When I bought my house in Sooke – in the Otter Point area, one of the things that attracted me to it was its cozy Pacific Energy wood stove. Having never heated with wood in the past, it was a bit of a learning curve to figure it out. I learned that a modern wood stove isn’t just a steel box you burn wood in – it is actually a complex system with many variables that need to be accounted for in order for it to function safely and efficiently. Luckily, my stove came with a fairly detailed manufacturer’s manual from which I was able to learn some valuable information.
Even if you’ve been heating with wood for years, there is always something to learn. Last night, I stumbled across the website of The Wood Heat Organization, a non-profit advocacy group dedicated to the responsible use of wood as a home heating fuel. I learned quite a few tricks about everything from fire size and composition, to how to properly measure and stack a cord of wood.
- You can start a fire from the top down. I tried this, it works.
- The different heat outputs of various species of woods.
- How to build a fire to get it to burn hotter or a little cooler, depending on the temperature outside
- A smarter way to use newspaper to start fires
There is also a whole section of the page about firewood – how to dry it, how to split it, species, and so on. I highly recommend you check out this site – you’re guaranteed to learn something!
Do you have a wood stove? Share your favourite thing about wood heating or your best tip!