When you have a new wood stove installed in your home, you get to enjoy the many benefits of alternative heating. Caring for your wood stove properly is the best way to ensure safe fire burning and proper energy output so your home is nice and warm whenever you use it. Here are some tips for using your wood stove after it's been placed in your home so every fire you burn is safe and efficient.
Use seasoned wood
Freshly cut wood burns poorly because it can contain over 60% of the moisture you need for it to heat properly. Ideally, you should use wood that has been cut and left in the sun for 6 months or more to bring the moisture content down. If cutting wood yourself, chop logs as small as you can to help draw the moisture content out as quickly as possible. Stack your wood on pallets above ground to keep dew from soaking into your logs, and cover your wood supply with a tarp when it rains. The drier your wood is, the better it will burn.
You can use other sources of fuel to help your logs burn in your wood stove, including cardboard or newspaper, but avoid using magazines, painted wood, driftwood, and household trash as a heat source since these items can emit toxins into the air and create an unhealthy fire.
Clean your ashes
Every fire you burn will leave ashes in the bottom of your wood stove under the grate. After several uses, your fires will burn less productively if you don't clean these ashes out, since the density of the ashes prevent oxygen from flowing to your heat source. To prevent this, you must clean your ashes out regularly. To do this, grab a tin bucket (like a large popcorn tin) and a metal scooper, and remove the ashes slowly from your wood stove. It's best to wait after a few days of not burning wood, so you are not depositing hot coals into your tin. You can help your ashes cool down over a few days by using a fire poker or metal scooper to stir them around and expose them to air, which will make any embers die out. Always remove the ashes from your home after filling your metal bucket by placing the bucket outdoors away from grass or weeds until the ashes have cooled down completely.
In using dry wood and keeping ashes out of your grate, you can experience longer-burning and hotter fires in your wood stove. Before long, you will begin to enjoy the alternative heat that warms your whole house by using the right supplies and cleaning needed to burn properly. For more information on wood stoves and purchase options, contact a professional contractor, like Aqua Rec's Fireside Hearth & Home.