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Heating with wood

Here are some tips & tricks to heating your home effectively with our wood products...

 

 
  • Location. Put the heat where you want it most, where you spend most of your time. This way, you will benefit from the heat when and where you need it. Putting it in your rarely used basement will overheat that floor, and reduce the heat available for your living areas.

  • Choose the right size for your needs. Decide how much of your home you would like to heat with wood, and buy the stove that fits best. Wood stove models come in a range of sizes to help you make the right choice. Remember that bigger isn't always better, since an under-fired stove will not perform up to its capabilities, and you risk overheating the room in which your appliance is installed.

  • Carefully select the wood you burn. The wood you burn plays a significant role in the overall cost and long-term performance of your stove, insert or fireplace. Your best bet is to use hardwood (i.e. oak, maple, beech, ash) that has been properly dried for about one year. The drier the wood, the hotter and more cleanly it will burn. Soft wood (such as spruce, poplar or redwood) or wood with a lot of sap (such as pine) doesn't get as hot, and doesn't burn as completely. There is also a higher risk of creosote buildup in your chimney (a leading cause of chimney fires).

  • It's all in the loading. How long and how completely your fire will burn depends on how you build it. The optimum way is to keep logs stacked along the bottom toward the rear of the firebox, with the paper, kindling or embers toward the front where the air comes in. Do not pile wood up to the very top, leaving space between the top log and the secondary air tubes.

  • Good things start off small. Give your chimney time to warm up and draft properly by starting with a small fire at first. A big, roaring blaze in a cold chimney will produce a lot of smoke and put a lot of stress on the stove. Warm up slowly to keep your stove running in optimum condition for years to come.

  • You wouldn't put alcohol in your gas tank, so do not put anything but dried hardwood in your stove. Pressure treated wood, stained or painted wood, mill ends and garbage burn unpredictably, and release a lot of chemicals that can damage the components of your stove and chimney (not to mention their contribution to pollution). Your lifetime warranty only protects you if you burn the right wood.

  • Master the art of draft control. By controlling the flow of air into the firebox, you can control the burn rate of your fire. The less air, the slower it burns, the longer the wood lasts, and the more heat you get. Always keep the air shutter completely open when starting your fire, letting the logs catch before choking off the air.


  • Keep your appliance clean. Remove ashes regularly to allow for maximum air flow inside the firebox.  Use a damp cloth to wipe down the exterior and the optional gold trim. If needed, clean the glass with fireplace glass cleaner.


  • Protect your family. The surfaces of your wood appliance get extremely hot. If you have young children or pets, keep a screen in place to prevent accidental contact with the appliance. Decorative screens not only provide protection, but they also enhance the décor of your room.

  • Safety and maintenance. An annual inspection and cleaning by your retailer or a chimney sweep is highly recommended. Creosote buildup can lead to chimney fires, and loose flue pipes can lead to smoke leaks or worse. Arranging for an annual inspection of your appliance and your chimney will identify any real or potential problems you are facing, and will help you avoid serious damage to your appliance and your home.

For more information on residential wood heating, contact your local EPA office
or Natural Resources Canada, and ask for a guide book.

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