A wood-burning stove is at the heart of any home. It’s a valuable asset during cooler seasons and nights. And besides taking your décor to a whole new level, the unrivalled pleasant smell of burning firewood and the noteworthy ambience is part of the perks. It can also offer vast amounts of heat to your space, be a source of entertainment, and double up for your cooking treats in some instances. Still, all the benefits from a wood heater come at a little cost. Like any other appliance in your home, these heaters require tender love and care to boost their longevity and efficiency over time.
Here is how to increase the efficiency of the woodstove and maintain its functionality throughout the year.
· Use ideal firewood
First things first utilise a good set of firewood each time. Take an interest in the type of wood you choose for your wood stove – hardwood is recommended for Australian homes. Ideally, the best wood should have less than 18% moisture so that the fire can burn hot enough and minimise creosote production. The density of hardwood promotes slower and cleaner fires. Besides, it is an economical choice as you will need less of it compared to softwood. As you search for firewood vendors, look for the moisture content before purchase.
· Efficient combustion
As you load your heater, leaving air gaps around the wood is crucial to allow for good combustion. Additionally, all the wood should ignite before minimising the air or the burning rate.
· Dry storage conditions
While purchasing hardwood is advised, so is keeping them dry. Never store your wood on the ground or under a tightly closed tarp. Keep your wood dry by storing it off the ground and covering it with a roof-like structure to prevent contact from rainfall and other humid conditions. You are highly discouraged from stacking your wood tightly together. Wood needs access to free-flowing air to remain dry. Also, you don’t have to store excess wood inside your home. Instead, only store what you require for your daily use.
· Take your burning skills up a notch
Operating a slow combustion wood heater varies from a backyard fire pit. Smouldering slow fires can put your safety at risk. They produce more creosote which over time develops to be a fire hazard. Moreover, they promote intensive cleaning sessions due to thick layering. Most importantly, slow combustion fires shouldn’t burn on high for long periods. They should be turned down to maintain the heat in your space after reaching the peak level. Constant high burning is also termed ‘over firing,’ which leads to premature ageing or damage to the stove’s parts. Moderately sized flames with diminutive smoke in the stove firebox are perfect.
The flue of every wood heater and stove should undergo detailed cleaning annually. Cleaning the stove twice a year is recommended if you use it more often. A blocked flue is one of the major reasons for a poorly performing stove. A clean flue influences seamless airflow for optimal functionality.
A wood stove can be a reason to smile on the coldest days. Still, its efficiency is dependent on how you treat it. Keep up with the recommendations above for guaranteed cosiness every season!