How to optimize the heat of your wood stove?
Wood stoves are often the main attraction of a room, especially one where family gatherings take place. But a functional wood stove can also be a critical element for home heating.
Optimizing the efficiency of your wood-burning appliance allows you to keep your heating costs as low as possible, without sacrificing your comfort during the cold fall and winter months.
Getting the most heat from your wood stove is a combination of proper combustion techniques and using the modern technology and design of today’s wood stoves. Want to know how to optimize the performance of your wood stove? Here are our tips for improving your wood stove, for a comfortable winter.
Tips for improving the performance of your wood stove:
1. Dry wood to optimize the heat of a wood stove
Choose only seasoned wood for burning. Freshly cut or “green” wood contains a high percentage of water. This results in poor combustion and cooler temperatures in your wood stove.
Wood that has been left to dry for at least a year loses a significant portion of its water and burns more efficiently and at higher temperatures.
Keep your wood away from water and moisture. Instead of one large pile of firewood, opt for several small piles so air can keep the wood dry.
Orient your wood piles so that they receive sunlight. Although tarps protect your wood from the rain, they are often blown away by the wind and torn tarps are not effective.
A simple wood shed with an angled roof that drains rainwater away from your wood is the best protection against moisture.
2. Split your wood for better yield
Split wood dries faster and burns better than logs. Depending on the size of the log, divide the wood into halves or quarters.
Fenfu wood should be easy to hold with one hand and no larger than 6-8 inches in width.
3. Which type of wood should I choose for the best performance?
Opt for an energy-efficient hardwood. The thermal efficiency of wood species is measured in BTUs, which determines the amount of heat per cord.
The hardwoods of deciduous trees, including apple trees, green ashes, white ashes, maples and oaks, produce one of the greatest amounts of heat energy.
4. For better performance from your wood-burning stove
Build the type of fire that suits your needs. Loosely packed dry wood will burn quickly at high temperatures, which is great for heating a small space quickly.
But if you want to maintain a hot temperature for several hours, place the logs close together at the back of the firebox, with the embers to the front for a slower, more even burn.
5. Get a wood stove fan
To optimize the heat from your wood stove, get a fan that pulls hot air from the stove and circulates it throughout the room.
This type of fan can be used with both a wood stove and a pellet stove. It will allow you to adequately heat your whole house.
Most wood stove fans start as soon as they are placed on the stove. Their speed adjusts according to the temperature of the latter and some even produce their own electricity.
10-Trucs offers you below a small silent fan that works only thanks to the heat given off by your wood stove.
6. How big should the logs be in a woodstove?
A split piece of wood should be no longer than 18 inches long, 16 inches being a safer measurement to fit inside a wood stove.
If you cut your own firewood, resist the temptation to cut the last few feet into equal lengths to avoid « leftovers ».
Split them no more than 16 inches long and chop the remaining end into several small pieces to use as kindling.
7. Tip for lighting an efficient fire in a wood stove
Proper lighting technique is the basis for taking full advantage of what a wood stove can do or give you in terms of heat and energy efficiency.
Here is how to light a wood stove, in order to optimize the heat that will be released:
- Open the hatches fully to ensure the fire receives the air supply it needs to establish properly.
- Choose small to medium sized dry logs. Always use good quality ready-to-burn wood with low moisture content.
- Place the medium-sized logs in the stove, leaving enough space between them to allow air to circulate.
- Now place a few small logs on top of the larger ones below, crossing them. This will create a fuel cell in your stove, which when fired from top to bottom will create the necessary draft.
- Place a fire starter on top of the pile, then stack the kindling in a similar fashion, crossing each layer. You will need about 6-8 pieces of kindling for a standard stove, but if your stove has a large firebox, you can add a few extra layers. Place another fire starter on your pile of kindling.
- To create the best possible fire lighting conditions, light the fire starter above the kindling. Leave the stove door slightly ajar to allow enough air to reach the flames.
- Once the kindling has started to set, close the door. Your stove’s air controls should be fully open to allow air to circulate and aid combustion as much as possible.
- Wait for the logs to ignite and once they are well lit, set your stove’s air controls to normal operation.