Here are a few wood stove operations suggestions to keep you and your family safe.
Q. How can I tell if I am operating my wood stove properly?
A. Check the smoke coming out of your wood stove chimney; the smoke is your operational barometer. If your fire is burning properly, you should only see the white transparent steam of evaporating water. The darker the color of the smoke (unburned fuel), the less efficiently you are operating the appliance. It may be necessary to adjust the operation of your wood stove to decrease the smoke.
Q. Why is wood smoke undesirable?
A. Smoke, in the form of solid particles (particulate) and volatile gases, is unburned fuel. An improperly operated wood stove fails to achieve the high combustion temperatures necessary to burn the particulate and ignite the gases. These gases and particulate contain half the heating potential of your firewood. The loss of this fuel up the chimney amounts to a loss of efficiency. Improperly operated wood stoves can also adversely affect air quality. However, the use of EPA-certified wood stoves and wood burning fireplace inserts, combined with the proper operation of all wood burning stoves and inserts, can decrease the level of polluting emissions by up to 85 percent.