If you are the proud owner of a new wood stove these 10 tips will help you get the most efficiency and enjoyment out of it. I’ve been heating with wood for 6 years now and my experience has run the gamut, from filling the house with smoke, buying green wood, running out of wood, and finally cutting my heating bills by 60%. It has been a wild ride but I wouldn’t have it any other way (okay maybe I could have done without filling the house with smoke).
10 Wood Stove Tips
- Use Seasoned Wood- If you want to get the most efficiency out of your wood stove, using well seasoned wood is a must. Nothing is more frustrating than staring at a low smokey fire that isn’t putting out nearly enough heat. The smudged glass and smokey smell in the house is a tell tale sign that your wood is sub par.
- Learn how to use your stove properly- There is more to heating with a wood stove than just buying a stove and lighting a fire. Figuring out the proper amount of air and wood will help you wring the most out of your stove.
- Get a Thermometer for the stove- A thermometer will help you know where your fire is at. It isn’t good to have too hot of a fire or too low of a fire. Too hot and you run the risk of starting a chimney fire, too low and you’ll build up potentially dangerous creosote.
- A Shop Vac is your friend- Shoveling out cold ash can be a dirty job. Get a HEPA Filter for your shop vac and keep that stove nice and clean.
- Learn to do your own Spring Cleaning- Don’t be afraid to clean your own stove out. It isn’t that hard, a properly sized chimney brush will clean out your chimney in a just a few strokes and you’ll save yourself a some dough. Pay special attention to the mesh on the chimney cap, this is what got clogged on me, and ended up filling the house with smoke.
- Find a reputable wood supplier- I’m a big fan of harvesting my own wood, but there are sometimes you might need to buy. Wood suppliers are notorious for delivering green wood or cord shorting. Find someone you can trust for those times you might be running low.
- Don’t be afraid to ask- It might be embarrassing the first time, but there is nothing wrong with asking a tree guy just what they are doing with the wood. Some tree services will actually drop off wood at your house for free since they will have to pay to dump it.
- A quality chainsaw is a sound investment- If you are going to commit to heating with a wood stove, a good saw will be worth it’s cost. Quality saws cut faster and with less strain on the user. They will last for many years if properly taken care of.
- Welding Gloves are awesome- Welding Gloves are a nice cheap item to have around. They let you reach into the stove without fear of getting burnt. In a pinch you can handle a burning log, but not for long!
- Safety isn’t for wusses- There is no shame in having a Smoke Detector and a Carbon Monoxide detector. When you have a wood stove you are accepting that you will have 400 pounds of blazing hot steel sitting in your living room. Exercise some caution and respect, for it and your family.
Those are my 10 Tips for wood stoves. Can you think of anymore? Leave a comment below and let me know!
If you liked this you might also like: I’m not crazy! I heat with wood!!!
And check out Hearth.com for all you might ever want to know about heating with wood.
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