Number 1 Tip - Use properly dried
and seasoned wood! This will minimize creosote build up (and
resulting chimney fires!) and result in a cleaner burning fire.
Many modern high-efficiency stoves are designed to only operate
properly if the wood is sufficiently dried. Cut and split wood 1
year in advance of use. Fresh cut logs can have as much as 50%
Vent your wood stove out a separate
chimney. Most insurance companies will not cover you if your wood
stove shares a chimney with another appliance since a blockage in
the chimney will result in emissions to vent out through the
If using a stainless steel
double-walled chimney that runs on the exterior of the house, box
in the chimney with an insulated box. If the chimney is not
protected from extreme cold, back drafting can occur during
extremely cold weather.
Use less dense woods during the day
when you are available to stoke the fire and have a supply of
denser slower burning wood with higher BTU value for over night
burning. For a table of values of BTU's by species,
Keep your wood stove clean;
especially the chimney. Clean once per year.
Keep your chimney stack
installation as straight as possible, and keep it within the
interior walls to provide for maximum draft.
Purchase an EPA-certified wood
stove to ensure it meets standards and the benefits are that it
will use less wood, circulate more heat efficiently, and less
Purchase the right size stove for
the space to be heated; better to buy a smaller stove and burn it
Burn only seasoned wood; no garbage
of any type.
Cut logs to fit your burner; split
logs to 3-6 inches in diameter.
When storing your logs, stack wood
loosely; Cover your wood pile, but leave the sides open to the
If space is available, purchase and
store the following year's wood in advance.
Replace catalytic combustor and
baffles every 1-4 years.
Replace gaskets on airtight stove
doors every year. On modern damper-less stoves, a leaking gasket
will not allow you to damper the fire properly.
Replace broken firebricks.
When starting a fire, keep the
damper and air inlets open for at least 15 minutes to allow for a
hot bed of coals prior to burning large logs.
When loading your stove, open the
door just a crack a minute or two and allow the fresh air to cause
higher draft and reduce back drafting smoke. Then load your
A good fire should give off a small
amount of white steam; the darker the smoke, the more pollutants
and creosote are produced.
If possible, locate your stove near
an exterior basement door to minimize the mess in the rest of the
house when bringing in wood!