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Night burning advice please - to keep down tar in chimney?

Inverness, United Kingdom

Some help please. I've had conflicting advice on limiting the tar build up
(and hence the chimney fire risk) from a woodstove;
I understand all about day-time hot burning and the must of properly dried wood
and hard & soft wood differences, BUT...
Overnight: Some say let it out and relight in the morning. Apart from being a bit of a pain, it occurs to me that when relighting from cold, smoke & tar may well be more than if burning up from warm/hottish if left alight.
I usually half fill it mid-late evening, burn it up nice and hot, then close it down. This gives enough glowing ash in the morning to revive easily. But the tarring from doing this slow overnight burn??

Any opinions???

Canton, OH

I'm glad I came across this because I have the same question. I've read to not overfire my wood stove but I'm not clear on what exactly overfiring it means? Does it mean having a nice basic fire going or where the firebox is completely filled with flames for an extended period of time?

Poynette, WI

You can get a temperature gauge for your stovepipe if you want, but newer stoves cannot really be over fired like older stoves which have a damper on the stove pipe above the stove. Davestove - you are doing it right. What is perfect is to put a similar size "night size" piece on before bed, and then you'll know what time to get up .. at 2:30 AM to throw another "night size" piece on .. and you'll have fire in the morning. If your heating solely with wood you will learn how to do this automatically as you'll be able to sense air temperature while sleeping. I kind of miss the old stoves because you could open your dampers up and literally clean your chimney with a super hot fire. We burned lots of wood and the stove pipe would get red hot. Friend of mine has a new stove but it's big and he likes to keep his dampers open thus wasting fuel but anyways, he's never had to clean his chimney yet. He also keeps the fire going for days on end. On the other hand I would keep my dampers closed!, but I did not mind cleaning the chimney more often vs. cutting more wood.

Yes, you are correct, a cold chimney will build up creosote. I had buildup from having to many spring and fall fires where I'd throw a small piece on every two hours, it's the little fires that get you it seems because they tend to smolder, keep going great, and the stove is just somewhat warm, so you don't have to restart a fire, but the chimney is not quite hot enough and you have a smokey fire going, smoke is basically creosote. Still, these newer catalytic stoves have good burn times and the efficiency is sweet.

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