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Improving Wood Stove Efficiency

A wood stove is one of the best ways to keep your home warm this winter. If you don't already have one, now's the time to have one installed. Here are some of the best ways to keep your wood stove working at peak efficiency and keep your home warm and cozy this winter.

Keep Your Chimney Clean

If you’re going to be using wood heating stoves, it's vital that your chimney is clean. When your chimney is dirty, it restricts airflow and decreases the heat from your fireplace. The best thing to do is have your fireplace and chimney cleaned annually. If the chimney is clean, you won't have to worry about any blockages, and there will be plenty of airflows.

Buy the Right Fuel

If you are trying to save money on fuel, you may pick the cheaper logs when you're shopping. While this seems like a good idea at first, it doesn't work in the long run. When you buy cheaper wood, it usually has a higher moisture content. The higher the moisture content, the more smoke the wood will produce, as opposed to heat. The best wood has about a 15-20% moisture content and will burn cleanly. You should expect one split log to last about an hour.

Buy A Heat Shield

Gas StovesIf you haven't gotten one already, a heat shield is a great idea. These are plates that sit behind the stove and reflect heat back into the room. If you find that heat escapes through the space behind your stove, this is the way to stop it. There are lots of wood stove heat shield ideas online, so you can find one that suits your home aesthetic perfectly.

Ensure You're Using the Stove On A Colder Day

When using a wood stove, the draft is an essential part of the operation. That means that your wood stove will operate better when the weather is colder outside. It's often a good idea to save your stove for when the temperatures dip and use it as a complement to your heating system. That way, you'll really see the benefit of it.

Know When to Add More Wood

If you want to get the most heat from your wood, you'll need to know when to add more logs to the fire. The best time is about 45 minutes in when you're left with just the glowing embers. You'll want to rake the embers to the front of the stove, and then add the new logs. Once they've caught fire, regulate the air flow to ensure that you get the cleanest burn.

Use the Top Down Lighting Method

When you're lighting your fire, there's a right way of doing it to ensure that you get the longest, most even burn. It's called the 'top-down' lighting method. To achieve this method, create a cage of wood or kindling around a twisted newspaper or a firefighter. This allows for maximum airflow and for the flame to travel down and catch the kindling.

Think About the Positioning of Your Stove

If you're still looking at heating stoves for your home, you must think about where to place it. If you want to heat your entire home, it's going to need a central placement. Do you have somewhere in your home where it can go? In some cases, finding a place to set up a wood stove can lead to construction work, so you'll need to be sure that you have a plan before you go ahead and buy one.

Think About Your Chimney

Your chimney will have a serious impact on the way your home is heated. The ideal chimney is one that is about two feet higher than the roof, around seven feet from stove to rooftop, and has no more than two elbows in it. This chimney makeup produces the least amount of heat loss. With these tips, you can ensure that you're getting the most from your wood burning stove. When you are using the best wood and have a well set up fireplace that is in peak condition, you'll be sure to have a warm home all winter long.  
December 12, 2018
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