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Keeping a wood stove going all night

Posts: 592
Location: Ontario - Gardening in zone 3b, 4b, or 6b, depending on the day
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My dad's stove is really interesting. It's a conventional woodstove, maybe 20 years old, and holds coals overnight without turning it down, easily. Never any smoke, except when first started or if using exceptionally wet wood. The other stove in the house, which is newer... doesn't hold a flame overnight, and sometimes even during 8 hours away, and often smokes. We actually have a hard time cleaning out the ashes in the main stove, as after 2-3 days without burning it still has a few hot coals. Dad controls the heat of the room by opening the front door, or how many logs he puts in, and seldom uses the damper. You don't even need kindling in the morning!

Why is it so special???

Thermal mass.

The stove is recessed  inside a fireplace that's about 12' x 12' of solid rock and concrete, with about 1 ft of space on all sides. The wide chimney extends two stories in the centre of the house. It's beautiful, and a crazy amount of thermal mass. The chimney is straight up, and the local chimney cleaner has said he only wants to come every 3 years or so, as there is not enough creosote to bother with. If I ever have a house with a woodstove, I want one built exactly like this.
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