Modern EPA stoves are different from the older ones.
The new ones are designed to be filled, and honestly to get their stated "burn times" they are loaded with wood so tight that a splinter could not be added so that they can make outlandish claims like, "24 hour burns". Sheep manure: a real person could not stuff that much wood in, so they get upset thinking they are doing something wrong when they only get 8 hour burns.
I tend to just fill mine based on my experience for getting a long enough burn time to go until I know I can fill it again, but I do not have a modern EPA era stove either.
The amount of wood doesn't really matter. Experience in your particular situation will teach you what is best. Just try different amounts and you'll figure it out. Pay attention to how cold it is outside, how cold your chimney is when you first fire the stove up, how warm your house is, what kind of wood you are burning, how dry the wood is, how small (or large) the wood is split, how you set the dampers, how long and big or small the diameter the connecting pipes are, and so on. When you have used the stove a week or two you'll figure out what is most efficient. The one thing that is most important is completeness of combustion. All the factors listed about effects the amount of smoke the stove produces and how "dirty" the smoke is. The more smoke, the greener the wood, the slower the fire, can all produce more creosote. Some years with really good wood I never needed to clean the chimney. Other years with poor wood, I've cleaned it 3 times. One year (before I learned to watch better) I had a very dramatic chimney fire. Another year the 12" chimney got clogged with creosote down to a 1" opening. Not good. Watch your chimney, don't burn your house down. Experience will teach you. Chimney's are relatively easy to clean, just get your own brushes and rods, or cleaning basket. You Tube videos will show you what to do. P.S. As far as "EPA Approved" stoves, I don't know much about them, I always buy used stoves from craigslist. I noticed on the one stove I did get that had the interior catalytic converter, that the converter was just hung on with bolts. It seemed an easy thing to remove (which I never, ever, never, never, ever would do, since gov't is so much smarter than us common folk). ....But if the "converter" had been removed the stove would have held much more wood and would have burned much better for much longer, and produced less smoke (--theoretically speaking, of course).
Creating sustainable life, beauty & food (with lots of kids and fun)
posted 2 years ago
Thanks for information. I have a quadra fire yosemite. I’ve never put as much wood as would fit. All the warnings of over-firing has me afraid of doing that. So I never get the stated burn times.
The stove I have in the basement is an older air-tight All-Nighter Big Moe. I love it. I can do a short hot fire or a long slow fire. It is all about how I put the wood in it and how far I open the two drafts. In the coldest parts of any winter I can do a 30 or more day constant fire that never needs another match. Ten or twelve hour burns are easy to do. This stove has been here for 30 years now and I know it well.
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