Wood burning stoves can be installed either on their own or as part of a central heating system in a home. Investing in these stoves is a great idea as they help you keep the house warm and cozy during winter as well as cut down on electricity bills and carbon emissions. Correct usage and maintenance of wood burning stoves is very important as it determines how long the stove lasts and how much you will be able to save. Below are tips which will help you increase the efficiency of your stove thus enable you to make more significant savings on your heating bills as well as increase the lifespan of the stove.
Invest in Quality Design and Perform Regular Maintenance
When buying a stove, it is important that you choose a good quality design that meets your requirements. Never compromise on the quality because investing in a stove of more efficient material will increase the heat output thus save you money in the long run by reducing the amount of fuel you burn. In addition, performing a chimney sweep once or twice a year and cleaning your stove regularly prevents build-up of soot and creosote. These byproducts of poor combustion may damage the stove and reduce its efficiency if left to accumulate.
Use Correct Fuel
While multi-fuel stoves can burn both wood and coal, wood burning stoves are specifically designed to burn air-dried hardwood. Seasoning wood for 6-12months and keeping it sheltered from moist conditions is highly advisable. This is because fresh wood consists of around 50%water and therefore needs to be rid of the moisture through seasoning.
Without seasoning, you will be adding around 500ml of water with every kg of wood you add to the fire therefore, much of the heating value will be wasted in burning off this excess moisture. Using fresh wood usually translates to more trips to the woodpile, higher heating costs, and potential problems in your chimney. Seasoned hardwood on the other hand, burns hotter for longer thus greatly saving the amount of logs you will need to keep the fire going. To obtain good quality dry hardwood, you can either buy from a good supplier or find fresh wood and dry it yourself in a shed.
Manage the Air
With all wood burning stoves, air comes in two ways; primary air which feeds the bed of the fire and secondary air which feeds the flames above it. Secondary air is more important than primary because much of the energy from the wood comes from burning gases released when it is heated. To properly manage the air, you should:
- Always close the stove door: Never leave the stove door open unless specifically instructed to do so by the manual of your stove. Leaving the door open, reduces the efficiency of the stove and allows all the warm air to shoot up straight through the chimney.
- Leave the secondary air vent slightly opened: Never completely close the secondary air vent as that creates a lot of soot and tar that will coat the glass on the front of the stove.
So there you have it, 3 simple tips to help increase the efficiency of your wood burning stove. Follow them to create warm cozy heat in your home.