How does a full log box keep you and your wood stove happy?
Posted by Stewart Mcilroy on 9 November 2016 at 11:15 am
Good preparation is important if you want to heat your home efficiently with a wood stove. What you want is ‘maximisation of heat out’ and ‘minimisation of effort in’. The practical and psychological benefits of advance preparation are clear to me.
First, the practical benefits. Make sure you have enough ‘wood in’ that is already adjusted to room temperature and not containing residual damp from the outdoors. You want at least enough wood in the house for the fire you are about to have and for the fire after that. This means that your log box must have capacity for at least two fires. This includes both your kindling, to get the fire going, and larger logs, for once the fire is established.
I arrange my wood for practicality and to achieve the ‘at least one full fire session’ rule as follows.
Start with a full log box (this contains approximately 3 - 4 fires’ worth of logs)
- When the log box is half empty, pile the remaining logs by the side of the stove and refill the box.
My approach means the log box remains more than half full at all times, so no need to go outside for logs during the evening, and all logs get to acclimatise indoors for several days, leading to a better burning fire.
The second reason why I believe a full log box has psychological benefits is that the warm comfortable feeling achieved from a fire comes both from what is there now (current warmth), plus the promise of future warmth represented by the visible log pile. Like a half empty fridge, a half empty log box, or ‘absent logs’, suggest poor investment in a comfortable future. For me, future warmth or comfort is indicated by a stack of ready logs, so a full log box is essential.
In fact, Lars Mytting, in his wood culture bible Norwegian Wood, says it all when he quotes David Vann: “The idea that dry wood was not something his father had thought of ahead of time frightened Roy”.
So, the message is keep your log box as full as possible at all times. A full log box will make sure your fire burns easier and hotter. A full log box will also make you a happier person as it illustrates a sound investment in future warmth and comfort.
Photo credit: SuperHomes
2. David Vann
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