When the weather outside is frightful, it can be a challenge for people dependent on a wood-burning stove for heat. The question is: How can you improve the efficiency of your wood stove?
An obvious answer is to buy a new one with a built-in catalytic combustor, but they can be expensive. Thankfully, there are other ways to do it.
Here are some steps you can take to improve the efficiency of your wood stove:
1. A clean stove and chimney
Barring a warm spell, it’s a little late in the season to do some of this work, but good chimney sweeping and cleaning of the interior of the firebox can improve the efficiency of any wood stove. This also cleans out any creosote, which can impede air flow and pose the potential danger of a chimney fire.
Air flow is critical to good combustion and heat, and anything you can do to properly manage it will make a difference. If you have a brick chimney, make sure any cracks are sealed. This not only will avoid the potential for a fire but also will improve air flow.
2. A well-sealed stove and damper
There are two primary controls for air flow on a wood stove. These include small gaps that can be opened and closed on the front-bottom of some stoves, and the damper on top of the stove or in the chimney about two to three feet above the top. The damper is the primary air-flow control.