Woodburning Stoves are Practical Alternatives
With the global financial crisis and fluctuating prices of gas, being practical in all aspects of life is really helpful. Practicality means finding cost effective solutions such as using more energy efficient appliances and those that are environment friendly. For the purpose of heating a home, choosing the woodburning stove may be the right choice.
Approximately 800,000 homeowners in the U.S. are using woodburning stoves today. These stoves are considered portable or free standing fireplaces as they can be moved around anywhere in the home and can even be used outdoors. They usually use wood pellets made from sawdust and wood shavings as well as solid wood for fuel. Compared to the fossil fuel such as oil, natural gas and coal, wood is a better alternative because of its natural properties.
A woodburning stove is also known as a wood burner. This appliance features a flat bottom where wood is burned. Families who own this type of stove have a choice between using solid wood or wood pellets to fuel the appliance. With wood, one needs to exert effort from loading the wood and lighting it to stoking it by hand. With pellets, one only needs to switch on the device to produce fire and heat.
Wood used for burning has to be those that are well seasoned. Before they can be used in a stove, they have to be cut to the proper length, split and then stacked and covered for one year. The best type of wood for stoves includes the beechwood, apple, cedar, cherry, chestnut, birch, oak, elm, pear, pine, poplar and ashwood. For kindling, conifer wood is ideal.
A good tip in burning wood is to lit them on a bed of ash. When trying to build a new fire, always have some ashes available. In fact, some experts recommend building up ashes for easy woodburning the next time. Keep in mind as well that wood needs sufficient air for efficient burning so be sure to open both the top and bottom vents when lighting your wood fire. A good sign that your stove is already working are the presence of flames in the firebox. If theres smoke, it only means that your stove is not running well but rather slowly.
In choosing your woodburning stoves, go for the modern units. The traditional stoves are not every efficient and produce more smoke while the latest EPA-certified models release less.
Safety should also be a major consideration of homeowners using woodburning stoves. Sparks and embers are usually created by burning wood and this often results in clogged vents and stacked chimneys. As mold and mildew can accumulate in these areas attracting spiders, termites and other insects, stoves require regular cleaning. Apart from avoiding dust and dirt, proper maintenance of the unit can ensure its long life.
Woodburning stoves come in a variety of great designs. They can be made as a focal point in designing a living room or any room for that matter but they dont occupy a large space. Among the popular styles today are those made from cast iron and stainless steel.