So you have had the stove of your dreams installed. Lets make lighting your stove easier and using it a lot more enjoyable. You have your kiln dried logs, firelighters and kindling but what can we do to make using your fire as enjoyable as possible? Below, I will be posting my Top 5 accessories for stoves in no particular order.
- Moisture Tester: Do you think your fire should be lighting easier? logs are not burning as hot as they should be? Or you arent getting that glowing flame you expected? Your logs may be wet. Logs need a minimum moisture content of below 20%. If the moisture content is higher than this you are going to waste a lot of the logs energy boiling off excess water, this will cause the fire to become smokey and form creosote in the flue system. Moisture testers are relatively cheap and all you have to is stab the moisture tester into the log, this will give you a reading. If the reading is below 20% voila its ready to burn!
- Stove Pipe Thermometer: The stove pipe thermometer is a great addition to your wood burning stove, so we have our dry logs and we have used a moisture tester so we know they are below 20% moisture content. We are still not getting the fire we desire? Maybe the air controls arent being used correctly. This simple device allows you to keep your stove running at the correct temperature at all times, which is important not only for your own comfort, but also for extending the lifespan of your stove and flue liner. If the temperature is too low, creosote deposits will build up, if the temperature is too high, your stove will have a poor efficiency, so it is important to be able to find out the temperature and manage it easily.
475° and higher: Wasting energy, possibly overheating while this temperature will often be reached on initial firing, not advised for normal operation and could ignite existing chimney deposits.
230°F to 475°F: Safe operating temperature. Moderate flaming combustion and best efficiency.
Less than 230°F: Temperature too low and there will be incomplete combustion, causing smoke, soot, and hazardous creosote. Open draught and/or add more fuel. Ensure your fuel is dry enough to sustain moderate flaming combustion.
- Heat resistant glove: Stoves get hot…. really hot. We need to protect ourselves when handling these appliances. This is not only for our own benefit as it stops us burning one self when we touch the handle or open the door, it means we can refuel the appliance in a safe manor. It means we can preserve the stove also, throwing logs into a stove is never a good idea, it can damage the fire bricks, damage the glass, can cause the baffle to dislodge and fall onto the hot fire or could cause hot embers to spill onto the hearth, wood floor or carpet.
- Wood Store: You can buy the best quality logs in the world but if they are not stored properly they will end up damp, rotten and no good to burn. A convenient place to store your logs, sheltered and within easy reach, slatted sides and raised floor ensure maximum air flow throughout the pile to help dry out your logs. Through efficiently drying out your logs, you can optimise the heat output from your wood fuel.
- Stove Fan: Designed to rapidly improve the circulation of heat from the stove, and therefore reduce hot and cold spots throughout the house, stove fans aim to not only improve comfort but also improve the stove’s efficiency and reach.Instead of the heat rising vertically with a standard stove, the stove fan uses its blades to divert the warm air horizontally. This means it will heat the part of the room you are sitting in, rather than just the ceiling. The extra movement of air will help warm the whole of the room, not just the area near the stove.
So you have my top 5 accessories for your woodburning stove, keep an eye out for part 2!
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