1 – Use the Best Firewood
Not all wood is created equal. While the wood you use for an outdoor fire pit is one thing, you must be selective when choosing wood for your stove. The best firewood contains anywhere from 15 to 20 percent moisture, and is small enough to properly fit in your stove.
2 – Don’t Go Overboard With the Wood
Wood stove experts agree, adding too many wood logs destroys overall combustion and leads to a smaller, cooler fire. By stuffing the stove with firewood, you effectively remove air needed for the ideal combustion rate. The perfect amount of wood fills the stove without blocking the air inlet. It’s best to refuel the stove more often rather than overload the stove and reduce its efficiency while increasing its smoke output.
3 – Keep Your Wood Happy and Dry
While you may have purchased properly dried wood, if improperly stored, moisture can be injected into the wood. Do not store wood under a tightly closed tarp. The best way to keep your wood dry is to store it off the ground and shielded with a roof-like structure to protect against rain and snow. When stacking wood, do not tightly pack wood together. In order to sustain its optimum dryness level, wood must have access to free-flowing air. Do not store an excess amount of wood in your home living areas. Only store wood for immediate use in your home.
4 – Properly Burn the Fire
Running a fire in a wood stove is much different than a camp fire. Above all, never allow smouldering, slow fires to bloom. These fires enhance creosote development, which becomes a serious fire hazard. On the other hand, avoid roaring fires. Large fires produce too much direct heat, which may damage the chimney and stove while also wasting wood as roaring fires send its heat directly up the chimney rather than throughout your home and on the stove.
The best fires are those produce moderately-sized flames and practically no smoke within the stove firebox. The stove thermometer should read between 250 and 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Maintain this temperature range monitoring wood amount and air flow.
5 – Annual Cleaning
All wood stove experts agree the entire system should be thoroughly cleaned at least once a year, maybe twice for heavy-use stoves. A properly maintained and cleaned stove is more efficient and significantly safer than a neglected system. Over time, especially if high moisture wood or improper burning techniques are used, a highly flammable substance known as creosote builds up along the chimney. If left unchecked, this deposit grows and increases the chance of a house fire. Therefore, have the entire stove system professionally cleaned before fall and winter months.
One way of cleaning your stove pipe! Not all wood burning stoves have removable baffles, which is the ceiling of the firebox
Here's a link to a Wood Burning Stove Blog, where one can search for various tips to maintain and clean your stove or fireplace. Keep in mind that in India we do not get all accessories, paints and cleaners. However, if one is not technically challenged one can still do a lot with locally available material/help. Also, Amazon.com is increasingly delivering US products to India. In the meanwhile we are testing Indian made heat resistant paint, which will be cheaper than imports.
Safety of installation and safety of usage of wood burning and multi fuel stoves and fireplace insets is solely the responsibility of the consumer/user and stoveindia.com and its owners do not accept responsibility or any liability arising from their use and installation
IMPORTANT: as with all fire products, users are responsible for safe operation and are strongly urged to take all necessary precautions and refer to the product manual, fire safety norms, maintenance guidelines, installation tips, techniques and precautions widely available on the net. Please see our resources page to download product manuals.
These videos were shot for Ishan from Darjeeling to have a look at how I had placed my stove with a rear flue. Please note that that the flue pipe dia is the same as that of the 'spigot' (round cast iron ring on the flue exit of the stove - if you can't see it then it's inside the firebox, wrapped safely), while the flue has a 30-40 mm long lessor diameter slide into the stove. I've never used a fire cement or welded the two and have never had a problem with smoke or leaks, However, I share my experience with the CAVEAT that you are responsible for your safety, as with all fire products. So please follow the instructions carefully and look for wiser instructions on youtube.
What is a fireplace inset? And why should you invest in one rather than on an electric fireplace, ethanol fireplace or a gas fireplace? A fireplace inset has the same clean burn technology as a wood burning cast iron stove but is designed to be inserted or inset into the 'fire box' of an existing or newly built fireplace mantle/surround. What is the advantage over a free standing stove like this one? and what is the advantage over an open fireplace? The free standing stove like the Gabriel will take more space in your room as it's typically deeper (though not always) and is placed at a minimum distance of 6 inches from the wall. But the biggest advantage is over an open (not outdoor fireplace) as it's far far more efficient and it's technical design is such that the fire draws extremely well, which cannot be said of open fireplaces that are being built in India nowadays. For instance, a friends cottage in Mukteshwar (7000 feet over mil) that was built 3 years back for Rs 1.5 crores (!) had great looking open fireplaces that just couldn't heat the sitting room. We tested it and the smartly finished fireplace (from the outside, stone mantle an surround) raised the room temperature by 1 degree celsius after one hour of burn time! So we sat in monkey caps sipping a drink! With an inset or a stove for that matter, your room will much heat better, you'll be able to control the fire, be able to view the fire through extra large German made heat resistant glass and there will be no embers that can crackle and fall onto your floor or carpet - so it's safer. Keep in mind that you should never use any liquid inflammable or petroleum in a fireplace inset, stove or an open fireplace. If you have a home/cottage in the hills - this is a must buy. The only thing you may miss is that an open fireplace soothes your audio sense with it's crackle! The saving grace is that if you want to hear the crackle and radiate more heat directly into the room you can open the glass door and then it's just like an open fireplace.
Viraj R Chopra
We market stoves and fireplaces because we love their warmth and ambience