Keeping glass clean overnight? and other questions

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acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
62
Cincinnati, OH
New burner here...Using an Osburn Matrix 2700 insert. I'm getting better at managing the fire, but am still learning.
Would appreciate any feedback you guys can offer. Since this is my first season I am admittedly using purchased wood, which I can't say for sure has been seasoned as much as it should be. I have yet to buy a moisture meter.

1) How long should it usually take before I can close the door? Assuming I have some kindling burning and possible 1 small log. It seems even with the air open all the way, closing the door almost snuffs out the fire.
2) Similar question. How long should it be before I can turn the air 1/2 way down, or all the way down? This seems to take a good while and also sometimes almost kills the fire.
3) What's my best option for an overnight burn? I've tried it a couple times...loading a fair amount of wood to a good hot fire, then turning the air all the way down. In the morning there are just barely a few hot coals.
*Should I leave the automatic fan on?
4) Is there a way to burn overnight and not soot up the glass? Each morning I wake up to find the glass quite dirty.
5) Once the automatic fan kicks on, shouldn't it turn back off when the stove cools down some? It was still running this morning, even though the fire had long burned out.

Thanks
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,157
central pa
New burner here...Using an Osburn Matrix 2700 insert. I'm getting better at managing the fire, but am still learning.
Would appreciate any feedback you guys can offer. Since this is my first season I am admittedly using purchased wood, which I can't say for sure has been seasoned as much as it should be. I have yet to buy a moisture meter.

1) How long should it usually take before I can close the door? Assuming I have some kindling burning and possible 1 small log. It seems even with the air open all the way, closing the door almost snuffs out the fire.
2) Similar question. How long should it be before I can turn the air 1/2 way down, or all the way down? This seems to take a good while and also sometimes almost kills the fire.
3) What's my best option for an overnight burn? I've tried it a couple times...loading a fair amount of wood to a good hot fire, then turning the air all the way down. In the morning there are just barely a few hot coals.
*Should I leave the automatic fan on?
4) Is there a way to burn overnight and not soot up the glass? Each morning I wake up to find the glass quite dirty.
5) Once the automatic fan kicks on, shouldn't it turn back off when the stove cools down some? It was still running this morning, even though the fire had long burned out.

Thanks
How long has your wood been cut split and under top cover?
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
530
Central MA
The glass will stay cleaner with dry wood. For now try and turn it down less to avoid sooting up the window.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
Your observations are consistent with wood that is too wet.

Also, a 2. 5 cubic feet firebox should be able to get you thru the night (with good wood and a proper flue). How tall is your flue?

Note that what you see on your glass may also be happening in your flue. And there it won't burn off when you run the stove hot for an hour or so (which is a way to clean windows in many stoves). I suggest you sweep often this winter (yourself, with a SootEater, from the bottom rather than from the top) to keep the creosote in check.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
62
Cincinnati, OH
Having to rely on what the seller reported...the wood was cut down a year ago and split maybe 6 months ago? I've had it stacked (without cover) for 2-3 months?
 

Blazzinghot

Member
Dec 5, 2019
190
New Plymouth, Idaho
Leave the door cracked until you get a good hot fire the principle is to heat up the stove pipe to create a good draft. On my stove I wait for the eco fan to start spinning. Ha Then close the door and then don't turn down the air control to quickly as you want to get a good hot bed of coals as this helps keep the secondary burners going. If you have a combuster then it will be a little different you don't need the inside of the stove as hot. Then adjust the stove as needed. In my home I also adjust windows as well. We are in that time of year when it is not real cold outside and the house gets to warm.

And get a moisture meter to check your wood. Very important they don't cost that much. The wood should be 20% moisture or lower.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
Having to rely on what the seller reported...the wood was cut down a year ago and split maybe 6 months ago? I've had it stacked (without cover) for 2-3 months?

You don't have to rely on the seller. Spend $30 on a moisture meter (learn how to measure), and check before they offload...

Your wood is not dry, seeing those times.
 

PaulBunyun

Member
Oct 15, 2019
44
Michigan
Moisture level of the wood (20% and below) will solve a lot of your problems. When comes to starting the fire it is common to have the door slightly cracked until the fire is established. How to set your air controls realy depends on the type of stove you have. Reference your owners manual and they should explain it. I have found manufacturers burn times are under perfect conditions and don't translate to reality as well. However, dry seasoned wood will greatly help with this. Stay warm.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
The flue is approx. 13-14'

Then you *may* (not sure, it's likely close) not have enough draft either (depending on the outside temps). What does your manual recommend for flue stack height?

That also factors in the observed choking of the fire. Do you get some smoke in the room when you open the door?
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
62
Cincinnati, OH
I simply meant that I have to rely on the seller for this batch as it is already said and done. I will purchase a moisture meter and will be seasoning my own wood from this point on.

Thanks for the feedback.

Anyone have thoughts on the automatic fan questions? I'll just assume most of the other issues are related to the quality of wood.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
I don't know about fans.
Your manual states the flue stack height should be at least 15 ft.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
62
Cincinnati, OH
Then you *may* (not sure, it's likely close) not have enough draft either (depending on the outside temps). What does your manual recommend for flue stack height?

That also factors in the observed choking of the fire. Do you get some smoke in the room when you open the door?
I'll have to check the manual when I get home. If I open the door quickly some smoke sneaks in. If I crack it and then open it's fine.
Are you suggesting that a taller chimney would be better?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
I'll have to check the manual when I get home. If I open the door quickly some smoke sneaks in. If I crack it and then open it's fine.
Are you suggesting that a taller chimney would be better?

I think so. Insufficient draft (at this weather; draft will increase with decreasing outside temps) and wet wood are the two factors I'd first tackle to solve your problem of a stove/insert not performing satisfactorily.
 

Blazzinghot

Member
Dec 5, 2019
190
New Plymouth, Idaho
You don't have to rely on the seller. Spend $30 on a moisture meter (learn how to measure), and check before they offload...

Your wood is not dry, seeing those times.
I found this to be true. I just got a load of fire wood and it is a mixed batch some has 30% moisture and some is good. I am going to try to save the wet stuff for last. When I first put the firewood in my green house on a hot day I could feel the moisture in the air. I am glad that I have another cord of good dry wood.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
You can buy some compressed sawdust logs to use. They are dry. See how that works. If your wood is borderline you can mix dry and borderline wood. I think your wood is far from the borderline...

Pallets etc are good too.
 

PaulBunyun

Member
Oct 15, 2019
44
Michigan
I simply meant that I have to rely on the seller for this batch as it is already said and done. I will purchase a moisture meter and will be seasoning my own wood from this point on.

Thanks for the feedback.

Anyone have thoughts on the automatic fan questions? I'll just assume most of the other issues are related to the quality of wood.
The one insert I owned had a snap disk that controlled the blower. It activated/deactivated at a certain temp. It may be that the insert still maintained enough heat after the fire went out to keep the blower activated. It was typical for my blower to stay on while the unit cooled till it hit that set temperature.
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
62
Cincinnati, OH
I think so. Insufficient draft (at this weather; draft will increase with decreasing outside temps) and wet wood are the two factors I'd first tackle to solve your problem of a stove/insert not performing satisfactorily.
More of a problem during moderate temps or cold temps? For the draft concern?
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
62
Cincinnati, OH
The one insert I owned had a snap disk that controlled the blower. It activated/deactivated at a certain temp. It may be that the insert still maintained enough heat after the fire went out to keep the blower activated. It was typical for my blower to stay on while the unit cooled till it hit that set temperature.
Yes, mine is supposed to be temp activated. I was just surprised that it kept going into the morning. Is it bad for overnight burning that the fan stays on? Should I try to keep more heat in the stove overnight? Or...is it bad for possible fumes for it to blow as the fire dies?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
More of a problem during moderate temps or cold temps? For the draft concern?
the warmer it is outside (more precisely, the lower the temperature difference between inside and outside), the lower your draft is. That could become a problem.
The shorter your flue is, the lower your draft is. So these two (weather and flue stack) may be compounding each other (this time of the year).

In winter when it's colder, the draft will be better. So less problems then. (with draft alone, the wood is another issue).
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
Yes, mine is supposed to be temp activated. I was just surprised that it kept going into the morning. Is it bad for overnight burning that the fan stays on? Should I try to keep more heat in the stove overnight? Or...is it bad for possible fumes for it to blow as the fire dies?

the airflow due to the fan should have no contact with any flue gases/inside stuff. It only blows air around the insert. It should (if properly engineered, and for Osburn and any UL listed stove/insert there is no reason to assume it isn't) not be an issue wrt fumes.
Cooling the box down too much is not the best, but if the switch is set at the proper temps, it should be ok. (I know, a lot of shoulds - I don't know enough about these systems as my stove uses no electricity at all).
 

acritzer

Member
May 10, 2018
62
Cincinnati, OH
the airflow due to the fan should have no contact with any flue gases/inside stuff. It only blows air around the insert. It should (if properly engineered, and for Osburn and any UL listed stove/insert there is no reason to assume it isn't) not be an issue wrt fumes.
Cooling the box down too much is not the best, but if the switch is set at the proper temps, it should be ok. (I know, a lot of shoulds - I don't know enough about these systems as my stove uses no electricity at all).
Ok...Thank you so much for all the replies. I knew there was a learning curve to some of this and knew the wood I was getting probably wasn't really seasoned enough. I'll start checking individual pieces for moisture from here on out.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,959
Long Island NY
You're welcome. And welcome to the forum, the wood-heating lifestyle. Stay warm, and stay safe.