Just like any other thing in your life you want to make sure that you are prepared with everything that you may need so that the experience is the best that it can be. Having a wood stove or wood burning fireplace is no different.
Wood burning stoves or fireplaces are great heating sources but they do require some maintenance. You will need to store firewood, clean out the ash, and clean the chimney flue. Making sure you are prepared with all of the essentials to maintain and tend to your appliance will make a woodburner’s life a whole lot easier. If you are new to having a wood burning appliance we are here to help get you prepared for a wonderful wood burning experience.
Here is a list of must haves that every wood burning needs to have on hand…
Start a Fire with Ease
Keep a supply of fire starters and matches on hand to get a roaring fire going in minutes! Forget trying to use newspaper or a ton of kindling to start your fire it is more of a hassle and creates an unnecessary mess. You will also use less kindling when starting a fire with fire starters. There are many fire starters for you to choose from. It is a fabulous all natural fire starter that originates from the center of the pine tree where the wood is rich in sap. It contains no chemicals to cause unpleasant odors. Fatwood fire starters burn clean, lights quickly (even when wet), and it smells so good!
Keep the Wood Burner Clean and Tidy
To keep your wood burning appliance operating smoothly you will need to keep it clean. If you let the ash build up too much the fire will not get the proper air flow causing it to waste your firewood. Having a tool set will make this job easier. Most tool sets will include a broom for sweeping ashes, a shovel to catch those ashes, a grabber to turn burning wood, and a poker to stoke embers. So not only is a tool set going to help you clean the fire box but it will also make tending to your fire less of a chore. Now what are you going to put those ashes in once you have them scooped up? An ash container of course. Ash containers are usually made of galvanized steel and the outside may have a coated finish. They are a means of safely storing and removing ashes that have been scooped out of the fire box. To get the hard to reach ash that gets into the joints and corners use an ash vacuum.
Protect your Hands
When you heat your home with wood you will be handling firewood to fill and reload the wood burning stove or fireplace. Fireplace gloves will help to protect your hands from splinters, burns, and other discomforts associated with gathering and handling firewood during the wood burning season. You can even pick up logs that roll out of the fireplace, stock your wood stove, and remove ashes safely and easily with a set of quality leather fireplace gloves. This is definitely one item that no wood burner should be without.
Stack and Store Firewood
Storing firewood is a chore that you will not be able to get away from with having a wood burning stove or fireplace. So why not do it the right way? Stack it neatly in a firewood rack. Firewood should be kept stacked in a single row in an area where there is direct sunlight and the wind can blow through to keep it dry and ready to burn. There are even firewood racks so you can keep wood indoors close to your wood burning stove or fireplace. Keeping a good amount of wood indoors will limit the number of times that you have to clean up the mess from hauling wood inside.
Put Moisture Back in the Air
Wood burning stoves and fireplaces are a great way to heat your home but they can chase all of the humidity out the air while they are doing so. Adding the humidity back into the air in your home is as simple as filling a wood stove kettle or steamer up with water and placing it on your stove while you are burning a fire. Not only do kettles and steamers add much needed humidity to your home during wood burning seasons but also add character and charm to hearth areas. There are designs to fit any household décor.
Don’t Let Creosote Build-up
Letting creosote build-up in your chimney flue is never a good idea. It can cause drafting issues and most importantly it can cause your chimney to catch fire possibly costing you your entire home. Regular cleaning with an inexpensive chimney brush can eliminate the worry of chimney fires. Liquid or powdered creosote remover can also reduce dangerous creosote deposits making it easier to clean your chimney. If you do not feel comfortable cleaning your chimney flue yourself then you can also call a chimney cleaning professional to do it for you.
Split your own Logs
For a woodburner that is going to be cutting their own firewood supply a log splitter is a necessity. Having to split wood by hand is no fun and is a lot of work. No matter the amount of wood you need to cut, there is a log splitter that is right for the job. Choose from wither an electric log splitter or a gas powered log splitter. Electric log splitters are great for splitting smaller diameter logs measuring up to 20’’ long while gas powered log splitters are great for large diameter logs. Some gas powered log splitters will even convert from horizontal splitting to vertical splitting making it even easier to spit large heavy logs.