How To Improve Your Wood-Burning Stove’s Performance

Stoves The Firebird

A wood-burning stove is a thing of beauty and utility. It works harder than other modes of heating and has a lower total cost of ownership. A wood-burning stove is more efficient at heat production, providing 3X more heat with only one-third of the firewood. 

Considering the severity of global warming and the toll on our exhaustive resources, the adoption of wood-burning stoves is a greener idea. Wood is renewable, easy to access, and also offers a vintage touch to your premises.

Today modern wood-burning stoves have EPA certification, guaranteeing very low carbon emission levels and high energy efficiency.

If you’re planning on using a wood-burning stove, here are a few amazing tips on how you can improve the stove’s performance.

Pick the right sized Stove

The size of your stove must depend upon the room size! A tiny stove in a large cabin would make no sense. The foremost thing to consider is buying the right wood-burning stove by looking at the size and not the price. Lower priced but smaller-sized stove might turn out to be a waste of money. A professional can help you select the right stove for the square footage you are trying to heat

Select the right spot

Once you’ve finalized the right-sized stove, it is time to decide the position for installation. A free-standing wood-burning stove needs a chimney. Get professional help to determine whether you can use your existing chimney. Using your current chimney can save you time and money, but narrow down your choice of stove. 

While it’s easier to install a wood-burning stove in open floor plan houses, it is always advisable to consult a professional installer. You will need to factor in multiple items and have a first-time-right approach. For obvious reasons, you do not want to keep shifting and re-installing the stove. The most important factor while installing your freestanding wood stove is the safety of people and property. Ensure that your installation adheres to stipulated guidelines for fire safety, hazardous air, and air pollution.

Clean up your chimney

As the wood-burning specialist's quote, "Efficiency of your chimney is directly proportional to the heating efficiency of your wood-burning stove." The blockage and clogging dirt in the chimney can absorb the heat and restrict airflow to your fire. Hence, step one would be to check your chimney and clean it if required. You should take up chimney cleaning regularly.

Pick the fuel wisely

Always use dry wood with a moisture content of up to 15- 20%. Also, the heating value varies with the type of wood. It's best to pick the wood based on your heating requirement. For example, oak, apple, and maple have high heat value, while white pine, hemlock, and aspen are lower in comparison.

Build your fire expertly

Follow the below-mentioned tips and be an expert in lighting up a fire super quickly:

  • Add in more than one log
  • Place the logs close together, offering a wider surface area
  • Ensure proper airflow

Most importantly: Light the fire top down. Place larger logs underneath and smaller pieces of wood, paper, or kindling on top. It may take you a few tries to get this right, but the top-down approach makes it cleaner and easier to build a fire in a wood stove.

Air supply to a wood-burning stove requires that the fire burns through the wood at a steady pace. A fire that smolders due to less air or burns too rapidly due to air overflow is not an efficient state.

Stack wood in moderation

Thick and dark smoke oozing out means that your fuel is getting wasted! To avoid this, you must add small chunks of wood at regular intervals. Smaller pieces help in maintaining the temperature better and prevents fuel wastage.

Manage the air vent system

Before starting your fire, ensure that all controllable fire vents in your stove are open. Once the fire lights up inside your stove and the room begins to heat up, be sure to close the air vents slowly. The trick is to keep the air vents closed just enough to keep the fire going. You can make the wood burn longer and minimize fuel wastage by controlling the airflow well.

Take out the ashes

After the fire goes out, a layer of ashes tends to accumulate. It would help if you took out the ashes but not all of it. A little ash supports the burning. However, too much ash can obstruct the airflow.

Annual maintenance

Your wood-burning stove is a piece of equipment that functions in high temperatures and sees faces an attack from soot, smoke, and ash every time it functions. Over the years, smoke can damage the glass. Ash buildup can block and damage the vents. A few more typical problems are tearing gaskets, leakage from sealants, blocked chimneys and damaged doors. It is best to have your stove and chimney inspected and cleaned by a certified professional every year.

Hopefully, these tips will help make your wood-burning stove perform better, waste less heat, and use less wood.

How can we help?

The Firebird launched more than forty years ago with the vision to provide self-sufficient home heating. The founders began by selling a single brand of wood stove out of their garage. A few years later, The Firebird started selling a small selection of drip irrigation components. Under current ownership since 1988, The Firebird has grown into a leading provider of the following:

Visit our office at 1808 Espinacitas St Santa Fe, New Mexico, or call us on 505.983.5264.

You can also drop us a line with your requirement, and our wood-burning stove specialist will be in touch!