How to Use a Wood Burning Stove - An All-In-One Guide to Follow
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How to Use a Wood Burning Stove – An All-In-One Guide to Follow

With modern chimneys and gas fireplaces becoming a new normal during home renovation, wood-burning stoves are still the old-school type that are commonly installed within the existing open fireplaces. Such wood-made stoves help to increase the efficiency of burning the wood – making your place cozier and warmer for winter. 

Whether you keep it in the lounge or in the bedroom, a wood-burning stove for the home could be a stunning addition. It significantly produces more heat with each piece of wood and keeps the room incredibly warm as compared to other heating appliances. Wood-burning stoves are also energy efficient as they can help homeowners to save money on energy bills. 

Have you recently purchased a wood-burning stove and don’t know how to use it? If yes, then look no further as this all-in-one guide is going to help you in using a wood-burning stove.

Steps to Use a Wood-Burning Stove

Since winter is knocking on the door already, this is the best time of the year to start with a wood stove insert installation. Many people may have already installed a wood-burning stove to avoid worries at the eleventh hour. 

With that in mind, here is an ultimate guide on how to use a wood-burning stove at your home. We will walk through each step in detail so ensure to replicate our steps while using the wood-made stove. 

  • Start a Fire

The fire in your wood stove should be built beforehand so that it starts burning as quickly as possible. To start a fire in a wood stove, you will need:

  • Old newspaper or plain paper
  • Number of small pieces of dry kindling
  • Lots of dry wood logs

You need about an inch of ash in the bottom of your stove to initiate the fire and improve efficiency. Place a crumpled-up newspaper on the stove to get the fire to burn quickly. However, do not pack the newspaper too tightly or overstuff it in the stove or else, it might become hazardous.

You can also place small pieces of dry wood, preferably softwood kindling, in a zig-zag manner across the crumpled newspaper. Now place the pieces of wood strategically on the newspaper. This way, flames won’t burn out in the entire area and fire will build up properly in a direction. 

  • Heat the Flue

Don’t let the chimney above the stove get too cold and the fire flare up too quickly. On extraordinarily cold days, you can leave the door to the stove open and allow both the kiln and flue to come to room temperature before lighting the fire.

Place the heat source under the flue of your wood stove and start initiating the fire in the stove. Since a wood-burning stove is usually connected to the outdoors, it can be much colder than your home temperature. At this point, you may leave the stove door open for a while to let it come closer to room temperature before initiating fumes. 

Pro tip: Remember, a cold flue can prevent an ignited fire from starting to burn. Cold air descends and hot air rises, so the cold flue acts as a barrier to the stove, preventing smoke and fumes from escaping.

  • Check for Fumes & Ignite the Log or Newspaper

At this point, maintaining a heat source inside the stove warms the air in the chimney and initiates stove flames. 

Now, light one end of a crumpled newspaper or wood log and place it inside the stove. Make sure your chimney is warm and your stove has a good draft. If the smoke rises into the chimney from the newspaper, it indicates that the stove has enough draft to ignite the fire with enhanced efficiency.

Always remember, smoke rising towards the chimney is a good sign and it shows that the wood fireplace insert is working properly. 

  • Light the Fire Fully! 

Before lighting your wood stove, open all the adjustable vents for proper ventilation. Once the fire is rebuilt and the chimney is warm, you will see different spots getting lit up with a fire on newspaper and wood logs. Once all of them light up fully, the fire will spread quickly and evenly in the wood stove. 

Now that the wood is lit, keep the stove door closed and the vents fully open. However, if after closing the door, the stove fire is waning, leave it open for a few more minutes while the fire burns.

Keep the Wood Burning Stove Running

To keep your wood stove fireplace burning all night, it is important to understand when to heat different sizes of logs and how to use the vents in your wood stove.

  • If the fire spreads from the newspaper and swallows your kindling, keep the vents fully open. 
  • Once the fire stops burning rapidly from the initial ignition, add small logs to the fire and gradually close the vents until the fire burns quietly through the wood.
  • Do not use large pieces of wood early in the fire as they are difficult to ignite and will affect the efficiency. 
  • Build the fire by slowly closing the vents as the temperature rises, adding more fuel to control the speed at which the fire moves through the wood.
  • If the fire appears to be struggling, open the main vents to increase airflow to the fire until it burns quietly and evenly again. 
  • Also, ensure to burn the right amount and size of logs for wood stove insert for fireplace.

Get the Best Wood Burning Stove & Fireplace Installation Service in Maryland

The purpose of a wood stove is to increase the efficiency of burning wood. To achieve this, the vents on your wood stove must be closed enough so that the fire burns evenly without burning through the wood too quickly or smoldering due to lack of oxygen.

If you reside in Maryland and nearby areas and are looking for the best wood burning or fireplace insert installation service then you can count on Complete Chimneys. We are experts in cleaning, sweeping, maintaining, and installing chimneys, stoves, fireplaces, and vents. Book your appointment now or call us at (410) 544-7600.

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