Best burn practices will help improve the efficiency of your outdoor wood burning appliance. You will also reduce the ill effects of wood burning inside and outside your home.
According to best burn practices, a properly installed, correctly used wood-burning appliance should be smoke-free. Therefore if you smell smoke and most importantly when you see smoke then you may have a real problem. Here are some of the best practices according to EPA Burn Wise.
Easy and practical tips
After installing you wood-burning appliance you need to build an effective and the only way to do this is to use good firewood and this means using the right wood in the right amount. Let’s not forget good fire building practices.
- Season wood outdoors throughout the summer months or for at least 6 months before burning it. You can tell that wood is properly seasoned when it is darker and has cracks in the end grain. Tap the wood and you will hear that it sounds hollow when smacked against another piece of wood.
- Test seasoned wood’s moisture content. Wood should have moisture content of less than 20 percent. There are wood moisture meters from your local hardware store or from your local wood burning stove suppliers.
- You should always store wood outdoors. Make sure that you stack wood neatly off the ground so that air will naturally dry wood. Cover the top with a tarp. If you would like to build a shed you can find plans and a complete materials list at www.epa.gov
- You should only burn dry and well-seasoned wood. It has to be stored and split properly so you can maximize home heating. You can learn more about wood smoke by checking out www.epa.gov.
- Start fires with newspaper and dry kindling. You may also consider having a professional install a natural gas or propane log lighter. This will help make your wood burning stove more efficient.
- To be able to maintain proper airflow. You should regularly remove ashes from your wood-burning appliance. Place this in a metal container with a cover. Store ashes outdoors.
- Always start fires only with newspaper, dry kindling and if possible only natural or organic fire starters. Never start a fire with gasoline, kerosene, or charcoal starter.
- Never burn wet or green logs this will only cause smoke and creosote. Never use logs made from wax and sawdust these are made for open hearth fireplaces. If you use manufactured logs then ask for 100 percent compressed sawdust.
- Always keep the doors of your wood-burning appliance closed unless you need to load or stroke live fire. You will only release harmful chemicals, like carbon monoxide, when you frequently open the doors of your wood burning stove.
- Always remove ashes from your wood-burning appliance and place this into a metal container with a cover.
- Accidents may happen anytime so always keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Remember to check your local air quality forecast before you ignite your wood burning stove.