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Country Discussion Topics
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Wood Stove question.
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Sammie    Posted 03-16-2002 at 13:41:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I have a small "Earth stove" in my livingroom for heating. I put a stack robber (fan unit) according to the manufacturers instructions. The chimney was cleaned last fall. I'm getting better at using it but find I go through alot of wood compared to the neighbors. We have had a really mild winter and almost NO snow and only night temps in the teens and lower 20's all winter. The cording seal in the door is in good shape and the airvent on the back of the stove works fine. Any idea's?

Matter of fact, being's this is my first wood stove experience since I was a kid, please tell me everything you can about wood stoves cuz I might learn something from what you say that you wouldn't have said in just asking my initial question - if you don't mind?


F14...Hmmmm.    Posted 03-16-2002 at 14:16:57       [Reply]  [No Email]
The "stack robber" shouldn't have any effect on things, other than to cool the flue gasses, and perhaps make it somewhat more likely to deposit creosote in the stack.

If you're not getting driven out of the house by the heat the stove is producing, I wouldn't think the draft is too high.

That leaves two things that I can think of:

The design of the stove is inadequately baffled, and most of your heat is going up the chimney, or the wood you're using doesn't have the BTU value it should.

BTU value is determined by wood species, mostly as it relates to density, how well it's dried (green would consumes a lot of BTU's converting moisture to steam), and how old it is. Really old wood gets punky and loses most of it's heat value.

Oak, ash and maple are preferred around heah (Maine) followed by birch and other hardwoods. Softwoods are rarely used due to high pitch content (generates more creosote) and low density/BTU value.


Sammie    Posted 03-16-2002 at 15:56:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I'm burning mixed forest wood and domestic hard wood. I'm using Red Devil powder soot remover once a week.

Please tell me more about the baffles? What do you mean? Do you mean the dampner on the chimney pipe? It didn't have one til I put one in when I put in the stack robber but was told I didn't need the dampner and to leave it open and just adjust the air intake on the stove back. Was that wrong?


F14    Posted 03-16-2002 at 16:59:59       [Reply]  [No Email]
Nope yer fine as far as the damper goes. I don't have one on my stove either, just adjust the intake, like you do.

"Baffles" have to do with the path the smoke/fumes take to get out of the stove and into the chimney. On my stove, there is a slot in the back of the stove at the top of the firebox, then the smoke travels horizontally across the top of the stove to the front, through another slot, and then horizontally again to the back of the stove and out the chimney connector. This "serpentine" path extracts the maximum heat from the flue gasses before sending them up the chimney.

El cheapo stoves often don't have this, and the chimney connector is open directly to the firebox, so a lot of heat is wasted up the chimney.

Another thing that identifies a "good" stove is that the firebox is lined with firebrick. This performs two functions: 1: the brick retains heat and reradiates it, and 2: it keeps the steel plate from burning out. Cheaper stoves may only have firebrick on the bottom. They are sometimes called "plate stoves" as they are made primarily of welded steel plate.

The "mixed forest wood" may be part of the problem if there is a lot of pine/spruce/fir in it. Not a lot of heat value in those woods, as mentioned earlier.


Kane ken    Posted 03-21-2002 at 08:15:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
You should have a damper on the flue to
regulate residence time burn time in the stove
regulating air intake does that but in the event of a chiminey fire you need to choke the fire fast and the the dampermay do it. depending on baro pressure and windspeed play factors in the stove efficiency as well. if you tweak the intakes and the damper, That will set u fine.
use of the red devil that often, just burn dollar bills,,, same thing....



Kansas Kid    Posted 03-17-2002 at 17:47:23       [Reply]  [No Email]
Do these baffles you are talking about cause more cresote build up because less heat goes up the chimney or not?


Sammie    Posted 03-16-2002 at 17:07:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
Ok, I have firebrick on the bottom and sides but the top goes straight up, no horizontal pieces on the top inside of the box. Is there a way to make up for this to make it more efficient?

I find I like the domestic wood for burning but it sure doesn't smell as good as the forest wood.


Hogman    Posted 03-17-2002 at 04:27:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sammie if You want tha best of both worlds I guess You could burn hardwood ta keep warm'n throw in a dab of evergreen once in a while when Your nose gets hungery.
As mentioned befor,You get very little heat out of softwood. Our furnace cranks up 165,000 BTU with the proper wood and as F14 said what tha wood is makes a great big differance. I can put in a 12" by 28" stick and have it gone in an hour or two or two fairly small pieces that will last 3. One being old Elm and the two good dry white oak that clatters when tha pieces hit each other.
Make sense?


Hogman---I forgot ta    Posted 03-17-2002 at 04:40:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
mention on tha comparison ,thats with tha same outside temp in mid 20's which is what You mentioned as being Your avaerage. Bout like Ours has been except for a few dips down to (2) above.
And no,it's not off tha top of My head,just happens that was the weather here this past week and what was being burned.


TB    Posted 03-16-2002 at 17:53:51       [Reply]  [No Email]
Some other makes of stoves are like this. try after getting the fire going good when you cut the drafts back turning the damper closed about 1/2 way and keep an eye on it till you see how it works. Mine I have to close to about 3/4 closed depending on the wood. Good Luck


F14    Posted 03-16-2002 at 17:24:29       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hard to say for sure without looking at the stove, but probably not. You'd probably be better off checking the local ads for a used stove. Lots of folks get into wood burning for the "charm" and get disillusioned by the work and mess. Particularly when oil prices are down.

Between the mild winter and the price of oil, I haven't burned a stick this year...


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