Keeping my fire through the night

Joshc Posted By Joshc, Dec 7, 2018 at 1:38 AM

  1. Joshc

    Joshc
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    Dec 7, 2018
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    This is my first wood stove and I feel like I'm doing something completely wrong. I have a Quadrafire Yosemite in a 1100 sq. ft. home using a mix of fir/hemlock. I get my house up to about 70° (cant seem to get it any warmer) before I go to bed. I rake all the coals to the front and pack it with wood and close the main air supply lever. This only makes the fire last about 4-5hrs if I'm lucky and the temp drops to 55° in the morning. I replaced the door gasket today and waiting until tomorrow to light another fire in it and hoping this works to get me longer burns. Any suggestions on what I can do, I'm tired of waking up shivering.
     
  2. MAD MARK

    MAD MARK
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    Jan 31, 2016
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    You can set the back up heat (furnace/boiler) to 64 until you figure out whats wrong with the stove.

    If in fact the door gasket was bad Id wait to do anything else til you see if that makes a big difference.
     
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  3. blacktail

    blacktail
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    It's only a 1.45 cubic foot stove, and you're feeding it with softwood. 4-5 hours might just be what you get.
     
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  4. hilly

    hilly
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    May 28, 2006
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    I agree with Blacktail. I've got a bigger stove and I can only get an eight hour burn if I load it with arbutus (madrone). I occasionally luck out and time my softwood reload time to last through the night, but I almost always restart each day.
     
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  5. Ludlow

    Ludlow
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    Jun 4, 2018
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    Wood issue. Need Deciduous species for more BTU's and sustained burns. If you have access to any at all, save those for the overnighters. Weigh a load of each species and that is the proof right there.
     
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  6. KindredSpiritzz

    KindredSpiritzz
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    Oct 31, 2013
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    My stove has over 3 cu ft and it gets loaded with hardwood and when i wake up 8 hrs later im lucky to have hot coals and that usually depends on how much of an ash bed i have. Your stoves to small and you're asking to much out of it.
     
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  7. vwmike

    vwmike
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    Oct 7, 2013
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    Unfortunently that size stove is reall just a supplemental heater, not a whole house heater. Out west with our softwood you need a large size stove to get an all night burn. With the size of your house a cat stove may be ideal for a long burn.
     
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  8. BobMcG

    BobMcG
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    Dec 5, 2012
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    Hi Josh! I have a yosemite also but live in the South. I have mostly hardwoods (oak) and my home is just under 1500 sq ft and well insulated. I can get about 6 hrs of heat from the stove but of course we do not need as much heat as you may. We do not burn 24/7 and mostly do cold starts unless the temps really drop.

    Best wishes!
    Bob
     
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  9. BIGChrisNH

    BIGChrisNH
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    Dec 16, 2015
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    Agree with the above comments about stove size, wood species burned. It'll be tough to get an overnight burn with that size firebox filled with fir/hemlock. Red oak or something similar would keep you going longer. I have a 3.5 cu. ft. firebox and can load at 9pm, and reload at 6am with plenty of hot coals if I load with hardwoods.

    After you figure out the gasket issue (if there is one), you can always try improved insulation in the house to keep the heat in, just a thought.
     
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  10. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak
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    Even a larger stove does not usually put out the same amount of heat over long periods of time unless its a cat stove. So many of those i would consider supplemental heaters. A well insulated space is a must ,for a wood stove unless you dont mind temp swings.
     
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  11. freddy

    freddy
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    That is actually pretty good with softwood. How old is your home? Insulate and seal! Use a mix of hard and soft. Hard for overnight and the soft for restarting in the AM. I have a smaller box than you and can get an overnight burn with easy restart in the AM using locust and doug fir. If I can't score the harder type woods I will usually buy some NEIL's to do the overnights when needed. Your stove is the right size for your sq ft. Probably just need to insulate and seal.
     
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  12. Kevin Weis

    Kevin Weis
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    Mar 3, 2018
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    1.5 Cu ft. stove, 5 hours will be max no matter what wood you put in there. The manufacturer may say 7-8 hours but they're definition of a burn time is that there are a few hot cols left at 7 hours. Not necessarily any real heat output at 7 hours. If you want truly 8 hours you will need a stove near double the size you have now. Kevin
     
  13. Bushels20

    Bushels20
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    May 20, 2018
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    One thing you mentioned in the OP was you’re going to “relight” a fire and see what happens. Are you not burning 24/7, then? Nothing wrong with that, but, I have found that my Napoleon 1101 (1.7 cu ft box) can maintain the house around 72 much better if I burn 24/7. If you aren’t burning 24/7, your home is going through drastic temperature fluctuations and your asking your insert/stove to pull that weight.

    Also, are you immediately closing the air supply down? You may try going down in stages instead of dropping all the way down right away. Your fire may not be burning hot enough to get secondaries if you close down too soon. And then by time it is hot enough, all the smoke (for the secondaries) is gone because it’s too late in the burn phases.

    Wood species is almost irrelevant. BTU May be higher on hardwood/deciduous species but there are plenty of guys in here, myself included, who can heat just fine with pine, fur and cedar. Making sure the wood is properly seasoned is WAY more important.

    Also as Freddy said, insulate and seal. It did wonders for me. Dropped my electric bill another 30 per month on a budget plan once I have had the chance to look back on two years worth of bills. With and without the upgrades. The additional $30 per month is in addition to the several thousand dollars I’ve saved since I started burning, 7 years ago.

    These are just my humble opinions :)
     
  14. begreen

    begreen
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    The time sounds about right for the Yosemite. Burn times are relative to many differing factors. The main one being heat loss of the house. As temps get colder the stove will burn more wood and have shorter burn times unless one lives in a superinsulated home. In WA we usually get 12 hr burn times in our 3 cu ft stove with temps above 40ºF. Below about 35º we switch to 8 hr burn cycles as the stove is pressed for more heat. Our house is old and has too much glazing.

    Note I said usually and that there are a lot of variables (including the operator). Example: This year I bought some doug fir to help out a guy. This stuff must have been laying in a damp ravine or swamp. It's right around 20% moisture still and burning very differently from our normal stash of dry doug fir. It's burning ok, but takes longer to burn off the moisture in the wood. We see this in smokier starts and shorter burntimes because we have to have the air open more until the wood coals. I have some nicer doug fir and some hardwood, but will hold off on burning that until temps drop in the 20s. Looks like I will be sweeping mid-season too just to check.
     
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  15. Joshc

    Joshc
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    Dec 7, 2018
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    I try to burn 24/7 but when I'm at work and sleeping it's hard to keep the fire going and it goes out. I'm just bought this house and the stove came with the house. Am I not operating my air controls correctly. During the day I keep my main air all the way open to half way. And at night I rake my coals to the front and pack it with wood and close all the air supplies. Am I not keeping the stove hot enough to burn the secondaries? I dont have a ceramic blanket on my baffle board (did not know I needed one, and buying one tonight). Will that change how the stove operates?
     
  16. begreen

    begreen
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    Try closing down the air a bit more, say to 75% closed, but not all the way. Observe the fire and stove top temp. Is there still secondary burn at this setting? What stove temp do you see after 60 minutes?
     
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  17. Bushels20

    Bushels20
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    Air settings are unique in many ways. Things like wood quality (well seasoned versus not) can be a big factor; you need a lot more air to burn green wood. I would say you should be running somewhere north of half closed meaning more closed than open.

    To maybe give you an idea; I have well seasoned wood and only have my air control all the way open at the very beginning of a burn. I crack the door to get ignition, once all wood is charred I close the door and turn down the air down to about 3/4 closed. I have found that cracking the door to get ignition heats the firebox to temp to get secondaries.

    Let your firebox show you what is best. Flames should be lazy at the bottom and lively up top for at least the first bit of the burn. Find the air setting that lets that happen for you.

    Insulation/ceramic wool will definitely help the overall effectiveness of the unit.
     
  18. blacktail

    blacktail
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    After starting or reloading, you need to give it full air until the fire gains strength. Then turn the air down part way, try 50%. After it gains strength again, turn the air down more. Your final adjustment can be around 10-25% open. The whole process could take 20 minutes for a cold start, or just 5 minutes on a hot reload.
    Your goal is a balance of a low air setting while maintaining a strong fire.
    I'm in Western WA with an insert just a hair bigger than your stove. I do run it with the air about half way open sometimes when I'm home all day. That works when I don't need it running at 600° and I can load just a couple pieces at a time. It let's me burn the weird shaped chunks.
     
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  19. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone
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    With small stoves, there are a few tricks you can do to get longer burns.

    1st, get the stove in propor working condition.

    2nd, I like the top down method for starting fires. It keeps the top of the firebox hot so secondaries light off faster. Yet the bottom wood hasn't been touched by flame yet, so the fire takes longer to work it's way down.

    3rd, you can control air to the wood. In addition to the above mentioned primary air control, the amount of surface area that your firewood has makes a difference. Larger pieces will have a smaller surface area than many small pieces. Try loading the bottom row of your reload with tight fitting pieces. You do need air moving between them, but not large gaps. Filling the gaps also stuffs more btus into the firebox.
     
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  20. blacktail

    blacktail
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    You're probably stuck loading east-west unless you cut your wood shorter. I try to cut at least half my wood to 13" for north-south loading. NS allows me to fit more wood in the box.
     
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  21. Joshc

    Joshc
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    Dec 7, 2018
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    Thanks everyone for the advice! I replaced the seal and it worked wonders. I have had coals in the morning two days in a row. And the house only drops about 10° at night. I have used some techniques on how to get my house warmer and make my burns longer
     
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