Even the best wood-burning stove needs your input, if you want to heat your home efficiently and, at the same time, protect the environment from harmful particles. Ultimately, it is a matter of how you use the wood-burning stove – and of course, what you fuel it with.
You can do both yourself and the environment a big favour by following these seven recommendations:
- Choose a stove which complies with the strictest requirements on particle emissions.
- Make sure your chimney is the correct size in relation to the stove. A good draw is essential for optimum combustion.
- Never burn waste, cardboard packaging, printed matter or wood that has been painted or in some other way treated.
- Make sure the wood is clean and dry. Moisture content of max 16-20% gives the best and cleanest combustion (and also less soot on the glass).
- Never overfill the stove and avoid using oversized pieces of fuel.Air is important for good combustion and good economy. Before the wood carbonises, enough air needs to be added that flames are produced (always read the manual – it’s important).
- Don’t leave the stove burning overnight. Leaving your stove burning overnight is bad for your wallet and the environment.
Some FAQ’s on how to use your wood burning stove effectively
What wood can I use in my wood burning stove?Good seasoned hardwood would be the optimum choice every time but is increasingly hard to find.
The burn rate and heat given out by wood burnt in a wood burning stove differs depending on the species and ‘dryness’ of the wood used. Most woods can be used in a wood stove but all must be dry and well seasoned. Burning ‘wet’ wood will result in a build up of deposits in the flue, and the stove will never heat up properly and the consequence will be a blackened window.
What is the best way to burn wood?Wood burns best on a bed of ash which builds up on the grate of the stove. When cleaning your stove you should always retain a bed of ash and not remove all of it.
When your wood fire has built up a good bed of ash and embers the airflow can be switched from below to above the fire for greater wood burning efficiency as this will promote an increased amount of secondary combustion. (combustion, where the flue gases above the fire are reignited by an introduction of warmed air into the top of the firebox). The Hobbit clean burning stove is a good example of a wood stove with secondary combustion technology.
Efficient wood burning requires both a good dry fuel as well as a good supply of air. This will promote a visible and lively flame around the wood. Running your stove in this manner will result in a much cleaner flue. Running your stove slowly or shutting it down completely overnight will result in increased deposits in the flue , the stove and almost certainly a blackened window.
It should also be noted that constant refueling of any woodstove will also be detrimental to an optimum efficient wood burning strategy. Better to let the fuel burn right down and then refuel. The wood takes time to heat up before ignition so will cause the stove to cool each time refueling takes place.
Visit this video to see a stove being refueled.
See our video channel to see lots of other videos relating to the Hobbit small wood burning stove