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Do you want to clean out your wood stove before heading out to dinner? Is the installer coming to inspect the appliance?
There are a lot of scenarios where you want to know how long it takes a wood stove to cool down. This article gives you the answers based on different configurations of modern wood stoves.
When Does A Wood Stove Start Cooling?
To research this question, I turned off my stove and frequently tested the stovetop temperature with a digital thermometer.
The stove started to cool after fifteen minutes.
More precisely, it took fifteen minutes for the temperature of the stovetop to drop by twenty degrees.
When Does A Wood Stove Become Cool Enough To Touch?
The rate of cooling depends largely on whether the damper and the stove door are open.
There are other steps you can take to accelerate how fast stoves cool. We go into this in our article on how to cool down a wood stove quickly.
When I use the method of opening the stove door, my stove takes under an hour to get cool. But some owners don’t like that method. They prefer to narrow the damper but keep the door closed.
I took a straw poll across eight owners of modern wood stoves. I asked them how long their stove takes to cool down to a temperature that is comfortable to touch with bare skin.
Their answers depended on whether their appliance was steel or cast iron. Steel wood stoves tend to be lighter in weight and they don’t retain as much heat. This means that they get cooler faster.
How Long Does A Wood Stove Take To Cool Down?
Steel wood stoves take about two hours to cool down with the door closed and the damper nearly closed.
Cast iron stoves take about one and a half hours to cool down in the same configuration.
If the damper is not adjusted, a modern wood stove will take up to six hours to be cool enough to touch.
How Long Should You Wait To Clean A Wood Stove After Shutting It Down?
You don’t want to damage your vacuum cleaner (or your hands!) by starting to clean your stove while it is too hot.
The usual problem is that the top layer of ash is cool when poked with a finger, but there are hotter embers several layers down.
My advice is always to stir the ashes with a poker before you try to clean the stove. The poker should make hot embers come to the surface. A sudden release of heat should be apparent.
In general, you are least likely to encounter problems with a modern wood stove if you leave at least three hours for it to cool down.
If you’re in a hurry, you can check the temperature after about 1.5 hours. Stir the ashes well and check the heat.
If it’s still too hot, you could transfer the ashes carefully to a metal bucket and place it outside in a secure place.
How Long Does It Take For Masonry Heaters To Be Cooled?
Masonry heaters are the big dogs of wood-fired heating appliances. They are also beautiful, and I want one someday!
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, take a look at this one:
These heaters are encased in stonework and that is not simply to look great. The stone absorbs the heat which builds up in the masonry thermal mass.
When you turn off the heater, the heat continues to radiate from the stonework.
In practice, it can take many hours for a masonry heater to heat up to your desired temperature. But when the appliance is turned off, manufacturers say that heat will continue to be released for up to 24 hours.
If you’ve read other articles on this site, you’ll know that I usually don’t rely on manufacturer documents. They often exaggerate their claims and benefits. Instead, I pose questions to a network of stove owners.
In this case, I only know two people with a masonry heater. However, they gave very similar answers to my question on how long it takes for the stove to lose so much heat that it is cool to the touch.
The answer was about twelve hours.