We are fortunate that most areas of Siskiyou County still permit wood stoves ___ Redding, Medford, and most cities restrict their use now. But to get the most from wood heat, some tips about burning wood might help others:
- use dry wood; if there is moisture in firewood the smoke is cooler (because it takes more heat to burn it out) and the ingredients in the smoke condense inside the flue. The result is creosote and it is flammable.
- keep the fire hot; damping the feed air starves the fire and cools the exhausting smoke.
- use the right wood; some types of wood have a lot of sap and this helps creosote form.
- don’t burn green wood; it’s wet. See rule # 1.
- the pipe leading from the stove to the flue should be double-walled. If you have a metal flue through the attic it already should be, and insulated, but consider having the pipe inside the home that way, too.
- watch how close the stove and pipe are to stuff than can catch on fire. Any masonry against the wall for instance should be stood out so air can rise behind and cool the wall. The double wall pipe just mentioned is used now for this purpose.
- above all, get professional help to install, inspect, and maintain your stove and flue. Here are a few of the local firewood stove companies who install and inspect wood stoves and fireplace inserts:
- Holy Smoke 841-1841, showroom at 412 S. Main St., Yreka. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- John Wood Stoveworks 842-9663 or 340-0545, email@example.com
- Chimney Doctor 938-2552, firstname.lastname@example.org
We use dry lodgepole pine with pine cones for starter material and today Holy Smoke pronounced our flue so clean as to need no brushing. We follow the suggestions above (obviously, I wrote them . . . ) and they seem to work.
Please call me with any suggestions or corrections to this article, I make mistakes all the time!