Tips for Using a Wood burning Stove

tips wood burning stove

Firebelly Stoves FB2 Wood Burning Stove

Whether you’re new to wood burning stoves, or you’ve had one installed for years, we’ve got some tips for you on using it to its full potential.

Water doesn’t burn

This is a really key point to remember when burning wood. Wood that has not been seasoned and is still green, can hold up to 50% of water.  This means that when you add 2 pounds of wood (1kg) to a fire, you are in effect adding a pint of water to it (half a litre). It’s not surprising that your wood burner is not going to be operating at peak if this is the case. All wood should be given time to dry out properly.

There are several ways of achieving this, for example:

  • Look for green wood and dry it. This is the most cost effective method. When it comes to the amount of time needed for proper drying, you should really leave them to dry for one full summer, ideally two.
  • Buy pre-seasoned wood. Accredited wood suppliers such as those who work with Woodsure. This is a way to measure the logs to check that they really are as dry as the company is promising them to be.
  • Buy kiln dried logs or briquettes. Although energy is used to dry to this type of wood which makes it not as environmentally friendly, the wood is very dry as it’s been dried in a kiln. This method is most costly but you will certainly get dry wood.

Effectively managing the air

With regards to your stove, there are two types of air that it will be working from. The main air feed will be feeding the fire at the bottom of the stove. The other feed will be going into the flames above it. Almost all of the heat that wood produces when it’s burnt is from the burning of gases that are released during the process. This means that the secondary air feed is actually more essential than the primary.

Your points to keep in mind are:

• Don’t close ever entirely close the secondary air vent. If you do, you’ll be creating plenty of soot and tar and will really dirty up your glass at the front of your stove.

• The stove door should not be left open. Only unless the manual has clearly stated that it should be when you are lighting the fire. It absolutely cripples the efficiency of the stove and all the heat from the fire will fly up the chimney as heat rises.

•Fast burning is hotter. It’s also the most efficient way to run the stove. Those that burn longer and slower are not very efficient or effective.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be in position to get the best out of your wood burning stove.

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