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Wood Burning Stoves Beautiful and Efficient

By Charles Hopkins Published 05/27/2007 | Home Improvement

There is nothing like the comforting heat on a cold winter day from a wood burning stove. The cracking and snap of the wood as it catches fire and the soothing aroma of the coffee pot simmering on the stovetop. Wood stoves bring to mind pictures of families gathered round the stove warming their hands after an exciting snowball fight.

Those pictures show us the romance of the wood-burning stove. There is more to be considered in buying a wood stove than romance.

Today's wood burning stoves are more high tech than the ones your grand parents had. They provide greater comfort convenience and efficiency. They are efficient because more heat is released per pound of wood, and less pollution.

Some things you'll want to look at before you get your wood stove are:

Where do you want to put the stove in your home?

What size would best fit your needs?

Are you using it to heat the space completely or just to supplement?

Do you want a cast iron wood stove or soap stone wood stove?

The wood stoves today are beautiful and efficient when used properly. Here are some tips to heating your home effectively with wood burning stoves.

The wood must be carefully selected. Cost and overall heat production is something that we all must think about. The dryer the wood the hotter. So it is best to use properly dried hardwoods (i.e. oak, maple, beech, ash).

Start with a small fire at first this gives your chimney time to warm up and draft properly. A big, roaring fire in a cold chimney will produce a lot of smoke and put a lot of stress on the stove.

You have to keep your wood burning stove clean. Throw the ashes out regularly. This keeps the air flowing right inside the firebox.

Keep in mind that your wood burning stove isn't a garbage disposal unit. Only burn the right wood no painted ore stained wood. Some of those things can release chemicals that could harm you.

You will want your wood to burn completely and efficiently, and to do this, the stove must be loaded correctly. The best way is to keep logs stacked along the bottom toward the rear of the firebox, with the paper, kindling or embers toward the front where the air comes in. Do not pile wood up to the very top, leaving space between the top log and the secondary air tubes.

A wood burning stove produces a lot more heat than you can use. A soapstone stove can store the extra heat, to stretch out, and make the heating cycle more even. Soapstone wood burning stoves produce 100% more BTUs that a cast iron or steel wood stove, using the same amount of wood.

Wood burning stoves can be a beautiful and energy efficient addition to your home.