Installing a wood burning stove either on its own or as part of a central heating system can be a great way to cut down on fuel bills and carbon emissions. However, the savings that you make will depend on correct usage and maintenance. By following some very simple steps you can increase the efficiency of your stove and therefore make some significant savings on annual home heating bills.
Be informed about what materials should be burnt in your stove and stick to them.
Do not be tempted to burn other fuel, such as coal, in a wood burning stove. While multi fuel stoves are designed to burn coal and wood together, wood burning stoves are not. Wood must be seasoned properly, which means it should be cut and stored to ensure as much moisture evaporates from the wood as possible before burning. Burning damp wood will lead to excess smoke, less heat and possibly the build up of eroding substances on the chimney flue.
Invest in the design and maintenance of your stove.
Choosing the right stove is important and depends on your energy requirements. Investing in a stove that is made from more expensive, more efficient materials may increase your heat output and save you money in the long term by reducing the amount of fuel you burn. Likewise, having a chimney sweep clean the flue once or twice a year will prevent the build-up of materials that may damage the lining and reduce the efficiency of your stove.
Get advice from your supplier about what will work best for your stove.
When using your stove, you will notice what works best for you. A good way to keep an eye on this is to check how much smoke is actually emitted from your chimney. A large amount of smoke means you are not burning your wood efficiently, either due to the dampness of the wood or a perhaps as a result of the size of your fire.
A small fire tends to produce an efficient, hot fire which burns off excess vapours rather than send them into the atmosphere. However, this requires more attention as wood will need to be added more regularly.
A reliable supplier will be able to give you the advice you need about the best way to burn wood efficiently in your particular model of stove and with your heating requirements in mind.