Throughout history, the wood burning stove has been the primary source of heat and cooking for countless homes. While propane, electric, oil, and evaporation systems have become commonplace, nothing can compare to the sound of a crackling fireplace and the glow of a warm fire. Just ask the thousands of tiny houser who choose wood-burning over the other options. Like all other appliances though, a wood burning stove must be cared for to in order to prolong its life and enhance its operation. The 5 tips below will help do just that!
SIMPLY THE BEST
There is a multitude of wood species but not all are equal. The wood you use for an outdoor pit can truly be anything you like because the fire isn’t contained indoors. But when choosing wood for a wood burning stove, you need to make sure it is sized for your stove with 15% – 20% moisture. You don’t want it to burn too hot or too long.
DON’T PILE IT IN
Having too many logs in a stove can actually hurt the overall combustion and lead to a smaller, cooler fire. Fire needs air to breathe and so overstuffing kills that air. It is smarter to refuel more often than to overload the stove at one time.
KEEP IT DRY
So you have to buy your wood. Not a totally bad thing. There are lots of options for buying property dried wood. However, if it is improperly stored, it can become moist all over again. Do not store wood under a tightly closed tarp or a location without circulation. The best way to store your firewood is to store it off the ground and shielded with some sort of room to protect it from the wind and rain. When stacking it, don’t pack the logs too tightly together and always be sure there is air flow. Only store wood to be used immediately, in your home.
KNOW HOW TO BURN
Interior fires and campfires are two different things. Never allow smoldering in your home. These type of fires allow for creosote development, which can become a major fire hazard. At the same time don’t allow your wood stove to turn into a roaring fire. This causes too much direct heat, which can damage the chimney and stove as well as waste precious wood.
KEEP IT CLEAN
The entire wood burning system should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year, and even twice for heavy-use stoves. Over time, a highly flammable substance known as creosote can build up along the chimney over time. If left unchecked, the creosote grows and increases the chance of a house fire.
DON’T BURN YOUR FEET
This is just an extra tip. Keep your toes at a safe distance from the fire. No matter how romantic the roar may become and no matter how toasty it may feel against your cold skin, fire can heat the skin unusually fast and cause multiple degree burns before the nerve sensors even recognize it.
What are your tips for wood burning stoves? Do you use one now? Would you use one? What precautions do you take and which should you take more seriously? Share with us in the comments below!