Putting fire to bed?

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New Member
Sep 24, 2022
New member here. So many questions already answered - thank you all for your shared knowledge!

We have a new Hearthstone Heritage soapstone wood stove. Went through the break-in fires and all seems good. But I have two questions about what to do at the end of the day.

Right now, it isn’t consistently cold enough for us to need the fire 24/7. We have let the fire burn down, but it has still had red coals and the stove is still hot when we go to bed. Should we be leaving the primary air control at low burn and the bypass handle closed while it cools overnight?

And when it does get cold enough to want consistent heat from the stove, what is the best way to prevent the fire from going completely cold overnight- without major creosote risks - so we can just add new fuel in the morning? Just move the primary air control to low burn? Something more?

Thank you!
It’s fine to let the fire go out with the primary turned down.

The best way to keep the stove warm overnight is to reload before bed.
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I used to keep a bed of ash on the bottom and shovel the rest of the ash on top of the hot coals. It keeps the stove warm and in the morning, just brush the ash aside and you still have enough coals to start a fire in the morning. Coals burn out when exposed to air. If you insulate them, they can stay ignited for days. One time I went on a 3 day trip, and when I got back home, the coals under the ask were still hot.

I agree with above, creosote doesnt form during the entire burn. By the time youre ready for it to cool down, all of the moisture will be gone and creosote cant form. Creosote forms from moisture in the wood cooling and sticking to the sides. Its always good to run a really hot fire occasionally to burn off any creosote buildup.
Yea once the wood gases and moisture are burned out of the wood, you can "finish" the coaling stage at any burn rate you want with no consequences. You can pile up the coals in front of the air inlet and open it up to get some more quick heat out of the stove and quickly reduce the coals, or you can leave them where they sit half smothered in ash and close the air inlet all the way to help preserve coals for startup the next day.

Either way, I would leave the cat engaged (bypass closed) for nearly all burning conditions in this stove whenever the door is closed for numerous reasons...

Once a hot fire is going, it's best to engage the cat to minimize emissions, maximize heat, and also, it adds a "screen" to the outlet path, which will significantly reduces the chances of an ember or spark ever making its way up out the top of the chimney.

During coaling, the cat will settle down and stop "catting," but forcing the air through the longer path and through the cats will help maximize your heat extraction from the coals as they finish off. Also, it adds a bit of restriction to the air flow which will resist backdrafts if you have wind outside, and reduce the burn-down rate of the coals if that's also your goal (in conjunction with a closed down air control). Also, it's a good spark/ember arrester if your coals decide to spark up some excitement.

The exhaust that comes from coaling stage can pass through the cat even if the cat isn't active without leaving deposits. No harm.

The instructions for these types of stoves doesn't always make this clear.
Dry wood is the secret to preventing creosote, and some wood species are better than others for long slow burns. You want to reach secondary burn stage and have air down as low as will sustain secondary burn before going to bed, I aim to reload 30-60 minutes before going to sleep, so timing and sizing that second-last reload of the day is important.