I shake down, open the bottom air wide open and open the two on my door about the width of a finger. Then load up while keeping a few spots open for the flames and glowing coals to ignite the gasses. I check mine after about 15 minutes to see how tall the blue flames are. If they are real tall I let it burn about another 15 minutes then close the door vents tight and choke off the bottom till I get the desired air flow. In a half an hour with the damper in the stove pipe closed way down the fire will burn right if the air from below is correct. If it isn't putting out the heat I want I open the bottom air a little more and keep an eye on it to make sure the fire perks up to the desired temperature.
I'm heating almost 2400 square feet with only my stove downstairs. 75 to 80 downstairs and 68 to 70 upstairs by natural convection. When it gets cold again, I'll build a fire upstairs to stay warm, then choke down the output a little downstairs so its comfortable but not overly hot.
Clear as Mud?