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flames How To Operate Your Woodstove flames

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The first thing you need in order to operate your woodstove efficiently is a thermometer.  They can be purchased from your chimney sweep or the local hardware store. The cost is about $20.00. The thermometer should be placed about 18"-24" from the exit of the stove. All firewood has moisture.
 See Wood Page

Please bear in mind that these directions are intended to be used on a clean and defect free chimney, which has been inspected by your sweep.
The temeratures given are for a surface type thermometer. If you have a flue gas thermometer double the stated temperature (300 = 600).


Assuming you already have a fire going and are ready to reload.
1.  Open your damper all the way and wait about a minute or so, to allow smoke to clear.

2.  Open the stove door and see what you have.  I like to remove a  few scoops of ashes from the front and rake the coals forward to meet the fresh air as it enters the stove.  You may have to add some kindling to get a flame going.   Kindling is no bigger than 2.5 inches in diameter.  (the bigger the kindling or wood  the more moisture).

3.  Close the door and wait for the temp to reach 300 degrees.When it reaches 300 open door and add your main load of wood.Remember,  the more wood you put in the stove,  the more heat, so add accordingly. When the temperature reaches 500 degrees, close the damper tight,  then back it open one fourth to one half turns.Each stove and flue are a bit different in the damper setting,  so adjust for it.  About twenty minutes after closing dampers, the temperature should  stabilize between 250 degrees and 300 degrees.

4. You are done until the next loading.  Load it exactly the same way as described, even if you are only putting in one more log.

Always be consistant!!

burning stove


 Do exactly as above, the only difference is that we have to use a timing method rather than being able to read the temperatures on the thermometer.
1. Pre warm the stove with coals and kindling for 15 minutes.

2. Put in main load of wood and let it burn for at least 20 minutes,  close the damper.

If your system is operating efficiently, all you should see is a brownish powder on the inside walls of the stove. If you see a black gritty or shiney creosote forming, then increase the kindling prewarm cycle to 20 minutes and the main load cycle to 25 minutes.

The greener or wetter your wood is, the longer it takes to get rid of the moisture and get your stove hot. Never adjust the timing more than 5 minutes at a time and give it a week to see the results.


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