How to Keep a Wood Burning Stove Going All Night (5 Tips)


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Warming up the house using a wood-burning stove will provide a comfortable increase of temperature at a low cost. This type of heat is said to be the best kind as it warms your home through convection and thermal radiation. This relaxing heat can be perceived as inconsistent if the fire inside the burning chamber cannot be maintained throughout the night.

To keep a wood-burning stove going all night, push the hot coals to one side of the burning chamber, place dry logs next to the burning coals, close the door and open the air trap for 10 to 20 minutes until the logs are well ignited, then shut the air trap and leave the logs burning all night.

Additionally, a few tactics will ensure a smooth and consistent heat distribution over a more extended period, but this might come with a choice between low fuel cost or comfort. Here are 5 tips to increase your stove’s burning time at night. I will also share strategies on how to stay cost-efficient while increasing the heated bulk.

Can You Keep a Wood Burning Stove on All Night?

You can keep a wood-burning stove on all night, but to maintain a high heat, you might have to increase your fuel cost unless you do not mind having a cooler home at night. If you follow my advice, you will not have to compromise, or at least you will know what to compromise on. Here are 5 tips to help your wood burner go through the night without burning through your pockets:

Choose Few Large Logs Instead of Lots of Small Logs to Put Into Your Stove

Choosing large logs to use over-night decreases the surface area available for combustion while increasing the amount of fuel available to burn. The larger the log, the longer it will take for the molecules of wood located in the inner layer of each log to be exposed to the flames, as all the molecules sitting in the outer layers need to burn before the inner layer is finally exposed for combustion.

Use Firelogs Instead of Regular Logs

Firelogs are typically made of compacted sawdust and can be combined with paraffin. They will combust more slowly than regular large logs and will take less space. The secret to their slow combustion lies in their compaction. The more densely packed the wood molecules, the longer it takes for them to combust and release heat.

Fire Logs like Bord Na Mona Peat Briquettes can burn for over 3 hours in a day type set-up, so pairing them with a few regular logs will get you through the night.

Place New Logs Next to the Burning Coals Rather Than on Top of Them

Placing new logs next to the burning coals rather than on top of them ensures that the logs will not catch fire too quickly. By combusting gradually, the logs will slowly and steadily burn through their carbon chain (chemical energy) and will release a steady stream of heat.

Open the Air Trap of Your Wood-Burning Stove During the First 10 to 20 Minutes

Opening the air trap allows you to control the amount of oxygen that enters the burning chamber. An open trap means more oxygen, and stronger combustion will quickly coat your new logs with a layer of coal. The coated coal ensures even combustion until the log is burnt right through.

Reduce the Oxygen Supplied to Your Fire

Reduce the oxygen supplied into the burning chamber by closing the air trap 20 minutes after adding new logs. Once the logs are ignited, they will quickly burn if nothing is done to prevent it. Closing the air trap reduces the concentration of oxygen available to react with the wood and lowers the overall possibility for combustion.

By following some of these pieces of advice, your wood stove will burn through the night without a problem. Here are some strategies for those who also want to know how to cost-efficiently maximize the energy dissipated by their stove:

How to Cost-Efficiently Dissipate Heat Using a Wood Burning Stove

To cost-efficiently dissipate heat with your stove, you should burn seasoned wood, build up a habit of closing the chimney damper and install a wall made of stone or bricks behind your stove that will save you money over time.

Why Use Seasoned Wood for a Fireplace?

Seasoned wood is the best type of wood for use in a fireplace. This means the wood has dried for a full year before it is used as fuel. Freshly cut wood contains sap and water, which lower the combustion temperature, leading to incomplete combustion. Less combustion means less energy bulk.

Incomplete combustion can be recognized by black smoke or soot fuming out of burning logs. It is paired with carbon monoxide, a highly poisonous gas for humans. I recommend installing a particle detector to help monitor the quality of air in the same room as your fireplace. I prefer using the First Alert CO400 Carbon Monoxide Detector as it is powered by batteries and will continue functioning during any power outage.

Should I Close My Chimney Damper?

You should close your chimney damper when you are not using your stove. Cold air is denser and heavier than hot air. During winter, the cold air above your house will sink down your chimney and absorb the energy from your house. It means that people at home will not be able to keep themselves warm any longer, and you will have to fire up the stove sooner than you thought.

Is It Useful to Install a Stone or Brick Wall for My Fireplace?

A stone or brick wall is an amazing way to retain thermal energy all day. Although a wall might come at an extra cost, it usually adds elegance to a room in addition to helping you save money over time. The heat trapped in the molecular composition of the stones or bricks will be efficiently and steadily released into the room as the fire dies down.

A stone or brick wall makes the wood-burning stove much safer to use as it is non-flammable. A regular wall can accumulate too much heat at a precise point and ignite spontaneously, which can be extremely dangerous. Do not worry if your wood-burning stove came pre-installed in your house or if professionals did the job as they must install it in accordance with fire regulation for the built environment.

It is paramount to choose the right type of stone or brick as their quality will directly impact their efficiency.  Material with high heat capacity stores more thermal energy, whereas a material with low heat conductivity releases the energy over a longer period. You should keep these qualities in mind when shopping for your wall.

Final Thoughts

You can keep your wood-burning stove going all night, but you should always evaluate the costs of doing so. To save on costs, close the air trap completely and use less wood. For a warmer night, just start off with more wood. 

To enjoy a consistently warm and comfortable night, leave the air trap slightly open to let more oxygen into the burning chamber. Always monitor for black smoke inside and do not go to bed until the smoke turns clear. Be safe, be comfortable, and enjoy long warm nights.

Steve Rajeckas

Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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