Some small changes can make a difference on how much work is involved in running a wood stove full time. Here are a few simple things you can do to get more out of your stove and firewood.
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Step 1: Thick Leather Welding Gloves
One common thing that can often get over looked when selecting tools for the fireplace or wood stove is a good pair of stick welding gloves. They can be picked up for cheap, help protect your hands and arms from burns and splinters.
Step 2: Indoor Humidity
It is important for health and comfort to maintain an idea indoor humidity. Too Too much moister and you run the
risk of mold and ice forming on your windows. Not enough and the house will not feel as warm and can dry out your skin.
(A simple test to see if you have enough humidity in your house is place a glass of ice water on the counter. If it does not develops condensation in 2 -3 minutes, your levels are low. It is recommended to run a humidifier)
Step 3: Open Blinds on Southern Side of House on Sunny Days
Open blinds and curtains of windows facing the south to let in radiant heat of the sun.This can help maintain temperatures in the house resulting in less firewood consumed.
Step 4: Burn Dry Firewood
Burn dry firewood (20% Moister Or Less). You can use a moister meter to help monitor if your firewood is ready for the stove. It is ideal to let it season for one full year before burning.
Dry firewood has a couple benefits
- Easier starting fires
- More heat out of your wood - Energy is not wasted to boil of excess moister
- Easier to stay in the Idea burning temps (250F - 500F) - Less creosote created, which equals less brushing your chimney and less risk of chimney fires.
Step 5: Stove Maintenance
Keeping your stove in ideal running condition helps keep you safe and you waste less firewood.
The two most common things that need to be replaced on wood stoves is the fire brick and door gasket. A sign that the door gasket needs to be replaced is consuming more firewood. Since you are not able to control the air as well.
One simple trick for testing the door gasket is to open your stove door when cool. Place a dollar bill inside and shut the door on it. If you can slide the dollar bill out it is time to replace the gasket. Be sure to repeat this step all the way around the door.
Step 6: Timing
Learning when to light the stove can play a factor in comfort. For example if it is early afternoon and your house is just starting to cool down. If we light the wood stove at that time. Our house will more then likely be pretty warm by bed time resulting in us not wanted to keep the fire going.
If we just push things back a few hours by putting on a sweatshirt. We are able to carry that stove through out the night which tends to be the coolest part of the day. Resulting in a warmer house in the mourning when you crawl out of bed.
Figuring out how to time thing can make a difference on comfort and wood consumption.
Step 7: Wood Direction
Wood stoves have a place to control the air. Depending on where the air enters the stove and the direction you place your logs. It can change how hot and long that fire burns.
In the attached images the air intake is just below the door. By placing the logs going from front to back or what is sometimes called a North South facing fire. The air is able to penetrate better and you get a hotter and quicker burning fire. Ideal for the colder winter months.
By turning the logs sideways or what they often call an east west facing fire. The air is not able to penetrate as well. The fire will not burn as hot and quick. This can be idea for the Spring and Fall time. When you just want to take the chill out of the air with getting things to hot.
Step 8: Be Sure to Check Out the Attached Video
Be sure to check out the attached video for some additional tips on getting more out of you wood stove. I appreciate you taking the time to read this article. Happy wood burning season!