[Greenbuilding] flue gas thermometers, was firewood moisture content

Reuben Deumling 9watts at gmail.com
Sun Dec 18 11:43:01 PST 2011

On Sun, Dec 18, 2011 at 9:20 AM, Corwyn <corwyn at midcoast.com> wrote:

> For the most part I don't pay much attention to my flue as thermometer
> anymore.  I like to think that this is because I am more in tune with what
> the fire is actually doing.  I do think they are great tools for those who
> need them.

How do you know if you are someone who 'needs one' or not?

>  I would caution however that they do NOT provide absolute measures, but
> rather relative measures.  Every stove is different, placement of the
> thermometer varies, etc.

I concur. But my analogy with the tachometer holds. Each car (transmission
+ engine) may have a different sweet spot where the fuel burned per mile
driven is lowest.

 Look at the temperature when the fire is burning well, look at it when it
> is burning poorly, look at it when it is going nuts; from there,
> interpolate.

> I also don't think 'steady state' is the holy grail of burning.  I don't
> *want* the fire to be at the same temperature when it has new logs in it,
> as when it has nothing but coals.  Those aren't even the same chemical
> processes.
I think this is a straw man. When the fire is starting and dying down (when
you are coming out of your driveway, or coasting to a stop light) there's
obviously no benefit to knowing what the temperature is (the rpms are). But
aside from those two periods, I had come to believe (perhaps erroneously)
that having your fire close to some sort of (high temperature) steady state
was in fact desirable.

Or did you mean, *when adding a new piece of firewood* you wouldn't want
the fire at the same temperature? If you did, why wouldn't you want it at
that temperature?

I certainly have several parameters that I am trying to maximize while
heating: maximum heat output to the room per hour, optimal ratio of heat
output to wood burned, complete combustion, etc. These I have understood
all can coincide to some degree, which is one more reason this
heating-with-wood business is so much fun.
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