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Published on November 20th, 2007 | by Stephanie Evans


5 Tips for Burning Firewood Safely

Burning wood requires a bit more knowledge and active participation than is involved with setting a thermostat.  If you are intending to use wood heat exclusively, you’re embarking on a different way of life!

Here are some general tips to help you get started . . .

  • Buy the right size stove. If you undersize or oversize your stove, you will either shorten your stove’s life by running it too hot all of the time, or build up dangerous soot and creosote in your stove by cranking it too low all of the time.
  • Take installation requirements very seriously. They are there for a reason—this is a fire in the middle of your house we’re talking about.  Most people should have a professional install their stove.
  • Plan your wood supply ahead. Early summer is not too soon if you are buying green wood to air dry (cheaper than buying cured wood) or cutting your own.  And don’t forget the kindling—you’ll need a lot of it.
  • Store your wood in a dry airy place that is neither in your house nor against it. Wood is a natural forest product that harbors insects (like termites for example), and gives off a lot of water as it dries.
  • Hire a chimney sweep to clean your flue every fall. If creosote residue builds up in the flue, it may catch fire.  A chimney fire can easily burn down your house.

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