You may think that since wood is natural, wood is good, that it may be the cleanest possible heating option available. It’s quite natural to think that way – we know that sometimes the old ways are cleaner than the resource-guzzling modern ways. But, there are caveats in this case. Woodburning stoves are not for everyone.

Especially, not if you have a heart or lung disease

If you have a chronic illness that can get aggravated when you inhale smoke, then woodburning stoves are not for you. Healthy people need not worry, but for children and adults with conditions like asthma and angina, they’re not safe.

However, you can protect yourself

Clean the creosote in your chimney often. That’s the bad smelling stuff that sticks to the walls of your chimney after a wood fire. Too much of this can cause a fire in your chimney — the wrong kind. Old stoves or those are not installed well can only raise your costs and increase risks. A sign that you need to get your stove changed is if you smell the smoke from it.

Some further tips to ensure your family’s safety

  • Always use the stove with the flue open. You must let in oxygen, or else your stove will start coughing up deadly carbon monoxide.
  • When you start your fire, make sure that you use clean newspaper or if you’re using kindling, it should be dry.
  • Don’t forget that you should never use unseasoned wood in your stove. Seasoning means removing moisture. If you don’t, you’ll only end up with wood that gives off too much smoke or gives you far less heat per kilo than it is capable of.
  • Snuff that smouldering fire! It will only waste fuel without heating your home. You should have a fire that burns brightly and gives out a lot of heat.
  • To get the most out of your stove, rake the coals that remain after a fire in a heap to the mouth of the air inlet. When you add more firewood to that, do so about three at a time. Place these behind the heated coals or on top of them. This is the best way of re-igniting the fire as quickly as possible into a blaze.
  • Lastly, clean your stove of ash often.

If you already own a wood stove, follow the rules above. If you don’t, then it doesn’t mean that you should avoid them altogether. You will find, when shopping around for woodburning stoves, London has many quality fireplace and stove shops that will offer you EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) certified models. Get your stove installed by a certified professional, and you will have taken the first step towards giving your family a clean, warm winter.

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