Improving the Efficiency of a Small Wood Burning Stove

Posted in: All Posts
Wood stoves are one means of heating your home, but at times, these stoves can appear inefficient, in terms of cost and heat production. From the important to seemingly insignificant, numerous things can affect the efficiency of your wood stove. Fortunately, you can enhance the efficiency of older stoves in the following ways.
  • Repair and Clean

It's imperative you keep your stove, the chimney, and flue as clog-free and clean as possible. Before you burn anything in your appliance for the first time during fall or winter, have a chimney sweep to clean out the airways linked to your stove. This permits smoke to leave your home fast and eliminates dangerously flammable creosote deposits. In addition, repairing any cracks in the chimney also helps the stove operate more efficiently.
  • Use the Appropriate Wood

WoodStoveConsider softwood kindling, such as pine to begin your fire. Pine’s low density permits it to catch fire quicker compared to dense woods. Once you start your fire, you can move to a harder, denser wood to keep your fire going. Hardwood options include cherry and oak, which offer more heat compared to their softwood counterparts. Moreover, they generate less smoke and burn longer.
  • The Right Location

You should enlist the help of our professionals to find the perfect location for heat distribution and problem-free venting. This is much easier in homes with open floor plans than in huge, partitioned houses which make stove-only heating difficult. It's sensible to consider placing your stove in the center of your home though we recommend you consider venting limitations of this location before finalizing your decision.
  • The Appropriate Fuel

Wood for burning should be dry, with only 15-20% moisture content and you should split each piece small enough to fit numerous pieces into your stove. Select the wood varies depending on your heating requirements. Bear in mind that what's best in October might not be ideal in February. Variety will also differ by your location. Conducting some research ahead of time can actually pay off in the long run.
  • Protect Your Chimney Against the Wind

Winds whipping around the chimney's top could produce backdrafts and hinder proper updraft. Therefore, you must take steps to protect your chimney's top against the wind. To achieve this, you can install the stove near the home's center, but not precisely at the center. Moreover, a cap on the chimney's top will offer additional protection against breezes.
  • Check the Door Seal for Leakage

The stove's door must fit snugly to keep the fire's heat concentrated inside. If you discover the door is very loose, we recommend you tighten the latch according to the instruction manual. If the gasket reveals signs of damage or wear, you should replace it as well.
  • Season the Wood Sensibly

When drying wood, you should stack it in an open place, under some type of roof or suspended cover where there's both sun and wind exposure. If you place wood in a garage, shed, or outdoors without any kind of cover, you'll inhibit the seasoning process considerably. Obviously, you must be ready to fully wrap the wood with plastic in case it rains. If you want to include additional cover overnight, you should place plastic on top instead of around the entire stack. One thing you want to avoid is setting wood on the ground for drying. Instead, you'll want to stack it on rails to allow air to circulate underneath.
  • Add Equipment to the Stove

Including a catalytic combustor insert to your stove can enhance its efficiency and the amount of heat you generate from it. You can find these inserts at most supply stores and online. These converters generate combustion of unwanted emissions that move up the chimney which means you obtain heat faster from the stove and waste less wood. Alternatively, you can install a fan or blower to push heat from the stove and circulate it into areas that require heat.
  • Use a Prudent Kindling Scheme

Whether you're beginning a fire from scratch or re-igniting one on a current bed of coals, the appropriate kindling method is very important. To start, put two pieces of wood parallel to one another on opposite sides of your stove's combustion compartment and then stuff them with newspapers. Next, you can stack smaller pieces of kindling on top of the original wood pieces but in a crosswise manner.
  • EPA-Certified Unit

You can expect any EPA-certified stove to be at least 30-40% more efficient than older models. If you currently have a wood stove or are thinking about purchasing one, you can follow these simple measures to enhance its efficiency and enjoy it’s warm, comforting heat all season long.  
February 2, 2019
12 view(s)
Customer Reviews