The weather outside is freezing, and the best place to be on days like today is indoors, curled up with a good book besides the warm glow of your woodburning stove, or lovely and cosy in your home, looking out upon all the snowy and frosty scenery while you bask in the glorious heat of your stove. So make sure you get a really good fire going in your wood burner, sit back, relax and enjoy the heat in your home.
At this time of year, it’s essential to make the most of your wood stove, to ensure it’s working at maximum capacity and emitting the most heat possible. There are several things you can do to keep your stove running at optimum capacity.
The first action you should take is to select the right stove for you – both in terms of the size of the room you intend to install it and the purpose of buying it in the first place. For example, whether the burner is to simply provide some warmth for your living room or for heating your entire home plus for use with some cooking tasks too, makes a big difference to the type of stove you should invest in.
Once your woodburning stove has been installed, you need to naturally source some wood. Wood type has a big impact on efficiency, influencing the extent that the logs burn cleanly and the amount of heat emitted during burning. Always use seasoned logs because wood with greatly reduced water content will release far less smoke during the combustion process which means less heat is wasted on burning off the moisture. It’s up to you whether you buy seasoned logs or season the wood yourself for a minimum of one year.
The amount of heat the wood in your stove generates varies according to water content. As an example, a tonne of seasoned wood with approx 25% water content creates 4000kW of heat, compared to the same amount of unseasoned logs with approx 60% water content which releases half the amount of heat (2000kW).
Density matters too, so try to burn hardwoods like oak and ash rather than softwoods to create bright-burning fires. And don’t forget to take your time when starting a fire in your stove, including cleaning the firebox first. Be sure to build the fire using rolled or scrunched up newspaper, kindling, firelighter (personal choice), and a couple of small logs, adding more logs to it gradually as the heat and flames increase.
You should also make sure you have a regular maintenance routine, so your stove continues to operate at its best. Things to check often include the rope seal that runs around the inside of the glass and door, as if this is damaged air gets in and dampens the flames and the stove’s efficiency.
With a few simple steps, you can be sure your woodburning stove is working at maximum capacity – so you can really enjoy its warmth and beautiful flames during these long, chilly evenings.