... to discuss getting the most heat out of our wood burner. My solar heated floor system is down so we are relying more on our wood stove. It's not fancy just big and heavy. Looks like quarter inch plate with lots of internal space. It will take 25.5 inch wood maybe six or seven 8 inch diameter pieces. It's lined with fire brick about 2 inches thick on the bottom and 10 inches up the sides so that makes a shelf that helps hold the second tier of wood. I'm seeking the best strategy given our thermal mass and the size of our home. I don't usually run it closed down unless I just want to keep a thick bed of embers ready for a fire later.
We are in an adobe home my wife and I built. It's near 2k sq. ft.... who knew back then? We began building in the 80s. I didn't come across cobb and cottage sized living till we were long settled in this place. We traded a pickup truck for the adobes and did 95% of the work ourselves. We cut the vigas on a USFS thinning program. We have thermal mass in the floors, six to ten inches of masonry and flagstone or tile and all the interior walls are 10 inch adobe block. The exterior walls are 14 inches thick. They should have been 24 at least. In the main section of the house I left the walls about 10 to 12 inches shy of the ceiling. This gives us great circulation in that area. The chimney run is pretty long and switches to triple wall pipe before it exits at around 13 feet up. Between there and the floor is regular chimney pipe. I keep it clean, I can see when the spark arrestor is beginning to get too much buildup. Since I haven't been shutting it down when there just until there are embers still looking like logs I don't have to clean it too often.
Here's my thinking based on not much but using the thing since `94. Because the interior of the house is pretty large and open, it's on three levels w/ 2 foot change at each level with the stove being in the lowest room which is the shop. It's about 60 feet away from the highest room which is the bedroom. THe stove room and bedroom are on either side of the central living area. These are all joined via arches that are 13 feet wide across the floor. Between the space above the walls and the arches we get very good circulation in the place. It seems best to pump as much heat as we can into the place during cold times but I am unsure about how much I loose up the chimney and because I don't have outside air to the stove. I designed for it but we didn't put the stove in that room. So that is a must do. I realize there are things people do with chimneys to extract more heat. My concern would be cooling the chimney if I heat water there or fins or what ever.
The chimney is 6 inches all the way. We get lot's of heat from 30 feet of thermopane glazing in the main section of the place and use insulating curtains at night to hang on to as much as we can. What else should I be thinking about? I can make the T section which is stainless, glow in about 20 minutes if it runs wide open. I don't do that often. It's next to 14 inches of adobe so there is not a fire risk. Just thought of something while I write... what could I put against that wall to turn the heat back into the room and still take the heat of being near the stove and chimney? That space where it exits the burn chamber is about 4 inches. I can supply measurements of the stove if necessary.
Our land supplies a lot of our wood. There are many places where the tree spacing is ideal for spreading a wild fire. It's central new mexico pinon and juniper forrest and there are often big fires near by. Being a life long tree hugger it's hard to cut perfectly good trees just in case a fire would come thru here. But there is lots of fuel between us and the prevailing sw winds so it's a pretty good idea to pay some attention to doing what we can to prevent one moving across our little 20 hunk of paradise. We don't have any insurance and we're to old to rebuild. Not much choice but to take preventive measures where possible.
run you stove full open for a week feeding it as much as you can. you want to get that adobe warm so it lets the heat back out slowly. I would curten off the space i was not living in so i didnt have to heat as much space. maybe put a layer of bale on the north wall to block some of the cold. Gosh lots of things come to mind but i dont have a clear picture of the house or what has been done already.
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Ernie and Erica
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