Updated at: 07-05-2022 - By: Sienna Lewis

What is the proper way to use a wood stove? Having open fireplaces in your home, such as a wood-burning stove, is a great way to ensure that your stove is burning as efficiently as possible. A stove like this helps you get more heat out of every piece of wood, but you need to know how to use one to see how far you can go.

A wood stove requires a lot of patience to ignite a fire. You probably won’t be able to get your fire going in five minutes. A beautiful object takes time to create; patience is a virtue in this case, as well. However, creating a fire in a wood stove takes more than just learning patience. Once the embers are lit, it’s a relaxing and gratifying pastime that can keep your home toasty all night long. Even with minimal maintenance, the same fire can last for months on end.

For those who prefer a slower pace of life, lighting the wood-burning stove fire is an excellent alternative to reading a book or watching the leaves change color. A lot of time and effort is required. It can be frustrating at times, but it also requires your whole attention and care.

However, once you’ve mastered the technique of starting a fire, the experience is very rewarding. With a wood-burning stove, you can create the perfect cold-weather scent by filling your home with a wonderful aroma. This antique technology can heat an entire space without the use of modern heating equipment is truly amazing. Using this method to heat your home is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. To get the most out of your wood-burning stove, what should you have and what should you do? Are you plagued by these thoughts all the time? If you have any questions concerning your beloved wood-burning stove, this page is here to help!

How To Operate A Wood Burning Stove? 5 Awesome Steps! - Krostrade

6 Steps To Operate A Wood Burning Stove

So without further ado, here are the simple steps to operating a wood-burning stove:

The second step is described below. Make a few rows of nice kindling on top of the newspaper. With a hatchet or small axe, you can cut little chunks out of your firewood, or you may utilize scraps from your woodworking projects, such as broken twigs and limbs, to make your own. To get a fire going, you need plenty of well-dried kindling.

To start, I place five or six kindling logs on top of the papers and then form another row with the kindling pointed from front to back and then from side to side. Kindling can be used in several ways, but I favor the log cabin technique. Once the paper is going, the kindling should have a lot of exposed surface area.

The next step is to add a few pieces of firewood on top of the kindling layers. When splitting wood, you’re going to get some smaller pieces. These are fantastic. The cold weather means you’ll need a lot of these. Rather than using round logs, this phase calls for the use of split logs, which are more prone to catching fire. After the fire has started, you can use your round logs.

Step 4: Adjust the stove so that it lets in the most air possible, and then light the newspapers around the front. Don’t rush to shut the door. Fresh, oxygen-rich air is needed to start the fire. 3 to 5 minutes is a good amount of time to leave the door open (or longer if needed). If the fire goes out after you close the door, try opening it again until it roars again. Never leave a woodstove unattended when it’s on and ready to use. The kindling might cause a house fire by releasing sparks.

This is the final step in the process of starting a woodstove. Let it burn for a little longer until the fire is firmly established and the chimney temperature reaches a safe level. The flue temperature must reach at least 400 degrees Fahrenheit before I reduce the air intake, as measured by a thermometer placed 6 inches above the stovepipe.

Smoke indicates a lack of heat, which translates to a loss of both time and money, so make sure your fire is adequately tended. It’s normal to see some smoke coming out of your chimney when the fire begins, but this smoke should be largely water vapor. Smoldering fires should not be kept going all day. If it’s not too chilly outside, turn up the heat first thing in the morning to get the home warmed up, and then turn it down and wait for it to cool down before turning it back on. More creosote is produced, the odor is worsened, and your hard-earned firewood is wasted when a fire is left to simmer.

One More Step: Put Out Your Wood-Burning Stove

Closing the stove door is the first step in extinguishing a wood stove. After that, extinguish the flames by removing any remaining wood. Close all stove-controlled air vents before cutting off the fire’s oxygen source. After the fire has been extinguished, smoke and waste gases will be produced for several hours, therefore please do not close the damper. Also, check out this article on how to clean a wood-burning stove.

How to Dispose of Ashes

Ashes can be quite dangerous, so treat them with respect. Glow-in-the-dark embers can lurk in the ashes for up to 24 hours after a fire has extinguished itself. It is safe to presume that the ashes include hot, ready-to-ignite embers that can be rekindled at any time.

Ashes can be quite dangerous, so treat them with respect. Glow-in-the-dark embers can lurk in the ashes for up to 24 hours after a fire has extinguished itself. It is safe to presume that the ashes include hot, ready-to-ignite embers that can be rekindled at any time.


Why should I heat my home with a wood burning stove?

Treat ashes with care; they can be deadly. It’s common for blazing embers to remain hidden in the cold ashes for up to 24 hours or more after a fire has died. Since this is the case, you should infer that the ashes include living, hot embers that are ready to rekindle themselves.

What are the different builds of wood stoves?

Wood stoves made of steel heat up and cool down the fastest of any material. When the fire in a steel wood burning stove starts to die down, it won’t retain much heat, therefore reloads will be quicker.

Although they take a bit longer to heat up, cast iron wood-burning stoves are extremely efficient at retaining heat. Even after the fire has gone out, the heat from a cast iron wood stove radiates back into the room, so you get heat from the stove in addition to the heat from the wood burning fire.

Designed for long-term heat retention, soap stone wood stoves are made of soapstone. To begin with, they hold on to heat and release it later as the fire begins to cool down.

How old does a wood stove have to be before it’s considered too old and it needs to be replaced?

It’s time to get a new wood stove if yours is more than 20 years old. According to the EPA, older wood stoves produce 40-60 grams of smoke per hour, whereas newer EPA-approved wood stoves produce as low as 2-5 grams of smoke per hour. It’s dangerous and inefficient to use an old wood stove.

How do I know which size wood stove is right for me?

Size is critical when purchasing a wood-burning stove. With this information in mind, it will be easier to choose the correct size wood stove for your home. The wood stove can offer heat for the entire house, or just a few rooms, depending on how you use it. You should also think about where you want to put your wood burning stove in your house and how much space you have available. Place your wood stove in an area where the heat may easily spread throughout your house. Consider where you want to put your chimney, and remember that a chilly chimney on the outside of your house will cause drafts and enhance creosote production in the flue. If at all feasible, place your chimney within your house.

The size of the wood stove you’ll need to heat your house will be heavily influenced by the quality of your home’s insulation, which can range from adequate to inadequate. A house with excellent insulation will require less heat and BTU power than a house with poor insulation, for obvious reasons.

The number of windows in your house, as well as their current condition, will play a role in determining the appropriate size of wood stove for your needs. Your wood stove will need to be more powerful if your home has a lot of glass in it, whether it be huge windows, single-pane windows, or even plain ancient windows.

When choosing a wood-burning stove for your home, you should also consider the height of the ceiling. While most Btu calculators presume that you’re considering an installation with an 8-foot ceiling, increasing the ceiling height to a 10 or 12-foot height will significantly alter the amount of BTUs needed to heat your home.

If you’re looking for a wood stove for your house, location and climate are important considerations to keep in mind. Obviously, if you live in a place where winter temperatures drop below zero, you’ll need a larger, more powerful wood stove than someone who lives in a place where winter temperatures reach the upper 20s or low 30s.

How to Use a Wood Burning Stove - YouTube

What is EPA certification and why is that important when heating with a wood burning stove?

Emission and efficiency criteria meant to decrease pollution and keep energy prices in check must be met for a wood-burning stove to be EPA Certified. Cleaner and more efficient burning sessions, lower heating costs, and less pollutants emitted into the air are all a result of EPA-certified wood stoves that burn more fully, deliver better heat production, and produce less creosote deposits.

In order to ensure that EPA-certified wood stoves meet severe emission and efficiency criteria, they undergo extensive testing. Your heating bills will go down and the quality of the air we breathe will be protected with an EPA Certified wood burner.

What is zone heating and why would zone heating with my wood burning stove be beneficial?

Your wood-burning stove can be used as an alternative heating source in conjunction with your central heating furnace in order to heat the rooms in your home where you and your family spend the most time. For those who spend most of their time in one or two rooms around the house, zone heating suggests that there is no need to heat the rest of the house, as most rooms are not even being used.

You’re squandering energy and money by keeping the temperature in the areas you use the most at the same level as the rest of the house. When you zone heat with your wood stove, you may reduce the temperature in the rest of your house without sacrificing comfort because you only use your furnace when you need it. Wood burning stove zone heating can save your annual heating bills by at least 30%.

Why is good draft important when heating my home with a wood burning stove?

With wood-burning stoves, a steady flow of air is critical. The faster your wood stove heats up, the more oxygen it draws in, and the less smoke it lets into your home, the better your draft will be.

How should I dispose of the ash from my wood stove?

Make sure to dispose of the hot coals in a metal container outside and away from any combustible surfaces, since they can linger for up to three days.

What is a catalytic combustor and what does that mean on a wood stove?

You can reduce your wood stove’s emissions by installing a catalytic combustor in the flue pipe, which will re-burn all smoke before it enters the chimney. This will reduce the amount of firewood needed while yet producing cleaner emissions into the atmosphere. There is scientific evidence that catalytic combustors can boost the heat output of wood stoves, as well.

What is a non catalytic wood stove?

“secondary combustion” is what distinguishes the new stoves from the previous types when it comes to efficiency and cleanliness. Wood stoves that are not catalytic now have a second area of combustion at the stove’s top where fresh air is taken in and gases are burned off the smoke before it exits down the vent. This increases the regular combustion process in these wood stoves. The secondary combustion fire can be seen near the air inlets in the secondary combustion zone in some stoves.

What is a break-in fire and why should I light one in my new wood burning stove?

Slowly driving out moisture and preventing cracked and damaged equipment are the primary goals of break-in fires that use low heat and little fuel. Before burning a large fire in a new wood stove, it’s a good idea to light 2-3 break-in fires in the stove. The start of the wood burning season or any other time your wood stove has not been used for some time should also be preceded by the lighting of a break-in fire. You can start a fire in your wood stove by following these instructions.

  1. When burning wood, place a bed made of crumpled paper in the bottom of the appliance (never use high gloss paper).
  2. Add a crisscross pattern of kindling to the paper. The principal air supply to the firebox should not be obstructed. Make sure there is enough room for air to circulate by stacking the kindling loosely.
  3. A newspaper torch can be made. Place the flame of the paper torch near the flue outlet to heat the chimney and provide a good draft.
  4. Open a door or a window if there isn’t one already to let some fresh air in.
  5. Turn on the air.
  6. Under the kindling, light a newspaper bed.
  7. Close the door of the wood stove just a little bit. This is how the fire gets its oxygen.
  8. Close and lock the wood stove door once the kindling has started a blaze.
  9. If the stove is brand new or hasn’t been used in a while, do this step a couple more times.

Why should I install a blower on my wood stove?

If you want to uniformly distribute the heat generated by your stove, a blower is a useful tool. Your stove’s heating output can be increased by using a blower to move the hot air forward.

Is it possible to reduce the wood stove minimum clearances to combustible materials?

Yes. A pipe heat shield can be used to keep combustible things away from your wood-burning stove while it is in use.

Do I need floor protection underneath my wood stove?

Yes. If you don’t already have a hearth or a non-combustible surface under your wood-burning stove, you’ll need floor protection. Some options include stone, brick, and tile. Wood stove models have different requirements for floor protection, so consult your owner’s manual to learn more.

Can I use stove pipe for my entire wood stove installation?

Stove pipe should not be utilized outside your house, but only inside your house. Class-A chimney pipe is required to complete your wood stove installation once you’ve reached the wall or ceiling, whichever comes first.

Wood Burning Stove Tips | How to Start Your Fire & Keep It Burning Safely | Homesteading Simple Self Sufficient Off-The-Grid | Homesteading.com

Heating with wood has really dried out the air in my home. Is there anything I can do to get some moisture back in the air?

Yes. When heating with wood, placing a steamer on the stove will increase the humidity in the air and improve the comfort level significantly. To keep your wood stove’s surface from cracking or denting, use a trivet underneath your steamer. It’s also possible to add aromatherapeutic oils like a few drops of burner fragrances to your home’s air.

Is there any kind of glass cleaner that I should not use to clean the glass door on my wood stove?

Yes. Ammonia-containing cleansers should be avoided since they will degrade the ceramic glass’s structure. Keep in mind that you should only clean your glass when it is at room temperature. It is possible to find glass cleaners made especially to remove ash and soot from fireplace and wood stove doors.

What are BTUs?

Any sort of energy that is used to generate heat can be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). The BTU value of the fuel used in a fireplace is used to calculate the quantity of fuel consumed each hour. The more BTUs the heating unit produces, the more powerful it will be.

What can I use for kindling to start a fire in my wood burning stove?

Kiln-dried hardwood, uncoated or varnished cardboard, and wood bark can all be used. Fire starters such as fatwood, super cedar fire starters, safe lite fire starter squares and more are also available from us that operate just as well, if not better than kindling and fill the house with a welcoming aroma of pine.

What is a smoldering fire and why is it bad for my wood stove and home?

There are times when the amount of combustion air is changed too quickly, causing the flames to battle for air and eventually die out. A smoldering fire will emit harmful fumes and creosote if left unchecked for an extended length of time. You can put out a small fire by opening the air control and door to your wood stove. The fire will be rekindled practically instantly when the stove is reopened to the outside air.

How should I stack my firewood to properly season it?

In a crisscross pattern, stack firewood. For optimal drying, avoid stacking your firewood in a way that restricts airflow. What does “drying” imply? Moisture slowly escapes from a piece of wood’s core during the drying process. This moisture is absorbed by the surrounding air. Temperature, relative humidity, and wood moisture content all play a role in the process of drying wood. Cover the stacks and place them in a sunny, windy location to hasten the drying process. When the wood can no longer absorb moisture from the air, the drying process comes to an end. It’s time to adequately dry and season firewood when it has a moisture level of 20% or below.

What is the difference between a face cord and a full cord of firewood?

The “Full Cord” and “Face Cord” are the two most frequent ways to measure firewood. Our racks use the term “Face Cord” to describe this feature. An 8-foot wide x 4-foot high face cord is typically used to store firewood, but the depth of a face cord might vary depending on the person cutting the wood. Because firewood is chopped to varied depths, it is difficult to decide what size firewood rack to purchase. A “Full Cord” of firewood spans 8′ wide x 4′ high x 4′ deep. We’ve opted to measure our firewood racks by face cords rather than full cords to avoid the complication of full cord calculations. Make sure you have the right size firewood rack before you buy it.

When should I begin harvesting firewood to burn in my wood stove?

In the springtime. Harvesting ash in late winter or early spring is perfect for burning wood in the fall because it gives the wood 8 to 9 months to dry. Purchasing your firewood in the spring will give you plenty of time to stack it and allow it to dry over the course of the summer months.

How can I tell if my firewood is properly seasoned and ready to be used in my wood stove?

Make sure your firewood has been properly seasoned and is ready to be used in your wood stove by using a moisture meter. At 20% moisture or less, firewood burns better, provides more heat and minimizes creosostocation.

What type of wood should I burn in my wood burning stove?

Your wood stove should only be used to cook with hardwoods that have been properly seasoned. If you have a wood burning stove, the best hardwoods to burn include but are not restricted to black or white ash, beech, red or white oak, hickory and hard maple, cherry or black cherry, walnut, aspen, and chestnut. In spite of the fact that you’re using hardwoods in your wood stove, you still need to ensure that the firewood is well dried and at a moisture level of 20% or less.

Is there anything that I should never burn in my wood stove?

Pressure-treated wood, driftwood, painted wood, glossy paper, plastic, and waste should never be burned in a wood stove because of the danger they provide. In addition, you should never use coal in a wood-burning stove that is designed to use wood. In addition to contaminating the air and posing a health risk, burning wood that has been treated or painted, as well as rubbish, can do additional harm to your home and property. Certain chemical agents present in these things can harm the catalytic combustor in a wood burner.

How is a chimney fire caused?

A chimney fire is caused by a buildup of creosote on the inside of your chimney from the combustion of wood that was burned in your wood burner. The elements burning inside your chimney flue are ignited by a chimney fire. When you hear a sound like a tornado or a train coming, you know you’re dealing with a chimney fire. It’s possible that smoke will even recirculate back into the house if that happens.

If I am having a chimney fire, can I extinguish it with a fire extinguisher?

No, spraying a fire extinguisher into your wood stove’s firebox will cause the flames and embers to return into your home, potentially spreading the fire.

What could happen if too much creosote builds up in my chimney vent pipe?

Carbon monoxide poisoning can result from creosote buildup in your chimney vent pipe, in addition to the obvious danger of a chimney fire. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is always a good idea as a safety precaution, regardless of the sort of heating source you use.

Quadra Fire 5700 Step Top - Now Available at Woodpecker

What is creosote?

Incomplete combustion produces creosote, a mixture of particles that include fumes, steam and soot. The smoke carries the mixture up the flue, where it attaches to the chimney’s exterior. With its moist, humid nature and plenty of combustion byproducts, it is deposited on the chimney walls as if they were hot glass. Condensation, in a nutshell. Creosote, which forms in the presence of smoke, continues to grow in these deposits.

Why shouldn’t I burn soft woods in my wood stove?

Using soft woods as kindling in a wood burner isn’t recommended or worth the effort, yet some people do it nonetheless. Softwoods require twice as much time and effort to season as hardwoods, but provide the same amount of heat. You’ll have to clean your chimney more frequently if you use soft woods in your wood stove since they produce more creosote, and some soft woods are messy to handle because they are full of sap.


Keeping a wood stove fire going is a lot like keeping a pet at home. Keeping an open fire under control necessitates frequent monitoring; if your judgment fails, it will die or spread out of control. Feed it the proper stuff at the right times and get rid of the garbage it generates. In return, it will prepare your meals and heat your water and living quarters. So those are the steps involved in lighting a wood stove and following their instructions. If you’re still using your favorite wood stove after reading this, we’re happy to hear it! The best of luck, and don’t forget to take your time. Know how to dispose of ashes from a wood stove and how to install a wood stove in a garage are two other topics you may be interested in.