Many homeowners use wood burning stoves to create a wonderful ambiance. Others use wood stoves as an economical source of heat. No matter what the reason for your choosing a wood stove, it is important to remember that even though a wood stove is a reminder of the good old days, it has some good old risks – the most important being fire.
Wood is a solid fuel. There are some important things to remember when buying a wood burning stove, as well as a number of clear do’s and don’ts.
Buying a Wood Stove
When you choose a stove, make sure it is certified by Underwriters Laboratories or a similar testing laboratory. Wood stoves need to be durable, so look for materials such as cast iron or steel.
Residents of mobile homes need to be sure the wood burning stove they choose is approved for use in their type of home.
There are used stoves for sale too. Before buying, carefully examine it for defects such as cracks. All the stove parts, including hinges, legs, draft louvers and grates need to be carefully checked.
Before buying a wood burning stove, check with local government to learn if there are any restrictions or even bans on wood burning stoves in the locality where you live or if there are specific building code requirements for installation. Also, check with your home insurance agent to make certain there are no coverage limitations on your homeowners insurance against using a wood stove. If your premium will go up, consider if it's worth it.
Using Your Stove
Never use green wood. The moisture content is too high. Instead, use hardwood that has been seasoned for no less than six months. According to the University of Maine Extension Service the best woods for wood stoves are:
- Red oak
- Sugar Maple
Using dry hardwood helps keep you and your family safe from the dangers of creosote. Creosote is a substance that can build up in your chimney. It is an oily material that coats the insides of your chimney or stove pipe. It is the result of incomplete combustion and is a leading cause of chimney fires.
Wood Burning Stove Do’s
- Do keep stoves away from combustible materials
- Do use a non-combustible fire-resistant base
- Do have regular chimney inspections by a qualified person
- Do crack a window for ventilation
- Do discard ashes in a metal container outside of the home
- Do use the right wood
Wood Burning Stove Don’ts
- Don’t put the stovepipe through a wall ceiling unless there is no alternative
- Don’t hook your wood stove up to a fireplace chimney except if the fireplace has been sealed
- Don’t connect a wood stove to a chimney that has other appliance connected to it if the others burn a different fuel
- Don’t use a fire accelerant
- Don’t burn trash is a wood stove as it can make for a chimney fire
- Don’t leave a wood stove fire unattended or burning overnight
- Don’t leave children unattended when the wood stove is in use
Wood stoves are efficient for heating a room. By following these common sense rules and tips, you ensure your wood stove is less of a risk of being a fire hazard.
Is your home safe? Call Alan Galvez Insurance at (937) 592-4871 for more information on Columbus home insurance.