You have done well grasshopper . Glad your 503 is getting the job done for you. They're heat output is amazing for an insert once you figure out the tricks.
ColdHouse wrote:I have had no problem starting or keeping a fire going. It seems obvious that if you want to simmer the stove you close down the vents as much as possible without putting out the fire. On the contrary when it is very cold outside and you have a large home how do you maximize the output of the stove without wasting heat up the chimney? Obviously if you shut your ash pan door vents down you will not get maximum heat. So I would think that you start by opening the ash pan vents and the secondary vents and open them up to achieve a higher temperature. I have noted that with both primary and secondary vents fully opened my stove registers maximum 425* on the face above the door with the damper fully closed. Would I be correct to assume that if I want more heat then the only option I have left is to open the damper more? I have read extensively on this forum and many people indicate that they hardly crack their ash pan vents or keep it open with holes the diameter of a pencil. That will not produce enough heat for a large home on a cold day. Opening the damper does that suggest that heat is lost up the chimney? Ten minutes ago I had the damper pushed all the way in. I always have a dancing blue flame. Both primary & secondary vents were wide open and stove temp was 425*. I pulled out the damper shaft about an inch. It appears that the damper shaft travels about 4 inches total. The temperature of the stove is now at 500*. We have had cold temps where the day time high was in the low 20's and we operated the stove at these settings and used about a bag of coal twice a day. Is opening the damper a last resort to increase stove temperature? It seems like burning 80# at 12,500 BTU per pound equates to 41,666 BTU per hour about half what the stove is rated at. It seems that if I can keep the first & second floor of my home probably over 2200 sq ft heated to over 70 on first floor and 65 or so on upper level utilizing 41,666 BTU an hour when high temperature is less than 30 and low is in the teens then that is not too bad. Would you agree? I have a Glacier Bay stove in the finished lower level approx 1000 sq ft and it heats that space above 70 with ease while at simmer with stove temp just above 200 burning less than 20# a day. Entire coal consumption with 2 stoves heating 3300sq ft with cold outside temperatures 100# day. Does that sound reasonable? Any advice on how to maximize efficiency for the Hitzer 503 is appreciated.