We all want to keep warm, especially during the winter months. Many of us have access to central heating or use boilers to provide us with heat. However, wood-burning stoves are becoming an increasingly popular alternative. Not only do they come in various types, less expensive, but they also are a renewable energy source. This means that the wood you use to burn to make you warm is naturally replenished.
If this sounds like something you might be interested in, here are some things to consider about buying a wood stove.
What Size Stove should I Buy?
Cost may be a consideration when deciding to purchase a stove. Your stove and installation will be one-off costs, whereas the wood will be a regular purchase you will have to keep your stove functioning. Prices for wood vary unless you’re able to access logs for free, depending upon whether you purchase wood that needs to dry out or wood that is seasoned and thus is ready to burn.
Although your first impulse may be to buy the biggest wood burner, the reality is that this could be extremely impractical when considering how much space there is in your home to house it. For instance, a big stove in a small room will cause overheating. In contrast, too small a stove will mean that it is not providing you with enough heat.
Stove sizes are typically measured by how much heat they produce in kilowatts (kW). The heat they produce ranges from 3kW to 15kW. A knowlegeable sales agent will be able to tell you the ideal size for your room and would be the best option to use to determine size. However, it has been suggested that you can multiply the height, width, and length of the room, an multiply that answer by 14 to get a general guide.
How to Clean my Stove?
Aside from the inevitable warmth that a wood stove will provide, there is a certain relaxing feeling watching the flickering flames of the fire dance around the wood as it burns. However, this can cause soot and dirt to not only clog up your wood stove but spoil your view, making cleaning the glass on wood stove doors imperative. The more regularly you clean your wood stove, the less drastic measures you will need to use when you decide to clean it.
There are no hard and fast rules about how regularly you should do this, so whenever the glass becomes so dirty it spoils visibility of the flames may be a good indication to give it a clean.
- Using a damp cloth should be your first choice, especially if you regularly clean your stove. Glass that is warm to your touch is easier to clean than cold glass.
- Ash and newspaper may be better to use if the damp cloth isn’t working. Ensure the ash is cold before you use it. The newspaper should be placed in the ash before using it in small circular motions to clean the glass.
- Bicarbonate of Soda in warm water to make a thick paste would be the next option to try. Leave the paste on the glass for around 15 minutes before using a damp cloth or newspaper to remove it. Bear in mind a white residue may be left on the glass, so you will need to keep applying clean water to the glass until this has gone.
- Stove Cleaner may be the only alternative for stubborn dirt. Be sure to follow the instructions and to ensure there is nothing left of it on the glass because the next time you use your wood stove, there will be an undesirable chemical aroma that will permeate your room.
How to Light my Stove
Avoid using paper, typically newspaper, unless you want to create smoke as it will create little fire. The following tips will help you create the ideal log fire using your wood stove
- Open the air vents on your wood stove. Ideally, you should keep them open until the logs are fully lit.
- Stack kindling to create a square space in the middle of the stack. Start with two pieces, flat, then another two pieces at 90°, either four or five stacks deep.
- Light a firelighter and drop it in the middle of the stack.
- Push the door shut, if possible do not lock it yet because it will allow air to get in which will help the flame.
- When the kindling starts to roar, stack one or two logs on top of it and then lock the door.
- When the logs are burning steadily, gradually close the vents.
- Keep the bed of ash that will be made from the logs burning because it will help future fires ignite.
Will a Wood Stove be Cost-Effective?
A survey showed that 60% of people who had wood-burning stoves in their home found it had saved them money. This is because they did not use their central heating as much. And likely because a wood stove heats only one room as opposed to the whole property, meaning that unoccupied rooms are not being unnecessarily heated.
Once lit, the fire in wood stoves are not only beautiful to watch, but they cost-effectively provide warmth, using renewable energy. With so many positive aspects, it is no wonder that they are surging in popularity. So if you’re interested in acquiring a wood stove for your home, make sure you have done your research beforehand to find a reputable seller and an experienced installer. These simple initial steps will enable you to safely enjoy the benefits of a stove for years to come.