Before winter visits, you need to be prepared for warmth. You will experience great comfort in the frosty season if you have an efficient woodstove.
To survive the homestead, you need some hacks to stay ahead and get things working smoothly. As homesteaders, we have gathered relevant skills that have kept us going. We can help you with a few tips and tricks to help you make it happen.
This episode of homesteadhow offers our best hacks to get more heat from your fireplace. After more than five years as a homesteader, we know what works and what doesn’t.
In this edition, we share tips from the video: 6 Tips to Get MORE HEAT. We also include a video on each of the tips to see the discussion in action.
So many people have benefited from our works. We have a YouTube video with over 1.3 million views. You, too, can see for yourself if you follow this link.
Without much ado, let’s get to it.
Tip #1: Maximize Draft
Make sure your chimney is clean. As you operate your woodstove, creosote will accumulate in the chimney. The buildup can cause a fire outbreak or cause the stove to perform poorly. It is essential to clean the chimney and get it ready for another burning season.
A clean chimney will help your woodstove work efficiently due to adequate airflow. Think of your stove like an engine. A poorly maintained engine that runs on old, dirty oil and stale gas won’t run at peak performance or horsepower.
But you can DIY the cleaning for optimum performance using a simple drill tool. In this video, we used a drill with an attachment tool to do the cleaning. We purchased the device at a local home improvement store. It makes the cleaning chore much more effortless.
So, it helps clean both our indoor woodstove chimney and the central boiler outdoor wood burner at the end of each burning season.
Tip #2 Burn Seasoned Firewood
Well, this might sound simple enough, but it won’t hurt to say it for emphasis. Freshly cut wood is not efficient for a woodstove operation. It burns inefficiently and produces lots of smoke. The seasoned timbers are perfect because they have enough time to dry and set for the winter’s heating job. You can get a hotter feel when it burns and lots of heat.
We also stack up woods near the stove to dry more before burning, as shown in this video.
Tip #3 Use Fan
The use of a fan can help to distribute heat to where you need it in your homestead. We bought a heat-powered eco fan from Amazon, and it does an excellent job distributing heat without battery or electricity. It works by converting the stove heat into electricity.
Adjacent to the fireplace, we have three heating areas, and the eco fan directs hot air to these locations. We have our woodstove positioned in the center of the living room. My office is in another area, and the fan directs heat to my office door and into my office. Also, we have a high ceiling where we mounted a ceiling fan. It has a reverse switch that allows us to use the fan to send back warm air to the floor.
There are some woodstoves with built-in, optional electric, fan or you can buy one on Amazon. We bought one for our stove, and it’s been so helpful in moving a lot of air. You can also use an electric box fan to do the job of heat distribution instead of keeping things cool as used in the summer.
Pro tip: if your homestead has a long hallway far apart from your fireplace, you can place a box fan at the end of the hallway facing the woodstove. This may sound counterintuitive, but it helps. You may think the fan should sit close to the fireplace to blow out the air away from the stove, but we found doing otherwise serves the purpose we intended. The way to see how this works is through thermal camera imaging. In this video, the blue flow of air moves towards the stove while red hot air moves towards the fan. The loop of cold and hot air flows maintained a steady momentum that ensures warmth across the areas.
Tip #4 Use Some Bricks near Your Stove
Fire bricks are efficient heat retainers. We tried this in our old house, and it was perfect! We stacked several bricks together behind the woodstove. The closeness to the stove allows the bricks to heat up and store enormous heat to warm the house when the fire goes out at night. As you will see in this video, the bricks’ heat would keep the house warm until morning before the woodstove resumes.
Tip #5 Open Your Stove a few less time per day
While I was in high school, I learned from Chef Tony that “if you are looking, you ain’t cooking.” This lesson also applies to using the woodstove.
The fireplace heat comes from the wood you are burning and the warmth from the metal, firebricks, and glass in the woodstove.
While it is essential to open a woodstove to adjust wood and refill it, you lose heat each time. Therefore, the less time you open the stove per day, the longer the heat would serve you.
Tip #6 Learn how your woodstove works
Every woodstove is unique, and it is your responsibility to learn how yours works. Try to adjust the airflow and take note of how it behaves. After our third woodstove, we know each one has a distinct personality. Once you understand how your stove’s airflow works, you can get it to work just fine.
After knowing how our third stove’s personality, we can get it to work nice and hot; it tends to burn really hot and fast. We can conserve the heat and make it last longer if we push in the airflow knob sooner to reduce the airflow.
Some stoves may need max airflow for much longer for a good bed of coals burning; others may be faster. It would help if you learned your stove’s personality to know what works best for it.
I hope you find these tips useful. If you do, start to prepare for your next burning season.
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