Burning wood in your wood burning stove is not an exact science, but there are some basic techniques and tricks that you can use to have a long lasting and brilliant fire.
Choosing the Right Wood Burning Stove
First and foremost it is important to choose the correct stove for your needs. When choosing a wood burning stove, keep in mind how large of an area of your home you would like to heat. Will you be using the stove more for zone heating or to heat your entire home? This question is important when deciding the size of stove that you should purchase. Some choose wood burning stoves for the ambiance and less as a heating option. In this situation a smaller stove will suffice. When purchasing a wood burning stove, it is a good idea to write down a few questions based on your needs, as well as specific preferences.
How many square feet does this wood burning stove heat?
Where in my home should the woodstove be installed?
What is the efficiency rating?
Does it have a circulating blower to help disburse the heat?
Does this stove come with an ash pan?
Armed with these questions you will be able to make sure that the wood stove you are purchasing is the right fit for you and your home.
When thinking about the basics of a wood burning stove, you will want to think about the stoves fuel: wood. Before purchasing a wood burning stove, think about where you are going to get your wood. Do you have access to trees that you can cut yourself or will you have to buy wood? Also, having knowledge about what type and condition of wood to burn is also important. For instance, most wood agree that it is best to burn only hardwoods. Hardwoods will result in a longer lasting fire. Hardwoods are essentially defined as those that are not of the evergreen or pine variety. Burning evergreen trees will result in a hotter and faster burn of the wood, which is undesirable if you are looking for a long lasting fire. When burning wood, you want to make sure that it is dry. The recommended amount of time for drying fresh cut wood is six to twelve months.
When heating your home with a wood burning stove it is important to have proper circulation. There are multiple ways of circulating the warm air from your wood stove. One way is to purchase a wood stove with a circulating blower. If you choose a wood stove that is not equipped with a circulating blower, then you can purchase a stovetop fan specifically for this purchase. There are eco-friendly versions available that do not need electricity and also are extremely quiet.
Proper installation is important to keep the warm air in during the winter. Keep the heat from your wood stove in by checking for drafts in doorways and windows. Also switching from single to double pane windows will offer additional insulation. The better your home is insulated, the lower your heating costs will be.
Starting a Fire
There are many tips on how to start a fire and keep it going. But of all the tips, the most important is to burn dry wood. It can be challenging to recognize if your wood is indeed wet. Wet wood is essentially characterized as wood that has been recently cut. Wood holds a lot of moisture that is not necessarily apparent to the naked eye. Using dry wood and a combination of newspaper is ideal for keeping your fire burning. Kindling is also recommended to assist in starting your fire. Light the newspaper and/or kindling and place it on your pile of dry wood in your wood burning stove. Leave the door open and wait as the fire catches. Never burn garbage, plastic or any other material in your wood burning stove as it can leach out harmful chemicals that you and your family will breathe in.
These basics can help you choose the right wood burning stove, as well as prepare you for starting a fire and keeping your home warm this winter. Ed’s Woodshed offers a variety of wood burning stoves to fit your needs.