Long winter nights mean that keeping the fire going in your woodstove is essential; being able to stir up still hot embers in the morning means it’s easy to relight or rekindle a fire for a new day’s burn.
How about a burn time of 17 hours or longer? We haven’t been in the habit of timing our woodstove, though I have written before about just how efficient our Esse Ironheart woodstove is and how very little wood we need to burn to keep our ICF house warm during the winter (photo below). The other day, at around minus 15 Celsius (that’s 5 Fahrenheit), my husband noticed at 5.30pm that our firebox was full of red hot embers some 17.5 hours after last adding a log at 10pm the night before. Being able to forget about tending the fire for that long is a common occurrence around here, but we just hadn’t taken note fully before. It is worth saying here that we have the wood burning insert for the Ironheart and that we had a lot of ash banked up at the time of feeding the fire that last time.
There are a number of factors that will affect burn time, including the kind of wood burned, how well stacked the wood is within the firebox, air flow/control, and so on – all of which my husband works to optimize regularly – but what we think we’ve been able to demonstrate here is just how incredibly efficient the Esse Ironheart woodstove is, particularly when combined with ICF (insulated concrete forms) house construction. Getting a long burn time is one thing, but having a house envelope that can hold that heat in is naturally going to extend that time. I’ve had a lot of great conversations with other Ironheart owners here over the past few years, some of whom are having to feed their Ironhearts much more than we do, largely because they have a house that requires more continual heat input.
There are great pleasures in tending to and feeding a fire in a woodstove, as my husband will attest. Is burn time important for you? (I bet it is if you chop and haul your own wood.) What woodstove routines do you relish?