A Wood-Burning Stove for Your Home
In many people’s minds there is simply no other heating appliance that tops a wood stove. It’s warm and cozy, enables homeowners to be self-sufficient, and some report that it puts them in touch with nature and connects them to the past (when building and tending fires was a means of survival). Though there are a large number of heating options available to you now—many that require less maintenance than a wood stove—you may want to look into the wood stove as you consider an affordable and efficient way to heat and add charm to your home.
Your Wood Stove Heating Options
As is the case with most heating appliances these days, you have a wide variety of wood stoves to choose from—vented and vent-free, catalytic and non-catalytic, with or without glass doors, and in numerous colors and styles. This is a classic product that has really benefited from state-of-the-art technology that has made wood stoves warmer, more efficient, safer and more attractive than ever before.
When considering what type of wood stove is best for you, you will want to consider that vented appliances need to be connected to a chimney or to a pipe that vents outside your home, while a vent-free wood stove can be placed nearly anywhere in the house and is capable of cooking up a lot of warmth.
You will also want to compare catalytic and non-catalytic wood-burning stoves. The difference in the two is that a catalytic stove uses a catalytic convertor, positioned at the top of the stove, to decrease the temperature at which smoke catches fire. You will find that this greatly lessens the amount of wood you need to burn to stay warm, giving you more burn time for each load of wood. In turn, the amount of creosote produced is lessened, which means you may not have to have your chimney cleaned as often. Meanwhile, non-catalytic stoves use jets of preheated air to light the fire and keep it going, creating lots of beautiful flames. The catalytic stove is more efficient and permits longer burn time (though there’s a greater learning curve to use it), while the non-catalytic stove is easier to use.
For more help comparing and contrasting your options for wood-burning stoves, contact the pros at The Fireplace Service Company.
Wood-Burning Stove Safety Tips
Hire Help. First and foremost, don’t try the DIY method on larger maintenance tasks for your stove. Have it installed and inspected annually by a professional. This way you will be certain your stove has the proper clearance and ventilation, and that its chimney is ready for burn season.
Select the Right Wood. Hardwoods like maple, beech, hickory, oak, or ash are best for wood stoves. All wood used in a wood stove should be split and air-dried for a minimum of one year prior to burning. It’s best to let your wood cure under a tarp or within a shed.
Clean It Annually. Your wood stove and chimney should be well cleaned once a year to remove creosote, which is a flammable byproduct of burning wood.
Build a Proper Fire. Start your fires with newspaper and dry kindling and let your fires burn hot and bright. Let your fire burn down to coals and then add at least three pieces of wood atop the coals. Finally, scoop ashes from the wood regularly, depositing them into a designated metal pail stored safely outside.
At The Fireplace Service Company, we have a number of accessories designed to work with your wood stove. Come visit us today or call (256) 845-9814!