How to Use a Wood Stove: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Use a Wood Stove: 15 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Use a Wood Stove: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

A wood stove is a tool that can warm a room or an entire house. However, turning on a wood stove can be difficult if you've never tried it. The most important thing to remember when using a wood stove is to make sure the fire is hot and fast. Also, make sure the fire gets enough oxygen to keep it burning. It is important to always keep an eye on a burning fire, and never allow minors to play near a wood stove.


Part 1 of 3: Lighting a Wood Stove

Use a Wood Stove Step 1
Use a Wood Stove Step 1

Step 1. Read the wood stove manual

Most wood stoves have instructions for use made directly by the manufacturer. Read the instructions for use before turning on the wood stove. This is done so that you turn on the wood stove safely and correctly.

If you don't have instructions for use, check the wood stove manufacturer's website

Use a Wood Stove Step 2
Use a Wood Stove Step 2

Step 2. Choose the correct fuel

A good fuel for a wood stove is wood that has been dried for 6 months. Fresh wood contains too much water so that when burned the results are less efficient and will only waste money. In addition, fresh wood also produces more smoke and creosote.

  • Creosote is a chemical combination made of wood that doesn't burn properly. Creosote can build up in the chimney of a wood stove and cause a fire.
  • You can use hardwood or softwood. Hardwood derived from deciduous plants has a high density and can produce a hotter and longer lasting fire. Hardwood is suitable for very cold weather. Softwood has a lower density than hardwood. Softwood will make a suitable fire for less cold weather.
  • Firewood can be purchased at most convenience stores, gas stations, hardware stores, grocery stores, lumber shops, and on the internet.
Use a Wood Stove Step 3
Use a Wood Stove Step 3

Step 3. Open all valves

Fire needs oxygen to keep burning. Most wood stoves have a lever to control the valve that circulates oxygen into the hearth. When making a fire, make sure the wood stove valve is fully open.

  • The main oxygen source for most wood stoves is the air vent under the grill. This hole drains oxygen into the fireplace. Most wood stoves have a lever under or next to the stove door that can control this valve.
  • Wood stoves may also have a second air valve above the fireplace. The function of this valve is to circulate oxygen into the stove. In addition, the stove may also have a damper that opens and closes the chimney.
Use a Wood Stove Step 4
Use a Wood Stove Step 4

Step 4. Enter the fire angler (kindling)

The best way to light a wood stove is to burn a few small pieces of wood. This piece of wood can control the temperature and keep the fire burning. To prepare a fire angler, follow the guidelines below:

  • Squeeze 5-6 pieces of newspaper. Make sure the newspaper is dry.
  • Place the crumpled newspaper in the fireplace.
  • Place about 15 small pieces of wood on top of the newspaper. Make sure the wood is dry.
Use a Wood Stove Step 5
Use a Wood Stove Step 5

Step 5. Turn on the fire

Use a match to burn the prepared newspaper. Burn newspapers from various sides. Start by burning the back of the newspaper and then work your way up to the front. This is done to prevent your hands from burning when they are removed from the fireplace.

  • Leave the wood stove door open for about 5 minutes. This is done to ensure the fire gets enough oxygen.
  • When the newspaper is burned, the pieces of wood that are on it will also burn so that the fire will burn.
Use a Wood Stove Step 6
Use a Wood Stove Step 6

Step 6. Insert the logs

Once the fire starter starts to burn, put the stick in the fireplace when the fire starts to get low. Add at least 3 logs to the fireplace. Insert the sticks one by one so that the fire does not die out.

  • When inserting logs into the fireplace, make sure you don't stack the logs too tightly together. This is done so that the fire gets sufficient air intake.
  • Close the stove door, but leave it unlocked for 15 minutes to allow the fire to expand and not run out of air and die.
  • After 15 minutes, and the fire is getting more consistent, you can close and lock the stove door.

Part 2 of 3: Keeping the Fire Burning

Use a Wood Stove Step 7
Use a Wood Stove Step 7

Step 1. Keep the stove door closed

Every time you open the stove door, the heat will escape so the fire is not too hot and inefficient. In addition, opening the stove door will cause combustion fumes to escape and fill the room. This has a bad impact on the health of you and your family.

  • Once the fire is burning consistently, make sure you only open the stove door when inserting logs into the fireplace.
  • Open the stove door slowly so that outside air does not enter it and produce more smoke.
  • Keeping the stove door closed can also prevent sparks and embers from escaping. This is important because sparks and embers can cause a fire.
Use a Wood Stove Step 8
Use a Wood Stove Step 8

Step 2. Add larger logs

After adding a few smaller sticks and letting the fire burn, you can add larger logs. When the fire starts to get low, add about 3 large sticks to the fireplace.

  • When the logs have burned completely and only the embers remain in the fireplace, it's time to add additional logs.
  • Don't add 5 sticks at the same time. Adding too much wood at once can smother the fire so that it doesn't burn completely. In addition, this can also cause smoke to escape and creosote to build up.
Use a Wood Stove Step 9
Use a Wood Stove Step 9

Step 3. Partially close the air inlet

After about 20 minutes and the fire is starting to burn consistently, reduce the amount of air entering the grate. This will allow the fire to get enough air to keep it burning. In addition, this can also prevent the fire from spreading and consuming fuel too quickly.

  • Close the air valve lever until only about a third open. Make sure you do this for the main vent, secondary vent, and damper.
  • Never cover the second air outlet and damper completely. This can cause tar, soot, and creosote to build up in the chimney of the wood stove.
Use a Wood Stove Step 10
Use a Wood Stove Step 10

Step 4. Use a fan to disperse the heat from the wood stove

The function of the wood stove is to warm the house. You can speed up this process by using a fan to spread the hot air from the wood stove throughout the house.

There are many special fans that can be placed above the wood stove. This fan will immediately blow hot air out

Use a Wood Stove Step 11
Use a Wood Stove Step 11

Step 5. Take proper safety precautions when using wood stoves

Fire can keep you warm and comfortable. However, fire is a dangerous element that must be controlled properly. Below are some ways to keep your home and family safe:

  • Keep children and pets away from burning wood stoves. Burning wood stoves are extremely hot, and can cause burns if touched. The easiest way to keep children and pets away from a wood stove is to put a barrier around it.
  • Keep flammable objects (such as fuel, fire starters, paper, books, and furniture) at least 1 meter away from the wood stove.
  • Provide a fire extinguisher in the same room as the wood stove.
  • If you want to keep the wood stove on overnight, open the air valve and add some hardwood sticks to the stove. Let the fire burn for 25 minutes. After that, close the air valve to its original position. By doing this, the fire will not smolder so smoke and creosote will not build up.
  • Instead of dousing it with water, let the fire extinguish itself. Once the fire has reduced and only the embers remain, you can let the fire go out on its own.

Part 3 of 3: Cleaning and Caring for a Wood Stove

Use a Wood Stove Step 12
Use a Wood Stove Step 12

Step 1. Make sure you only use wood that has been dried

To maintain the health and safety of your family and your home, make sure the wood stove is only used for burning wood that has been dried. This is also done so that your wood stove does not get damaged quickly. You can burn newspaper or paper as a trigger in a wood stove, but do not burn the following items:

  • Wet, damp, painted, or pressure-dried wood.
  • Rubbish
  • Plastic
  • Cardboard or cardboard
  • Charcoal
  • Particleboard or plywood
  • wood pellet
  • Gasoline, or other liquid fuel.
Use a Wood Stove Step 13
Use a Wood Stove Step 13

Step 2. Clean the ashes regularly

When ash starts to build up under the grill or stove grate, clean it up immediately. Ash that builds up inside the stove can block airflow, so the fire can't get enough oxygen. To remove the ashes, use a shovel or brush to remove the ashes and put them in a bucket. Take the ashes out and sprinkle them on the plants to make compost.

  • Make sure there is a 3 cm thick layer of ash at the bottom of the stove grate for insulation.
  • Do not remove the ashes immediately after the fire has just died. Wait at least 24 hours for the ashes to cool completely.
Use a Wood Stove Step 14
Use a Wood Stove Step 14

Step 3. Clean the stove hearth weekly

If you use a wood stove every day, clean the fireplace weekly. Scrub the inside of the hob with a stiff bristle brush to clean the hob of soot and other debris.

When scrubbing the inside of the hob, use a vacuum cleaner to remove any ash and soot around the bottom of the hob

Use a Wood Stove Step 15
Use a Wood Stove Step 15

Step 4. Check the condition of the stove once a year

To make sure the wood stove is really clean and prevent fires, contact a wood stove cleaner once a year. Officers can check the condition of the stove, pipes, and other components to ensure there is no damage or corrosion.

  • The best time to clean your wood stove is before the dry season. This is because hot temperatures and humidity can mix with carbon residue to produce acids that can damage stove components.
  • You should also check your wood stove regularly to make sure it doesn't have rust, cracks, or other signs of damage.

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