The Dirt On Wood Stoves

Reader Contribution by Starry Hilder

Ever since I can remember, we have always burned firewood to heat our home. It never seemed out of the ordinary to have a pile of wood next to the wood stove or out on the porch. It was commonplace in our home.

Many new homesteads that are popping up today are finding new value in burning firewood. With the cost of rising heat prices, this alternative is becoming a viable option for those who either have access to their own source of firewood, or public access, or can buy it locally from someone who harvests firewood themselves.

There are many factors involved in heating with a wood stove.  Here are some essential tips to help to maximize efficiency and contribute to a successful heating experience.

Find A Place For the Stove

Sounds like a no-brainier but this fundamental tip is imperative since it will affect everything that pertains to the stove, such as heat distribution, dirt and safety!

Hauling The Firewood: Ask yourself how will you be hauling in the wood? Will you have to walk thru a kitchen or a living area? Will the wood box be located next to the stove or at an entry door? Remind yourself that you will be hauling in wood during the worst of weather conditions (snowy winter/muddy spring.) All of this will track in dirt.

Safety:  Briefly, you need to ensure that your wood stove is installed correctly by meeting certain safety requirements such as: clearance; the need for noncombustible flooring; properly installed chimney with UL approved insulation or a masonry one.

Effective Location for Heat Dispersal: Wood stoves are an awesome way to heat but they are most effective in an open concept room. You will find rooms that are further away from the stove are colder, and rooms that are closer to the stove are warmer.

We installed our wood stove centrally, but due to the small square footage of our home, the bedroom is right next to the wood stove. If we don’t close the door at night, we get “roasted out.” The same holds true for lofts due to heat rising. If you plan to sleep in a loft with a wood stove as your heat source, rest assured you will be having hot flashes all night long.

Living With Dirt

Unfortunately, heating with wood stoves comes with a necessary evil, and that is the increased dirt in your home. Dirt from hauling in the wood, from storing it in the wood box, and dust created from burning the firewood.Your wood box needs to be sturdy and able to hold enough wood as it will be a collecting place for more dirt and bark that falls off of your firewood.

Dust is something you won’t be able to outrun or outpace. Expect surfaces to be dusty. Except your windows to need a good washing by spring, and expect to be sweeping the floors frequently. This is why thinking about the location of your stove is so important!/p>

Keeping these key factors in mind will help you get the most out of your wood stove, and allow you to enjoy a toasty environment for years to come. Want more practical advice on wood stoves? Check out our new video that discusses the reality of wood stove dirt!

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