7 Ways to Make Your Wood-Burning Stove Greener
A wood-burning stove is already a pretty environmentally-friendly or sustainable form of heating. Since a tree spends its lifetime absorbing carbon dioxide, the CO2 released when wood is burnt is only what it took out of the air in its days as a living tree. As long as trees are planted to replace what's cut down, burning wood is both carbon neutral and sustainable.
But there are things you can do to run your stove in an even more environmentally friendly fashion.
Use wood that's fallen from trees
If you can collect wood from branches and trees that have already fallen, you don't even have to worry about replanting. The carbon dioxide would have been released in any case when the wood decomposed on the forest floor.
Use free wood
If you have access to wood that would otherwise be destined for landfill, why not use that for your wood burner? If you can source offcuts from a sawmill or joiner, that's ideal. Just make sure you don't use anything that has been painted or treated - that's not green or healthy in the slightest.
Season your wood
If you're able to collect wood, chop it, and leave it to air and dry for more than a year, its moisture content will reduce considerably. This will stop heat being wasted on evaporation and ensure that the energy saved goes into heating your home instead. The result? You need less wood to stay cosy.
Don't have little fires
It's actually greener to have a big fire than a little fire. If you have a small fire, the top of the firebox might not be as hot as it ordinarily would be. When wood is burned it releases flammable gases. If you only have tiny flames at the bottom of your stove, some of these gases will escape straight up the chimney without being burned. Not very green and also a waste of energy.
Get your chimney swept
A blockage-free chimney is a vital component of a green wood-burning stove. Aside from the fact that a build-up of soot and creosote is a chimney fire risk, the draw of air down the chimney is important to get your stove burning efficiently. Again, this allows your home to heat more quickly and using less fuel.
Close the bottom air vent once your stove is in use
If your stove has two air vents, close the bottom one once your fire is lit. This will reduce the oxygen supply to the stove and stop the wood from burning too quickly.
Invest in good insulation
Insulating your home ensures that all that good work done by your stove doesn't go to waste. Stop that heat from seeping out of your home, so that you need less wood to get your home up to temperature.
Follow those tips and your wood-burning stove will be greener than ever before.
This information was provided by the folks at GR8Fires in the UK.