How do you burn wood efficiently?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pickapeppa, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    I see lots of posters here that comment on burning wood efficiently, but for lack of experience, this is such a vague concept. Can anyone experienced in these matters describe how to efficiently burn wood and how you know that you are burning efficiently? And just to make things more complicated, how do you achieve an optimal burn with hard woods vs. soft woods, in a wood stove vs. fireplace? Or have any links that might be helpful? Thanks a bunch. Looking forward to hearing the responses. Going out now to enjoy the beautiful weather.
     
  2. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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  3. mrglock27

    mrglock27 Well-Known Member

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    I think the most important thing is the wood being really dry.
     
  4. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

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    efficency to me in my stove means burning te least wood to get the most heat.
    this entails fans and an open faced stove, burning thin wood fast and hot. I have heat sink plates on my stovepipe to maximize radiation. with a little work I can heat a cold house on about 2 pallets a day, and 3 small logs overnight when I seal up the doors and turn the air locks down to a slow burn.

    the stove I have now, I am not going to keep because getting and keeping a pile of hot coals is almost impossible. I am going to GUESS its the design of the grates, as the original graye that burned up would keep a nice pile of coals.

    speaking of coals, you get more heat in an open stove fro a huge pile of coals than a blazing fire. I stoke up a stovefull to get a heapof cals and then open the doors and let that blast furnace effect do the heating. then restoake it up when the coals nearly burn out. if you keep the door closed all the heat goes up the chiminy..... let that heat in the house.

    I have a nice stove, but Irealy want a different design. I have to custom bend grates to fit it, and the firebox is small.

    I should put it on ebay with the coal stove i have and buy a nice wide one I like.
     
  5. Cheryl in SD

    Cheryl in SD Living in the Hills Supporter

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    Efficiently here means not having to stoke it more than four times in a 24 hour period. My dh will stoke the fire every 2-3 hours when he is home, his sis (who used to live with us), would stoke it every hour on the hour. The kids and I have decided we don't need that. We have cut use of wood a LOT from sil days and to about 2/3 of what dh uses (SHHHHHH, don't tell him, he hasn't figured it out yet!) We stoke it first thing in the morning, at about 10-12 noon on a REALLY cold day, if it is warm we don't until sundown. We need to at sundown as it begins cooling off a lot. Then we stoke again before bed. A sunny, windfree day we only need to stoke the fire 3 times, but if it is cold and windy and cloudy, we add that extra time. Our house is set up to stay warm if the sun is shining. So that helps. Each stoking takes 5 pieces of wood. A windy, day below zero, even the kids and I may stoke it 7-8 times!

    SIL - 5 X 18 = 144 per day
    DH - 5 X 8 = 40 per day
    Kids and me 5 X 4 = 20 per day

    OH HEY, we are running 1/2 of dh! COOL!

    DH is on the road and likes it WARM and keeps it warm in the truck. Here at home we put on sweaters and keep it about 15 degrees cooler than he does (68-72 vs. 82-85). But guess what, we all like him home so much we don't mind it HOT for those days! :happy:

    Cheryl
     
  6. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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