I refer to the Dec. 9, 2021 edition of The Interior News, specifically, to the very good wood burning advice given in the editorial and the “Airshed society, town announce wood stove exchange rebates” article.
The advice in the editorial stressed having a flame burn as opposed to a smouldering slow burn. In other words, shorter, hotter burns are more efficient than damped down, especially used for overnight periods, which creates an abundance of smoke and creosote in your flue.
Hans Duerichen, (an engineer and former designer and manufacturer of RSF stoves) tells us wood needs to be seasoned for two summers to bring the maximum moisture level down to 16 per cent for efficient burning.
Splitting wood not only makes it easier to handle and load into your stove, but will create hotter burns (more surface area for the combustion process).
As a fellow engineer and wood stove operator for six years, I’d like to expand on this good advice, specifically to encourage all wood stove users to install an outside inlet for an outside air feed into your stove’s damper system.
Without this source, your stove sucks your house’s air into the stove for combustion.
Once you install this system and put your hand over the outside inlet, you will be amazed at the huge amount of air required for burning wood
Without this system, the stove really pumps the warm air into the stove and the resulting interior vacuum sucks cold air in through cracks to complete this very inefficient cycle.
Worse, if your home is tight, or sealed well, it can result in the production of deadly carbon monoxide (CO2) gas.
After you install the ducting for an outside combustion air supply, you will not ever have poor heat distribution (cold corners) and will save fuel as well.
Finally, besides a well-ventilated woodshed, and since wood dries from the ends, you can shorten this seasoning process by cutting your wood shorter.
So to summarize the three points:
1. Seasoned fuel
2. Hotter, shorter fires
3. Outside combustion air supply
Warmer, safer homes and cleaner air.v