Once you’ve got your wood-burning stove installed, there’s the obvious temptation to throw on lots of wood and just enjoy not having to use the central heating.
At Gr8Fires, we thoroughly understand that sentiment. But once the euphoria has partially subsided and you’ve got your thinking cap back on, we would suggest you follow these tips to make sure you’re stove is costing as little as possible and heating as much as possible.
1.Use dry kindling to light your stove
Lighting your fire with fast-burning kindling heats the firebox quickly. You’re essentially getting your stove heated up so your logs have less work to do.
2. Use seasoned wood
Wood burns far more efficiently when it has been seasoned. That means chopped, split and left to dry for at least a year. The reduced moisture levels mean you get more from your wood.
3. Use free wood
If you’re inclined to collect your wood from fallen trees, you can reduce the cost of your fuel to absolutely nothing.
4. Choose what type of wood to burn carefully
Different types of wood have a different burn. How quickly it burn and how much heat it gives off has a big impact on the performance of your stove. Ash, beech, apple, birch or hawthorn would be a good starting point.
5. Open the vents when lighting your stove
It’s common sense really, but sometimes people forget their school science lessons when confronted with a new stove. Open both air vents on your stove when lighting the fire because the oxygen will help the fire to get going.
6. Close the bottom air vent once the stove is going
Once the logs are burning well, close the bottom (primary) vent. This stops the wood from disappearing too fast and gives a steadier burn.
7. Wait for the logs to burn down before reloading
It’s nice to look at roaring flames, but as long as your logs are burning they are still heating your stove and, as a result, heating your room. Wait until the logs have been reduced to embers before adding more logs.
8. Remove your ashes – but not all of them
A thin bed of ashes can help your stove to burn well. Too much will block the flow of air and damage the efficiency of the stove though. It is important to find the right balance.
9. Get your chimney swept
The draw of air up your chimney is vital in ensuring the efficiency of your wood burner. Call upon the services of a chimney sweep at least once a year, twice if you’re a prolific stove user, to ensure there is no blockages.
10. Improve your insulation
Away from the stove itself, improve the insulation in your home to ensure all that new found heat isn’t escaping prematurely.