Last year we seemed to have quite a few problems with the stove suddenly backpuffing or just smoke blowing back out sometimes while we were loading it or when it was closed air tight on a windy night.
To ameliorate this issue, we resorted to making short, quick fires to heat up the cabin, and then just letting the fire burn itself completely out and coasting until it was too cold to stand.
This fall we proceeded with the same plan, but as I sealed up the cabin better and better and better (hopefully), I began to recall that we were told that perhaps some of the problems were due to cabin air leaking out and thus sucking smoke from inside the stove. I wondered if perhaps now that things are better sealed, we could start experimenting with different stove techniques to maintain a better comfort level. As well, we’re becoming more confident with our ability to regulate the burn of the stove, and with the wood being cut earlier and protected better, I feel that it’s more consistently dry and we can get less “roller coasters” of burn temperatures.
Thus, the past few weeks, we’ve been willing to stoke the fire in the evening and then shut it up ALMOST completely air tight. I close all vents except for the front upper vent, which I twist until it is just open a hair. On the Baker’s Choice, this means that you twist the bolt shut until you can just wiggle the washer and hear it ring, not until it is held tight.
It’s worked very well so far (no jinx!). It seems to hold coals and fire for many hours, often into the next morning even without throwing lots of wood on. In fact, last Sunday I awoke to this:
The Eco fan was still turning (maybe spinning was overselling it…) over eight hours later! What a delightful sight!
Even this morning I awoke to an inside temperature of eighteen degrees!
Of course, it’s still only twelve below outside. Once it is bumping forty below, then we’ll see how well this system keeps up.