How to use less fuel on your wood-burning stove
A wood-burning stove is a great way to save money on your energy bills. Once you’ve bought and installed your stove your only expense is the fuel you use to run it.
To make the maximum possible savings then, it makes sense that you would want to use as little fuel as possible.
Of course, if you are able to forage for free wood or have a good supply then you might not be so concerned about how much fuel is used. Nonetheless, it’s always good to run your stove as efficiently as you can.
So, how do you go about keeping your fuel usage to a minimum?
Choose a stove with cleanburn technology
The secret to using less fuel starts before you’ve bought your stove. A cleanburning stove has a secondary air supply at the top of the firebox. This additional oxygen ensures that flammable gases that would previously have disappeared straight up the chimney are burnt before they can escape.
This creates extra heat output, which means you need less fuel to heat your home.
Start your fire with dry kindling
The job of the fuel you burn is to heat the metal firebox of your wood-burning stove so that the stove will heat the air around it.
Using dry kindling – small pieces of wood that will burn more easily than logs – or newspaper will help your fire to get going faster. These quick-burning fuels will begin to heat the firebox.
This lowers the workload of the logs you are using as your main fuel. The logs will immediately start heating the room since there’s no need to use energy bringing the firebox up to temperature.
Use seasoned wood
Seasoned wood – which has been chopped and left to dry and air for more than a year – is a far more efficient fuel than freshly cut wood. Using unseasoned wood means a lot of the energy generated by your stove is used to evaporate the large amounts of moisture remaining in the fuel rather than to heat your home.
That means you have to use more unseasoned wood than seasoned wood to create the same level of warmth.
Hardwoods tend to be denser than softwoods. As a result, when you burn hardwood more heat is given off per volume.
In other words, you need to burn more softwood than hardwood to generate the same heat output.
Ash, beech and birch are examples of good hardwoods to use on a wood-burning stove.
Refuel as infrequently as possible
Watching the flames licking against the glass of your stove is one of the joys of owning a wood burner. But sometimes you have to forego this simple pleasure for a short period of time.
Even when you can’t see impressive flames, don’t be tempted to refuel. As long as the fire is still burning, it’s still heating the firebox and, therefore, heating your room.
You should only add more fuel to the stove once the fire has been reduced to embers. When you do, you’ll soon find the flames licking the glass once again!
Check your insulation
If you’re using a stove to bring warmth to a house that’s seeping heat then you’re making life very difficult for the stove.
Ensure that all its hard work is put to good use by improving the insulation of your home and eliminating any troublesome cold draughts in your house.
If the heat being generated is staying in your home and keeping your warm then you’ll need less fuel to keep your rooms at a comfortable temperature.
This article was kindly submitted by UK online wood burning stoves store www.GR8Fires.co.uk