If you have moved into a home that has wood stoves and you have never had one before, then you want to learn more about your wood stove. You want to make sure you know how to get the most out of it and how to stay safe while you are using it. Here is some information that will help you to do both:
Learn how to light a fire in the wood stove
You may think all you have to do is throw a log or two in the stove followed by a match and you'll soon have this raging fire. However, the truth is that getting a good fire going in a timely manner is something that can take a little know-how. First, you want to make sure you buy 'seasoned' wood. This is wood that was cut the year before, ensuring that it is now good and dry which means it will burn easier and better. Next, you want to put the logs in the stove with kindling in, under and around the logs. The kindling will burn first and catch the logs on fire eventually. Finally, you want to make sure you allow some extra air in the wood stove, even if it means keeping the door slightly ajar while you keep an eye on it, until the fire is good and going strong, then you want to shut the door and can adjust the flue as needed.
Protect the area around the wood stove
You may think that since the wood stove is in the middle of the living room this magically means it won't get hot enough to cause problems. This is not true and you want to be very careful with what you leave near the stove. If you have small children or pets in the home, then you may even want to put a gate around the perimeter of the stove so they can't get close to it. Don't keep anything flammable close to the stove including boxes, papers, decorations, clothing, furniture, or anything else.
Watch what you burn in the wood stove
It's important for you to quickly learn what you can and cannot burn in your wood stove or you can accidentally put hazardous toxins into the air of your home. You want to burn logs, sticks, and broken branches. You can also burn a small amount of paper or unwaxed cardboard for kindling if you need to. However, you don't want to burn anything else that has a coating on it or that may be made of materials other than wood. Plastic is a great example of what you never want to put into your wood stove. You can purchase logs in the store that have a paper covering that is intended to be burned. These logs will state this on the label and if the logs you buy don't, then you should remove them from their packaging before burning them.