[Greenbuilding] heating water with wood stove - heat transfer/efficiency calculations?

Reuben Deumling 9watts at gmail.com
Wed Nov 9 14:54:51 PST 2011

I live in a small house that, thankfully, is now insulated. To achieve a
comfortable temperature, say ~66F in the rooms that are adjacent to the
room with the woodstove we've discovered that on average we only need to
heat for 2.5 hours/day. The October average is 1.5hr/day and the January
average is 3.0hr/day.* A short hot fire is all it takes. This is the
opposite of what I grew up doing, but it takes far less time and less wood.
I couldn't be more pleased with this discovery.

The question about heat transfer from wood to water is actually for a
friend, whose house is slightly larger, but because he and his girlfriend
are not home during the day, the regimen I outlined above matches their
routines well.

*I've developed a repeatable method for determining when the stove is
considered 'off,' which is simply when I would have put another piece on,
but because the rooms have come up to temperature I do not. This is
certainly not the only or even probably the best way of doing this, but
I've found it very serviceable.


On Wed, Nov 9, 2011 at 2:31 PM, Sacie Lambertson <sacie.lambertson at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Reuben, though it is none of my business I'm curious about why a stove is
> heated just two hours a day.  I know ours takes a nice half hour to get up
> to full speed if we start out cold.
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