021
57
Maine
Definitely running the cookstove’s small firebox steady and feeding more often. Right now at little below zero the stovetop is at 650. The large rectangular plate over the firebox runs a little hotter than the rest of the top but I am not gauging that. It ‘floats’, can expand and contract separately from the main stovetop and has stood the test of time. The oven is showing a little over 600 but that usually reads 50 or so degrees high. It was reading between 475 and 500 earlier tonight when I cooked a small pork loin. I wonder if some of the older cookstove tops were less likely to be damaged by over heating. Many tops had just a frame attached to the body with all of the rest of the top in plates and lipped small castings that all set in place, harder to warp I would guess.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,747
SE North Carolina
I start by getting the house a bit warmer. 12-24 hours before we are forecast to really drop In temps. If I keep feeding splits to keep temps up I build up to many coals. Hot and fast and let it burn down. I turn my blower up 30% higher. That said a cold night here is 25 above.
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,883
Central Mass
I start by getting the house a bit warmer. 12-24 hours before we are forecast to really drop In temps. If I keep feeding splits to keep temps up I build up to many coals. Hot and fast and let it burn down. I turn my blower up 30% higher. That said a cold night here is 25 above.
That's the downside, too many coals but I think it's worth the sacrifice to have to clean the stove of coals after a cold snap to keep the house temp up.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,136
Massachusetts
Temp dictates loading frequency for me. I like to throw a couple pine splits in during coaling period to keep temp up and help burn down the coals.
This is what I do. On reload I'll stuff it to the gills and burn normally but during cooling I will add some small 1-2" splits or piles of bark to keep the temps up and burn down the coals to make room for more wood. I also run the blower on medium/high instead of low.

It's been 5 ish degrees here all day and the house between 65-68 which is a little cooler than we usually like (we're usually 68-72) but perfectly fine considering the weather. Given it's only a 1.85 cu ft box heating 1700 sq ft on its own she's doing serious work!
 
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Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,521
NW Wisconsin
I like to burn smaller hotter loads during colder weather to keep stove temps up. Half loads at medium low setting usually does the trick for me giving me a 4-5 hour burn time. I’ll also occasionally adjust the air higher half way through to minimize coaling issues.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,837
Northern NH
With storage I normally run my boiler once a day and there are no coals so I have to relight from scratch, In subzero I need to run twice a day and usually have a few coals in the ash pit for a relight.

The bummer is that in real cold weather the storage is not the limiting factor, my slant fin baseboard cannot keep up with the heat loss in one of my zones when the storage temps drop. The circulator just keeps running. The fix is not easy, I would have to open up finished floor or ceiling to get to the supply and return piping to replace it with a larger diameter pipe and then I could add baseboard or go with lower temp emmiters.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,320
07462
I burn at a higher rate, so I move to 2 1/2 loads a day in the stove, the 1/2 load is around 2pm and will carry the house till 8-9pm, sometime around 6pm I'll go and adjust the air to full volume to burn down as much coals as possible so the night load can be packed as tight as possible, its been working out really well here.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,508
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I break out the good stuff when the temp dips below the donut . . . stuff the firebox to the gills . . . and often end up reloading a little sooner rather than later.
 

St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
334
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
I burn differently every day.

Back history: I do not burn overnight.

Given my back history, I have a minimum "burn time" temperature, which I think is a decent room temperature. When one room that I frequent get below that "burn time" temperature, I start a fire. So most of the year, I may not start a fire till mid afternoon. Other times of the year I may start a fire mid morning. So, to cut is short: it depends on when I start a fire. But it is based on inside temperature, not outside temperature (even if the two are somewhat related)

Hope this helps..
 

ohlongarm

Minister of Fire
Mar 18, 2011
1,555
Northeastern Ohio
Normally I batch load and when I have a few coals left I reload. Going through a frigid period (near zero) I've been adding a couple splits every couple of hours and keeping the stove temp at 450+ instead of letting it get below 300, anyone else burn like this in the cold weather, not talking to you BK guys, I know you can go hours at a higher temp.
The only thing I do differently is bring out the big guns, locust, and oak, although ash and cherry would do well, just not as long burn times.
 

Todd

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
9,521
NW Wisconsin
I also kinda like burning the softer woods when It’s frigid, they tend to burn hotter faster and have less coaling issues when a quicker burning schedule is desired. Split size also plays a role.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
581
Central MA
When it's cold out I still burn the same loads but I need to leave the air open a bit more and reload more often.. and when the coals build up I throw some kindling in there to burn it down. If it gets below 0 then I bump up my central heat to supplement the woodstove a bit.
 

old greybeard

Member
Oct 29, 2018
96
PA
I like to burn smaller hotter loads during colder weather to keep stove temps up. Half loads at medium low setting usually does the trick for me giving me a 4-5 hour burn time. I’ll also occasionally adjust the air higher half way through to minimize coaling issues.
This is working for me and my Osburn 2300 when the temps drop into 15f and below. Its a big stove and loves small hot fires. Tried doing a big fire in the AM, loading it like overnight. Found several small hot fires thru the day put out more heat, and don’t have as much coaling issues.
And very cold temperatures are about the only time I leave intake air open during a burn to increase output.
Occasionally when burning hard I do have to remove some coals.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,136
Massachusetts
I keep a big pile of bark on hand for cold snaps. It's great for burning down a pile of coals quickly before a reload while providing a quick boost of heat.

Turning up the air after the secondaries have died down is important for us. I want to power through coaling ASAP.

The other day we hit 3 degrees and my little 1.85 cu ft Osburn 1600 kept my 1700 sq ft house 66-67 degrees by itself. Good firewood and burn technique make a huge difference!

Last year my wood was mediocre and it struggled sub 10 degrees. Now that I'm well ahead I don't expect to need the backup heat until it's below 0 for extended periods of time.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,883
Central Mass
I keep a big pile of bark on hand for cold snaps. It's great for burning down a pile of coals quickly before a reload while providing a quick boost of heat.

Turning up the air after the secondaries have died down is important for us. I want to power through coaling ASAP.

The other day we hit 3 degrees and my little 1.85 cu ft Osburn 1600 kept my 1700 sq ft house 66-67 degrees by itself. Good firewood and burn technique make a huge difference!

Last year my wood was mediocre and it struggled sub 10 degrees. Now that I'm well ahead I don't expect to need the backup heat until it's below 0 for extended periods of time.
Better prepare for Saturday, supposed to be another cold snap, depending where you are in Mass you may be looking at a snow storm.
 

John B

Member
Sep 26, 2012
83
I basically do two things differently when its very cold:

1) turn up the air during the coaling phase
2) supplement some enviro bricks (2) in a load just to get some extra BTU's
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,136
Massachusetts
Better prepare for Saturday, supposed to be another cold snap, depending where you are in Mass you may be looking at a snow storm.
Yep I'm just east of Worcester off 495. My dad is coming over to help us fill up the upstairs and basement racks in preparation. I'm also loaded up with kindling and bark for burning down coals.

I plan to start doing hard Friday afternoon to get a head start and get the house nice and warm. I have my wife and kids pass me the wood since I'm the one armed man for now then I load it. My 6 year old in an expert at identifying wood splits. I can ask for oak, maple, cherry, or and and get the right one. Its really awesome to see.
 

MR. GLO

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2021
263
Massachusetts
Cape is getting ready for gusts of 70 mph winds.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,320
07462
From the last cold snap I found that that the really fat ash and oak combo I was running worked really well, so much so that after it warmed back up to the 20's & 30's I started pulling just maple from my rows to burn first, saving the other species for cold out breaks, even better is knowing I have a lot more ash coming my way in the future, so I'm sitting very pretty atm, and maybe for the next 10yrs, bring on the cold.