While waiting for the groundhog to tell us how much winter is left you may be wondering if your wood pile will last out the season. Hopefully it’s a non issue because you are a full year ahead in your wood gathering – assuring a plentiful supply of seasoned wood each year. However, if you are not there yet….
Don’t try to burn all night.
Stoking a stove full at night so it has coals in the morning wastes wood. You may live in a place where it is super cold, in a home that leaks like a sieve, but – let the stove go out at night and you’ll be surprised at the comfort of your home and the firewood saved.
I lived in a home where when the wind blew outside your hair blew in the living room. When we were heating with a wood cook stove, two hours after we went to bed it was out, and two hours after that whatever the temperature was outside it was inside. It would get down to 7 degrees inside the house. We had to shut the water off at night to keep it from freezing.
I welded up a bigger stove that would hold fire from Friday night until Monday. We were burning 4 cord a year. I had to sweep the flue twice a month because this was a wonderful way to run a creosote distillery. When I learned a bit more about combustion principles I blocked the air supply open and only put a little wood in at a time. I let it go out at night and the house cooled down but the stove stayed somewhat warm and the house never was below around 45 or 50 degrees. (We were young and hot blooded.) I timed restarting the fire in the morning and it took 30 extra seconds to get it going over what I had been doing. It seemed like we were shoveling wood in all the time but at the end of the season I’d only burned two and a half cords! And, I only swept the chimney twice the whole year.
One and a half cord I didn’t cut, split, stack, haul, dribble across the floor, clean, or dump the ashes from. That’s a real savings.