Hello, I am Melissa from NorthlineExpress and today I am going to provide you with some tips for heating your home with wood safely and efficiently. Most often heating your home with wood makes sense economically. When using a modern energy efficient wood stove dry hardwood can provide up to 2 times the heating value of other heating fuels. While heating with wood is a great way to cut your homes energy costs the following tips are important for protecting you, your home, your neighbors, and your property while heating with wood.
Burn only the Best Firewood
First and foremost, make sure that you are burning only good dry seasoned firewood. Green firewood, which is firewood with a moisture content of 13% or higher, creates less heat and puts off more unburned particles which will increase the amount of creosote buildup in your chimney. To make sure that your firewood is properly seasoned make sure that it is split, stacked, and raised off of the ground. You can also use a moisture meter to be sure that your firewood has a moisture content of less than 13%.
Safely Light a Fire
Keep lighting your fire safe by never using any type of chemical accelerants. When starting your fires make sure that you are lighting your fires with the appropriate type of kindling or fire starters. You can make your own kindling buy splitting a piece of firewood into smaller pieces or you can use purchased fire starters. Two fire starters that I strongly recommend that you give a try are Fatwood and SafeLite fire starters. Fatwood is all natural pine that is super concentrated with the pine sap that helps the Fatwood light easily and burn long enough to get your fire started quickly, usually with only 1-2 sticks. SafeLite fire starters are the fire starter that I personally use, they break into 2’’ squares and each of those squares burn for 8-10 minutes. They will even light when they get wet making them great for year round use! Whether you choose kindling or to use a fire starter just make sure that you are never using accelerants such as lighter fluid, gasoline, or kerosene.
Have your chimney and wood stove(s) cleaned and checked every year. Replace worn gaskets during the warmer months. This will improve the efficiency of your wood stove as well as its safety. Also, check the stove, stovepipe, and chimney flue regularly during the heating season. Consult an expert if you have any uncertainty about how to conduct these checks.
Safety Products to Keep Handy
You should also make sure that you have at least 1 fire extinguisher in your home, as well as properly installed smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. I also highly recommend anyone heating with wood to keep 2-3 Chimfex Fire Suppressant on hand. Should you ever be in that situation this will allow you to extinguish a chimney fire in seconds. You will still need to contact the fire department in an instance of a chimney fire but using Chimfex can mean the difference between minor damage to your home rather than losing your entire home to the fire.
I also recommend that you have the following accessories to heat with wood safely:
- Fireplace gloves – Heavy cowhide gloves that allow you to handle and position a burning log safely.
- A wood stove thermometer – which attaches magnetically to your stovepipe and helps you regulate the stove dampers for an ideal burn rate.
I hope that you have found this information helpful and here at NorthlineExpress we all wish you a safe and happy wood burning season.