How to Have a Happy, Enduring Experience with Your Wood Stove
In our high-tech world with remote controls and touch screens, operating a wood stove can leave you feeling like you’re in olden times. While lighting a fire the old-fashioned way is a throwback, today’s wood stoves are actually very modern and efficient. Frustration can be avoided and you can enjoy using your wood stove, with a little know-how. If you follow the tips below, you should find that your relationship with your wood stove is a happy and enduring one.
You can enjoy greater peace of mind if you have your wood stove professionally installed. Proper installation is a huge safety issue. First, there is the importance of ensuring that the stove has adequate clearance from nearby combustibles, including furniture, walls, and floors. If the distance isn’t right, there is the possibility that nearby combustibles will, in the near or distant future, suddenly ignite and very possibly start a hazardous house fire. The process that results in a fire is called “pyrolysis,” and it’s a very real potential threat, when wood stoves aren’t properly installed.
The second reason professional installation of a wood stove is important is to ensure optimal operation of the wood-burning appliance. The connection of a proper chimney to the wood stove is best left to professionals, who understand fit requirements and their importance.
Because a neglected wood stove won’t work very well over the long haul, your happy and enduring relationship with your wood stove is partly dependent upon proper care and upkeep. The types of issues that a homeowner should keep up with include proper and routine handling of ashes and regular scheduling of both inspections and wood stove cleaning. Creosote deposits need to be removed at various intervals, to help prevent a hazardous chimney fire and to prevent chimney obstruction caused by a buildup of the sooty deposits made by burning firewood.
Burn Seasoned Firewood
Firewood, when first cut, is green and packed with moisture. Burning green wood makes for an inefficient fire that creates a much greater amount of creosote than seasoned wood. What happens when you burn wet firewood is that the fire’s energy goes toward evaporating the water from the firewood, rather than going toward heating your home. Due to the dynamics of such fires, the water is converted to steam that goes up the chimney before effectual heat-producing begins.
It usually takes between six months and a year for firewood to dry adequately enough to burn. The moisture level of a properly seasoned log is under 12%. You will be happier with the amount of heat provided by your wood stove if you use the proper type of firewood.
Avoid Smoldering Fires
While you don’t want to over-fire your stove, the best operation is obtained with hot fires. Combustion is more complete, a maximum amount of heat is released, and creosote buildup is lessened when you burn hot fires in your wood stove.
A good way to promote a hot fire is to split wood into relatively small pieces that fit well in your stove. Because the smaller pieces burn more overall surface area, the fire is hotter.
Using a wood stove can truly be an enjoyable experience, even in this modern age. When you follow these tips, you also get longer life out of your appliance. Contact our chimney professionals regarding wood stove installation or to schedule inspection and cleaning.