I definitely decided on a BK King KE 40

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European Burner

New Member
Dec 17, 2021
27
Madrid
I definitely decided on a BK King KE 40

It's been a long time since I wrote in the forum, but in other posts I already mentioned that I had a Bodart/Gonay infire insert (there are videos on youtube) that I bought two years ago to heat my well-insulated 2-story house (1,900 ft2) located in the living room on the ground floor. I decided to do this because previously I used to heat the house with a diesel boiler and water radiators, but at the price of fuel today, this was no longer an option. Last year I convinced my mother to also heat her house with firewood and thus save considerably on the monthly bill. For her, I bought a Pacific energy Alderlea T4 stove from a Spanish distributor and when I saw the difference in performance compared to my insert, I began to think about changing my insert for a good stove. To do this I resorted to this forum that I already knew and I must admit that you are partly to blame for making this decision, because of what is manufactured in Europe there was nothing that convinced me. My insert worked well but I had to maintain very strong fires so that the fans would not turn off and thus be able to maintain 66.2º on the coldest days, a bit low temperature for my liking. In addition, this used up too much wood very quickly compared to the PE T4 stove and had to be recharged every 2 hours at most.
So I began to read and investigate this forum and I realized that there were many options but I wanted it to be a catalytic stove. The PE T6 would have been a good option for my house (the T4 is a true wonder how it works) but I insist that I wanted to test the long combustion times and I had already decided that it had to be catalytic. With this clear and after reading many opinions in this forum, I was left with 3 possible options that caught my attention, Blaze King (KE 40 Ultra), Regency (F5200) and Woodstock (Ideal steel or Progress Hybrid). My first choice was BK and not only because of the long burning times, but also because of the very good comments on its thermostat, but I had to have other options in case I had a problem buying it. In Europe there are no stoves or catalytic inserts that I know of and I know practically all the brands, so I looked for possible BK distributors in Europe (I live in Spain). I found a distributor for Europe in the Czech Republic and a company in Italy that also advertised that they sold BK. When I contacted them, neither of them had stock for several years, so my options were reduced to buying in the USA or Canada. This meant that he had to import, pay duties, go through customs and assume the cost of air transportation for a stove weighing 400 pounds. Even so, I began to write to all the stores that appeared on the internet as BK distributors both in the USA and in Canada, focusing especially on those that were closer to international airports. I started to receive some offers but the minimum delivery time was 4 months. But it turns out that a retail store in Canada had an Ultra model that I wanted in stock and they offered to sell it to me while others didn't want to sell outside of their country. They were charming and treated me in an exquisite way, which has helped me a lot to be able to buy the stove since for me everything was a sea of doubts. They made me an offer for the stove and I asked them to include a combustor, door and glass gaskets with their cement, a thermostat and several spare bricks. Here began the first part of the adventure because when making the payment I had the problem that when exchanging currency the commission was very high, I thought of doing it with Transferwise but at that time they did not allow opening more accounts so I had to talk to my bank and register on an internal platform so that the currency exchange would be more reasonable. In this the bank took almost 2 weeks and once I did it I could already manage the collection. I contacted several agents and the most favorable in this case was UPS by air option. The problem for my supplier is that he had to register to obtain a CERS document in order to be able to export the stove and this had to take more than two weeks until they got it. The stove was definitely picked up and shipped to my house. Now the second part of the adventure begins, since everything I had planned to do the installation could not be done. Reading on various podscats here that the BK 40s were very sensitive to chimney installation, I began to suspect that I couldn't do an installation to my discretion. I contacted BKVP to ask for advice and with very good judgment they advised me and convinced me that the installation was essential to be done in double-walled insulated pipe from the outlet of the stove to the last meter of pipe.
This, in addition to making the installation more expensive, forced me to put a pipe with an outside diameter of 9.84 inches and made me doubt that I would not have problems when inserting the pipe through the masonry chimney. To be able to introduce the stove in the living room we had to dismantle the frames of a door (I don't understand why in Europe they make the doors so narrow). Once placed in the final place, it has been installed respecting the lengths recommended in the installation manual and inevitably putting 2 elbows of 45º to be able to direct the pipe inside the masonry chimney.
It has been a great bet with a very high total cost and I am looking forward to testing it and verifying such good comments that I have read and heard about this device. I promise to do a review when the time comes and to be able to share it with you.
Good day.
 

European Burner

New Member
Dec 17, 2021
27
Madrid
I definitely decided on a BK King KE 40

Ha pasado mucho tiempo desde que escribí en el foro, pero en otras publicaciones ya mencioné que tenía un inserto infire Bodart/Gonay (hay videos en youtube) que compré hace dos años para calentar mi bien aislado de 2 pisos casa (1,900 ft2) ubicada en la sala de estar en la planta baja. Decidí hacer esto porque antes calentaba la casa con una caldera de gasóleo y radiadores de agua, pero al precio del combustible de hoy, ya no era una opción. El año pasado convencí a mi madre para calentar también su casa con leña y así ahorrar considerablemente en la factura mensual. Para ella compré una estufa Pacific energy Alderlea T4 a un distribuidor español y cuando vi la diferencia de rendimiento respecto a mi insertable, me puse a pensar en cambiar mi insertable por una buena estufa. Para ello recurrí a este foro que ya conocía y debo reconocer que en parte tienes la culpa de tomar esta decisión, por lo que se fabrica en Europa no había nada que me convenciera. Mi insert funcionaba bien pero tenía que mantener fuegos muy fuertes para que no se apagaran los ventiladores y así poder mantener los 66,2º los días más fríos, temperatura un poco baja para mi gusto. Además, consumía demasiada leña muy rápidamente en comparación con la estufa PE T4 y tenía que recargarse cada 2 horas como máximo.
Así que me puse a leer e investigar este foro y me di cuenta que había muchas opciones pero yo quería que fuera una estufa catalítica. El PE T6 hubiera sido una buena opción para mi casa (el T4 es una auténtica maravilla su funcionamiento) pero insisto que quería probar los largos tiempos de combustión y ya había decidido que tenía que ser catalítico. Con esto claro y después de leer muchas opiniones en este foro, me quedaron 3 posibles opciones que me llamaron la atención, Blaze King (KE 40 Ultra), Regency (F5200) y Woodstock (Ideal steel o Progress Hybrid). Mi primera elección fue BK y no solo por los largos tiempos de combustión, sino también por los muy buenos comentarios sobre su termostato, pero tenía que tener otras opciones por si tenía algún problema para comprarlo. En Europa no hay estufas ni insertos catalíticos que yo sepa y conozco prácticamente todas las marcas, así que busqué posibles distribuidores de BK en Europa (vivo en España). Encontré un distribuidor para Europa en la República Checa y una empresa en Italia que también anunciaban que vendían BK. Cuando los contacté, ninguno de los dos tenía stock desde hacía varios años, por lo que mis opciones se reducían a comprar en EE. UU. o Canadá. Esto significaba que tenía que importar, pagar impuestos, pasar por aduana y asumir el costo del transporte aéreo de una estufa que pesaba 400 libras. Aun así, empecé a escribir a todas las tiendas que aparecían en internet como distribuidores de BK tanto en USA como en Canadá, centrándome especialmente en las que estaban más cerca de aeropuertos internacionales. Empecé a recibir algunas ofertas pero el tiempo mínimo de entrega era de 4 meses. Pero resulta que una tienda minorista en Canadá tenía un modelo Ultra que yo quería en stock y me ofrecieron vendérmela mientras que otros no querían venderlo fuera de su país. Fueron encantadores y me trataron de manera exquisita, lo que me ha ayudado mucho para poder comprar la estufa ya que para mí todo era un mar de dudas. Me hicieron una oferta por la estufa y les pedí que me incluyeran un combustor, juntas de puerta y vidrio con su cemento, un termostato y varios ladrillos de repuesto. Aquí comenzó la primera parte de la aventura ya que al realizar el pago tuve el problema de que al cambiar moneda la comisión era muy alta, Pensé en hacerlo con Transferwise pero en ese momento no permitían abrir más cuentas así que tuve que hablar con mi banco y registrarme en una plataforma interna para que el cambio de moneda fuera más económico. En esto el banco tardó casi 2 semanas y una vez que lo hice ya pude gestionar el cobro. Contacté con varios agentes y el más favorable en este caso fue la opción UPS por vía aérea. El problema de mi proveedor es que tuvo que registrarse para obtener un documento CERS para poder exportar la estufa y esto tuvo que demorar más de dos semanas hasta que lo consiguieron. La estufa definitivamente fue recogida y enviada a mi casa. Ahora comienza la segunda parte de la aventura, ya que todo lo que tenía planeado hacer la instalación no se pudo hacer. Leyendo en varios podscats aquí que los BK 40 eran muy sensibles a la instalación de chimeneas, Empecé a sospechar que no podía hacer una instalación a mi discreción. Me puse en contacto con BKVP para pedir consejo y con muy buen criterio me aconsejaron y convencieron de que la instalación era imprescindible hacerla en tubería aislada de doble pared desde la salida de la estufa hasta el último metro de tubería.
Esto, además de encarecer la instalación, me obligó a poner un tubo con un diámetro exterior de 9,84 pulgadas y me hizo dudar de que no tendría problemas a la hora de introducir el tubo por la chimenea de mampostería. Para poder introducir la estufa en el salón tuvimos que desmontar los marcos de una puerta (no entiendo por qué en Europa hacen las puertas tan estrechas). Una vez colocado en el lugar definitivo, se ha instalado respetando las longitudes recomendadas en el manual de instalación e inevitablemente poniendo 2 codos de 45º para poder dirigir el tubo por el interior de la chimenea de mampostería.
Ha sido una gran apuesta con un coste total muy elevado y estoy deseando probarlo y comprobar tan buenos comentarios que he leído y oído sobre este dispositivo. Prometo hacer una reseña cuando llegue el momento y poder compartirla con vosotros.
Buenos días.

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JerichaMFP

New Member
Jun 11, 2022
4
Monroe, WA
Now that it's all set up that stove should do wonders for you! Especially as a primary heat source. I love the tile work done behind, looks beautiful and warm☺️
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,821
Fairbanks, Alaska
I too love your brickwork behind the stove. I am not sure how my wife would feel about, but I think it is awesome.

You have experienced Canadian friendliness firsthand now. I think there are only about 2 dozen rude people with Canadian citizenship. The high school guidance counselors direct them into customs and border control, once you are across the border everyone else inside the border is nice.

I would encourage you to get your break-in burns done as described in the manual while your weather is still warm. I have a different stove, but the first break-in burn was noticeably stinky, the second not so much. The third break in burn I could not smell at all, but my wife said she smelled the third one too. Getting those out of the way with windows open is a good idea.

Good luck and best wishes.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,286
Long Island NY
Congrats on getting a fantastic stove! I agree with Poindexter that the tiles look great.

Do you have dry wood (preferably moisture content < 20%, but in a bind up to 25%) ready?
These stoves do not do well when fed wood that's not to their liking.

(The good thing is that central Spain is rather dry, allowing for fast drying of firewood once it's split. I've been in Madrid a couple of times. Once when it was 40 C = 104 F, and it is not at all suffering like 100 F in 90-100% humidity in East TN is...)
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,711
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
I learn something new on here everyday:

1. Apparently I know all 2 dozen rude people in Canada, they all live in my city, which is weird because there are no borders to guard here, must be a long commute?
2. Spain gets winter? Canadians think Spain is a beautiful, hot, perpetually dry country, of which we drool over photos of during our third straight month of -30C.
3. UPS ships stoves by air, across the Atlantic. Cool. I wonder what the X-Ray technician thought as that crossed the conveyor belt?

All kidding aside, congratulations on your new stove, it looks good in your home. I really like the tilework.

P.S. @BKVP, this is one of those unique customer stories that probably belongs in your marketing material.
 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,821
Fairbanks, Alaska
I am 100% confident I stopped for gas on route 43 while passing through Grande Prairie on a road trip from Chapel Hill, NC to Fairbanks, AK. In 2009.

Among English as a mother tongue speaking people, Canadians in general and Newfies in particular are the nicest people on the planet. Bar none. Kiwis do that thing with their lips against their teeth, Aussies have their own vocabulary that needs to be googled later to find out how badly you were insulted, and the Brits just tell you to your face with dictionary level ten dollar words. I got nothing to say about the Quebecois. When I visit, the food is outstanding. When girls giggle in French it just sounds cuter than when the same girls giggle in English.

If anyone would like a list of American cities where the gas station attendants are ruder than Grand Prairie, Alberta I am prepared to crack open my atlas and proceed by US state. Alabama... Anniston, Oxford, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Livingston, Ralph, Gulf Shores, Daphne, Dothan and Mobile. Alaska: Tok, Delta, Delta Junction, Fairbanks, Nenana, Healy, Trapper Creek, Cantwell, Anchorage, Seward, Wasilla, Soldatna, Kenai, Whittier, Homer... I am just getting warmed up here.

When a Canadian says to you "I am sorry" They mean "I am sorry you are selfish A-hole without a discernable shred of human empathy within your miserable sack of independently respirating cellular goop." They (Canadians) are just nice.

That Canadians might have a higher standard for niceness than Americans makes perfect sense.
 
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European Burner

New Member
Dec 17, 2021
27
Madrid
Thanks for the answers. So we all agree that we like how mosaics look except my wife who says I was wrong to choose them and it looks like a bathroom. That happens to me for getting into things in the houses where they rule. I've told her that she looks very nice but I don't finish convincing her.
As for wood moisture and after reading so much here, I bought a meter on Amazon and since last year I've been making sure the wood is really dry. Here we use oak, holm oak or olive as hardwood and I normally get it between 7% and 15% humidity. I am aware that catalytic stoves are sensitive to this.
How much difference in friendliness is there between Canadians and Americans?
 

bigealta

Minister of Fire
May 22, 2010
863
Utah & NJ
Thanks for the answers. So we all agree that we like how mosaics look except my wife who says I was wrong to choose them and it looks like a bathroom. That happens to me for getting into things in the houses where they rule. I've told her that she looks very nice but I don't finish convincing her.
As for wood moisture and after reading so much here, I bought a meter on Amazon and since last year I've been making sure the wood is really dry. Here we use oak, holm oak or olive as hardwood and I normally get it between 7% and 15% humidity. I am aware that catalytic stoves are sensitive to this.
How much difference in friendliness is there between Canadians and Americans?
Ha, Americans are not all created equal and understanding sarcasm is imperative on determining a Jamoke vs funny guy just trying to make u laugh. (for east coasters). Midwesterners much more pleasant on the surface. West coasters mostly posers down south. Ha hows that for stereotyping?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,286
Long Island NY
7-15%? wow.
Did you measure that on a surface of a split that you just exposed before measuring by resplitting the wood?
I'm not saying it's impossible in Madrid, but it's the best I every heard, if measured on the inside of the wood rather than the outside that has already dried out.

If you're burning 7% oak (which likely will be white oak for the Americans here), you're the luckiest burner on this forum!
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
2,466
Woolwich nj
Oct 15? I'm 2 or 3 counties north of you and hope i can hold off a bunch more days than 60.

Im sitting on 14+ cords CSS, plust I'm sitting on roughly 5.5 cords in log length ready to be processed in late fall. I get all my wood for free so really no cost to me. I open all the windows and try to get the house to cool so I have an excuse to light the stove. I look forward to it, I could hold off and keep the windows closed, but where's the fun in that. The best sleeping weather is 50 degrees out and the windows open.. thats the best nights sleep for me and the wife.. Wake up, light stove, make coffee, sit by stove and enjoy the view...

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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,821
Fairbanks, Alaska
How much difference in friendliness is there between Canadians and Americans?
My experience is that if you have no actual problems and are just passing time Americans are more friendly on the surface, but if you have an actual problem and need actual help that will cost someone time or effort the Canadians are better at follow through.

I sometimes wish Alaska was a province of Canada, until I open my rifle safe and look over my hunting battery. Then I get over the idea.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,286
Long Island NY
But that's Philadelphia... (Sorry @Ashful )
 

European Burner

New Member
Dec 17, 2021
27
Madrid
7-15%? wow.
Did you measure that on a surface of a split that you just exposed before measuring by resplitting the wood?
I'm not saying it's impossible in Madrid, but it's the best I every heard, if measured on the inside of the wood rather than the outside that has already dried out.

If you're burning 7% oak (which likely will be white oak for the Americans here), you're the luckiest burner on this forum!
I enclose photographs of the same trunk measured on the outside and then split and measured on the inside. This is the average humidity that I have in my firewood.

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,286
Long Island NY
That outside measurent does not mean anything (because it's outside, and because it's not oriented right - these things are calibrated and you need to take the anisotropy of the electrical properties of the wood into account, so pins on the cut surface don't make sense).

The inside one is fantastic. Bit close to the cut end (best is in the middle of the split), but that's not going to change the "fantastic" conclusion here. Lucky you.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,707
07462
The king will do you good, I have a princess and I had to learn to just let it do its thing, due to different drafts and heating requirements you'll find that the T-stat settings will be different throughout the burning season, I tend to use the low and slow function in the beginning and end season, and when temps dip I turn my burns to low candle like flames (this holds for hours on a full load) cycling is also a thing with these stoves, I either burn a 10hr load or a 18hour load, 24hrs just doesnt give me the desired heat output for my house, I can burn 24hrs and have had a nice coal bed after 30hours, you'll find that playing around with the stove for the first few months is fun and a learning curve, also high burns once a week for 20-30min is recommended to keep inside stove build up down, especially when running low and slow for the week prior.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,821
Fairbanks, Alaska
@European Burner ,

As @stoveliker has already pointed out, pushing your two pins into the endgrain of a piece of wood is not helpful. The circuitry and technology is simply not set up to make an accurate measurement that way.

What you want to do with those two pins is cross the fewest number of growth rings as possible, and you need to be inside the piece of wood fuel that you think is seasoned, more like your second picture.

Getting into the finer points of thing, imagine your otherwise triangular cross section split logs measures 10x10 cm. Split one of those in half, so you have two pieces about 5x10 cm and whatever length, perhaps 50 cm long.

Next identify the freshly exposed face of one of the two pieces you just made. You want your two pins pushed _deeply_ into the freshly exposed face in the fatter part of the wood, and not in a grey/dry branch adjacent to still orange trunk wood. And more or less parallel to the grain lines.

In fast growing wood like for instance Douglas Fir common in western North America I can often get both pins in the same band of light wood without crossing any growth rings. In slower growing wood, like maybe an eastern North American Oak growing in a dense forest with the growth rings very close together, the best anyone can do is see the grain and come as close as you can to not crossing any growth rings. There is your accurate moisture measurement.

Modern catalytic stoves are _extremely_ sensitive to damp fuel. You can get away with 22% moisture content when measuring as I have just described. 20% should be your target, and the folks who can get there usually like 18% even better. I really like to get my fuel dried to 14-15%, but I burn a LOT of it; and I don't have a reputation around here for doing things by halves.

I spent a couple weeks in Andalucía in the late 1990s. 400 year old olive trees have about the same trunk diameter as 25 year old Douglas Fir if my guide was being honest about the olive trees. Olive wood is probably fairly hard to get dry, but you got those blistering Iberian summers working for you.

You got a lot of money invested already, and a beautiful install. I encourage you to crack open a few splits, maybe half dozen of them, and measure the actual moisture content of the orange wood parallel to the grain on the freshly exposed face, towards the middle of the length of each split, in the wide part. The ends of all your splits, and the splits at the top of your stacks are very likely to be drier, have a lower moisture content, than the splits you stacked the same day at the bottom of each stack.

I don't remember exactly when the fair happened in Cordoba, but your drying season isn't over yet. If you have good airflow on your stacks you have weeks and weeks for your wood fuel to get drier before you start burning it.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,422
South Puget Sound, WA
These are excellent points, no disagreement there. Wood needs to be tested properly. Our wood settles in around 17-18% moisture content.
I found it interesting that the moisture of the doug fir used in the EPA tests was in the 22-23% range and the BK stove performed well.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,707
07462
These are excellent points, no disagreement there. Wood needs to be tested properly. Our wood settles in around 17-18% moisture content.
I found it interesting that the moisture of the doug fir used in the EPA tests was in the 22-23% range and the BK stove performed well.
Less dense so less water? 18" split 6" wide of fir @ 20% weight 5lbs vs same dimensional split of white oak @ 20% but weighs 12lbs.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,286
Long Island NY
The water content is measured in weight percent. Oak is more dense, so more dry weight. That means 20% in oak is more water than 20% in (the same volume of) fir.
 

European Burner

New Member
Dec 17, 2021
27
Madrid
@European Burner ,

As @stoveliker has already pointed out, pushing your two pins into the endgrain of a piece of wood is not helpful. The circuitry and technology is simply not set up to make an accurate measurement that way.

What you want to do with those two pins is cross the fewest number of growth rings as possible, and you need to be inside the piece of wood fuel that you think is seasoned, more like your second picture.

Getting into the finer points of thing, imagine your otherwise triangular cross section split logs measures 10x10 cm. Split one of those in half, so you have two pieces about 5x10 cm and whatever length, perhaps 50 cm long.

Next identify the freshly exposed face of one of the two pieces you just made. You want your two pins pushed _deeply_ into the freshly exposed face in the fatter part of the wood, and not in a grey/dry branch adjacent to still orange trunk wood. And more or less parallel to the grain lines.

In fast growing wood like for instance Douglas Fir common in western North America I can often get both pins in the same band of light wood without crossing any growth rings. In slower growing wood, like maybe an eastern North American Oak growing in a dense forest with the growth rings very close together, the best anyone can do is see the grain and come as close as you can to not crossing any growth rings. There is your accurate moisture measurement.

Modern catalytic stoves are _extremely_ sensitive to damp fuel. You can get away with 22% moisture content when measuring as I have just described. 20% should be your target, and the folks who can get there usually like 18% even better. I really like to get my fuel dried to 14-15%, but I burn a LOT of it; and I don't have a reputation around here for doing things by halves.

I spent a couple weeks in Andalucía in the late 1990s. 400 year old olive trees have about the same trunk diameter as 25 year old Douglas Fir if my guide was being honest about the olive trees. Olive wood is probably fairly hard to get dry, but you got those blistering Iberian summers working for you.

You got a lot of money invested already, and a beautiful install. I encourage you to crack open a few splits, maybe half dozen of them, and measure the actual moisture content of the orange wood parallel to the grain on the freshly exposed face, towards the middle of the length of each split, in the wide part. The ends of all your splits, and the splits at the top of your stacks are very likely to be drier, have a lower moisture content, than the splits you stacked the same day at the bottom of each stack.

I don't remember exactly when the fair happened in Cordoba, but your drying season isn't over yet. If you have good airflow on your stacks you have weeks and weeks for your wood fuel to get drier before you start burning it.
Very interesting answers. Despite the fact that I have read a lot about how important humidity is in wood for catalytic stoves, all this is new to me and I try to do the right thing as best I can, even if it is not easy. I don't have a forest to be able to cut trees, although my goal in the future is to get free firewood. The firewood that I have stored is the oak from Spain. It is one of the hardest woods that exist here (attached photo), and you get some incredible coals in addition to giving a great amount of heat and the reason for not inserting more the pins of my humidity meter is that in no part of the log I am able to do it without it breaking. However, I will consider that the firewood may not be as dry as you might initially think, although the sellers assure that it is dry. Also and for the moment I have thought about buying more firewood and storing it for at least one more year before burning it. It is true that the summers here are scorching and that helps. Until I turn on the stove I don't really know how it will work and if my firewood will be up to it, I hope I won't have any problems.
Thank you very much for your comments because they are very helpful.

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