It's wonderful to have a wood-burning stove, especially if you live somewhere where the temperature is extremely cold and freezing. Wood-burning stoves, on the other hand, differ significantly from other types of fireplaces and standard heaters. However, it is capable of performing at least as well as, if not, better than the modern methods. So, how do you use one to keep your house warm?
One of the challenges of using a wood-burning stove for your house is distributing the heat properly across rooms. In this article, we’ll go over how to use a wood-burning stove and the different ways to ensure it heats your entire home.
Lighting the Fire
The fire should be created in such a way that it helps the fire get started as quickly as possible.
Tip: Clear away any excess ashes from the previous fire before starting a new fire in a wood stove. To better insulate the fire and enhance its performance, there should be at least 1 inch of ash on the stove's bed.
- In the base of the firebox, place firelighters or pieces of newspaper and dry kindling wood. (Tip: use dry, seasoned wood)
- Open air controls.
- Start the fire with paper or firelighters.
- If required, keep the stove door slightly open as the fire burns and the glass warms up to avoid moisture build-up.
- Once the fire has gotten a good start, add larger pieces of wood. Place the logs in a front-to-back position for the best burn results (right angles to the door opening). The fire may be smothered if there is too much wood.
- Close the door and damper once the fire is built to maximize heating efficiency and direct heat around the oven.
High Heat Output
This setting produces the highest heat output and oven temperatures.
- After starting the fire and adding larger chunks of wood, keep it going with the spindle fully open (which controls the burn rate of the fire) and a close damper so the heat rises.
- Keep the door closed if you want to produce maximum heating in the room.
- Do not put too much fuel in the firebox.
Low Heat Output
This setting burns wood for longer, which makes it energy efficient. But if not used properly, it might lead to increased particle emissions.
- You can lower the heat output without opening the damper by closing the air controls, which reduces the amount of oxygen and slows down the fire.
- Before closing the spindle (which controls the burn rate of the fire), check if the fire is still burning strongly. Before shutting down, the spindle may need to be fully opened for 5-10 minutes.
- You can adjust the spindle to any position depending on the heat output versus the burn time you prefer.
Dispersing the Heat
Wood stove heating is an excellent and efficient way to heat a home. But the problem is, the heat must be distributed, or else the heat will only sit in one place. In this case, one room will be too warm, while the others will be too cold.
However, there are 3 methods to ensure that it heats your entire house.
1. Install a Fan
Installing a fan on the top of your stove is one way to disperse the heat around your home. The fan pushes the heat up and out as long as your stove is free-standing and not in a fireplace. Although it may take a little longer for this method to heat your home, it sure is going to be warm and comfy in no time.
Other fans can be used to direct the heat to certain parts of the room. While this isn't the most efficient technique for dispersing heat, it is easy and affordable. Installing the fan on the stove and purchasing swinging fans will cost you around $100.
2. Plug-In Blower
A plug-in blower is similar to a fan system in terms of functionality. The blower, on the other hand, would be more powerful and efficient in quickly distributing warm air around your home. The blower will take direct heat from the stove and push it outwards in the direction you've set it in.
3. Air Duct System
Connecting your wood-burning stove to the central heating ducts is the best method for heating your home, especially if you have a multi-story house. It works similarly to a standard electric heater, keeping the entire area in your home warm.
A duct system may be the most effective solution, but it’s also the most expensive. The average cost for installing a duct system, including labor and materials, will range from $1,500 to $4,500. However, you will get your money's worth because this can adequately heat your entire home.
Other Tips on How to Heat Your Home with a Wood Burning Stove
If you don't have the funds to hire a professional or do it yourself right now, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of your wood-burning stove.
- Keep windows slightly ajar and leave the doors inside your home wide open. This will allow oxygen to flow, providing ventilation, which helps disperse heat throughout your home, and the heat will be able to reach all parts of the house with the doors open.
- Reposition or move the wood stove to a new location. The amount of heat dispersed can be affected by the location and position of your wood stove. If it is in a corner of a living room, for instance, the heat only gets trapped in the corner. The heat will be dispersed more evenly around the room if the stove is against a wall or in a fireplace.
Wood-burning stoves are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to heat a room (or rooms) in your home. They can be a great addition to your home, providing a stylish and powerful heating solution as well as a practical alternative to your usual heating systems.
While many people believe otherwise, the key here is to evenly disperse the heat throughout the house by having a ventilation system going. Installing a fan on top of your wood stove or getting a plug-in blower are two options. And lastly, the best option is to connect your wood stove to a central duct system.
If you don't already have a duct system in place, you can always install one. You have the option of hiring an HVAC professional or doing it yourself.
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