Things You'll Need
Use seasoned wood to prevent the buildup of creosote in the chimney. Creosote forms as moisture is released from burning and poses a danger of chimney fires. Have your chimney and stove inspected yearly by a professional to avoid accidental fires. Keep your smoke detector in good working condition to alert you of potential dangers.
Do not close the damper completely, as this poses the danger of smoke entering the home, and may cause the fire to extinguish. Burning "green" wood poses a danger of creosote buildup in the chimney, due to its high moisture content.
Wood stoves produce radiant heat that create a warm, inviting atmosphere reminiscent of Grandma's kitchen. Because the heater gives off constant heat, room temperatures remain the same throughout the day, if the fire is managed properly. Many prefer wood heat as it eliminates the heating and cooling cycles of modern furnaces; however, nights do pose a problem. Improper use often results in the fire going out during the night, leaving you to face a chilly morning as you restart the fire. With evening preparation, you can keep the embers burning all night, ready to ignite easily in the morning.
Allow the heater to build a bed of coals during the late afternoon and evening hours. Coals form from burned wood, creating glowing embers at the bottom of the firebox. Keep a steady fire going throughout the evening, adding new wood regularly before the coals have extinguished.
Add one or two large pieces of wood. Typically, round logs are used, instead of split wood, as these burn slowly. The object is to keep a slow burn going throughout the night.
Close off the damper, located either on the stove or in the stovepipe, to cut down the amount of oxygen available to the burning wood. Use caution not to close the damper completely. If the stove emits smoke, open the damper slightly. Closing the damper slows the fire and primes your stove for overnight.
Open the damper in the morning and add seasoned wood to restart the fire. Glowing embers at the bottom of the fire box quickly ignite dry wood. If embers are small or nearly extinguished, add kindling before adding larger pieces of wood.
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.