As the nights draw in and the Great British Summer comes to an end, many people are lighting their fires or wood burners for the first time...
How To: Improve The Efficiency Of Your Woodburning Stove
Woodburning stoves are a great feature in the home, adding a focal point as well as warmth. If used efficiently, a woodburning stove can be fairly kind to the environment and the wallet, too. Here are our top tips for getting the best from your wood burner.
Choose the right wood
Getting a good head from your wood burner is about what you burn, and how you burn it. Choosing the right wood to start with is, therefore, important. Opt for dry, softwood kindling that will tend to be a light colour, to get your fire going. Softwood such as pine is light, which means that it burns more easily. Once the kindling has caught, add some softwood logs and once the fire is really going you can start burning hardwood such as ash or oak, which is denser so will burn hotter for longer.
Season Your Wood
Burning fresh wood is bad for the environment and produces less heat. This is because, freshly cut logs contain up to 60% water. Burning the water can take up a huge amount of energy, and can release bad gases, too. If you make sure that you only use wood that has been drying for at least a year, the wood will burn hotter, more efficiently, and more safely.
Know your vents!
Getting a good fire going can be an art and knowing when to open and close your vents will really help. When you are starting your fire, you need oxygen to allow the fire to take hold, so you need to make sure that your vents are open to begin with. Once your fire is going, it will need less oxygen, so close the bottom vent to make it burn more efficiently.
Provided you choose a wood burning stove of the right size, they can be incredibly efficient at heating rooms. However, a stove fan can help to improve this efficiency. Wood burning stove fans are activated by the heat from the stove and will help to circulate the heat around the room. Available from around £20, they can be a good investment and incredibly effective.
Stove maintenance isn’t just important for your stove’s effectiveness, it is critical for your safety too. You should get your stove serviced and chimney swept at least once a year. In fact, your home insurance will not be valid unless you do this. Getting your chimney swept doesn’t just protect you and your home, it helps the fire to draw more easily.
Once you have your wood burning stove working hard for you, you can sit back, and relax in front of your fire – bliss!