Number 1 Tip - Use
properly dried and seasoned wood! This will minimize
creosote build up (and resulting chimney fires!) and result in a
cleaner burning fire. Many modern high-efficiency stoves are
designed to only operate properly if the wood is sufficiently
dried. Cut and split wood 1 year in advance of use. Fresh cut
logs can have as much as 50% water!
Vent your wood stove
out a separate chimney. Most insurance companies will not cover
you if your wood stove shares a chimney with another appliance
since a blockage in the chimney will result in emissions to vent
out through the second appliance.
If using a stainless
steel double-walled chimney that runs on the exterior of the
house, box in the chimney with an insulated box. If the chimney
is not protected from extreme cold, back drafting can occur
during extremely cold weather.
Use less dense woods
during the day when you are available to stoke the fire and have
a supply of denser slower burning wood with higher BTU value for
over night burning. For a table of values of BTU's by species,
Keep your wood stove
clean; especially the chimney. Clean once per year.
Keep your chimney
stack installation as straight as possible, and keep it within
the interior walls to provide for maximum draft.
EPA-certified wood stove to ensure it meets standards and the
benefits are that it will use less wood, circulate more heat
efficiently, and less creosote buildup.
Purchase the right
size stove for the space to be heated; better to buy a smaller
stove and burn it hotter.
Burn only seasoned
wood; no garbage of any type.
Cut logs to fit your
burner; split logs to 3-6 inches in diameter.
When storing your
logs, stack wood loosely; Cover your wood pile, but leave the
sides open to the air.
If space is
available, purchase and store the following year's wood in
combustor and baffles every 1-4 years.
Replace gaskets on
airtight stove doors every year. On modern damper-less stoves, a
leaking gasket will not allow you to damper the fire properly.
When starting a
fire, keep the damper and air inlets open for at least 15
minutes to allow for a hot bed of coals prior to burning large
When loading your
stove, open the door just a crack a minute or two and allow the
fresh air to cause higher draft and reduce back drafting smoke.
Then load your stove.
A good fire should
give off a small amount of white steam; the darker the smoke,
the more pollutants and creosote are produced.
If possible, locate
your stove near an exterior basement door to minimize the mess
in the rest of the house when bringing in wood!