3 Top Wood Heating Tips
If you’re interested in efficient and clean wood heating for your home installing an efficient wood heater is a great start. However, this is not the whole story, knowing how to use the wood heater correctly is also important. It’s essential to get a hot fire going and maintain it for the duration of the heating period. This is easier to do with a modern wood heating system if the fuel is loaded correctly and the burn is well maintained. Each wood heater has slightly different features, so it’s important to read the owner’s manual, and you need to use good quality wood. In this article, we will look at three wood heating tips to get the most out of your heater.
1. Start the Fire Well
When you start your wood heater, use some kindling wood, firelighters, and even paper to get the fire going. Then larger wood pieces can be added once you have an established hot bed of coals. The air controls can be left open for up to 30 minutes to ensure that there is enough oxygen to get the fire going. There may be some smoke from the flue at the beginning, but this should dissipate after 10 or 15 minutes.
2. Add Fuel to the Fire
Most modern wood heaters can burn far better with 3 or 4 logs in place rather than just 1 or 2. The logs should be no bigger than 40 cm long and 4kg heavy for the best results. If the heater doesn’t have a grate, it will perform better if there is a layer of ash on the firebox base and this only needs to be cleaned occasionally. If you do clean out the ash, leave at least a 10mm thick layer behind. When you add fuel, open the air controls for 20 minutes to get the wood burning correctly and then you can keep the fire burning steadily. To achieve a complete burn, you need adequate airflow and a high enough temperature to get the fuel and flames glowing brightly. If the wood is dark or smoky as it burns this is an incomplete burn due to an insufficient intake of air. Accelerants such as oil or petrol should not be used to light the fire because this could result in an explosion.
3. Effective Overnight Burning
If you want to burn fuel overnight, load up the wood heater around half an hour before you retire. Turn the air supply down to minimum when the wood has been charred. This should take around 15-20 minutes, and it’s necessary to avoid any creosote issues. Most modern wood heaters will burn for 7-8 hours with no problems if you fill the heater with fuel and turn it to the slow burn setting immediately. Slow burning for long periods will produce more creosote than burning or a medium or high setting. Using a wood heater for prolonged periods will take some getting used to before you get a good feel for it. If your home is well insulated, you may not need to burn overnight unless it’s exceptionally cold.
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