First I would like to thank everyone for all of the great discussions. I have been actively reading for a month on this site. I have learned so much, but still have a few questions. I am really new at this coal stove stuff. First year with one. I have a DS circulator 1300 I believe is the model #. It's rated for 1200sf. We have a small 2 br house which is under that footage. I got the stove new this February after we purchased this house. I had a hard time getting it figured it for the first few days but eventually read enough posts and got that part down pat. Only had to lite it 2x so far. It went out the second day on me as I was afraid to fill it up or get it going too hard due to all of the runaway stories and ppl saying how hard it is to get them to shut down if out of control. With that said, now I just have to learn the ins and outs of these weird warm/cold spells. I live in Kentucky and the weather is so weird this year. 70 degrees one day and 20 the next. This week it's been running 20-30 at night and 45-50 in the day. I seem to be going through a lot of coal it seems. I have not calculated I out but likely averaging 1.5 40# bag per day. That seems like a lot. Possibly I am not getting the most heat extracted from the stove. I have read forums about pipe dampers. Some say yes, some say no... depends on who you ask it seems. Lol. At any rate, I am keeping the stove top around 300-325 degrees usually. Which seems about half of the possible output. Stove pipe seems to be 175 just above the output and around 120 before it exits at the chimney. Pipe temps measured with a infrared thermometer on the outside of the pipe. I have tried the MOd at around half closed and full open. Neither seem to really make a difference. I don't have a draft gauge, however when we were putting the pipe together the chimney would pull a piece of tissue and suck it inward if you held it up to the opening. So it does have a good draft going. Is there a way to gain more heat by doing something different and using less coal? Or are my coal amounts about right for this location and weather? I am open to suggestions or comments, even if someone says I'm doing it right and that's a good number. Just looking for some general advice
. Thanks in advance. Also, I believe I'm using what's called it coal. The bags say franklin anthracite on them and don't have a size listed. The pieces range from quarter to half dollar with some larger and smaller. Smallest being nickel size and largest being gold ball size possibly.