First fires

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Now that it’s October and cooler mornings have arrived, we’ve started to use our wood stove regularly. The stained glass feature is beautiful, but having a wood stove is my favorite part of our house renovation. Starting a fire while making coffee in the morning seems to scratch some primordial caveman desire. Stacking wood gives me a little of that hunting-and-gathering satisfaction. Stopping whatever I’m doing from time to time to place another log in the stove is a consistent reminder to slow down and appreciate the present.

Oh, and it’s also really, really warm. 🔥🔥🔥

Aside from how much I enjoy the simple pleasure of burning wood, there are a few other things I’ve been surprised about now that I have a stove.

  1. Modern stoves use an air wash system to keep the glass clean, and many (like mine) bring in air from the bottom of the stove (which comes in from under the house, not the room) and that air flows in from the top (flowing down over the glass and fire).
Unlit wood stacked inside a wood stove.
Big logs go on bottom when lighting…huh?
  1. Because air flows in from the top, it’s most efficient to build a fire that you light from the middle/top, rather than the bottom. In other words, the fire lights downward.
Wood in a wood burning stove just lit with arrows showing a circulating airflow.
Air comes in through the holes on the top and the big logs light on the bottom.
  1. There are different types of fuel for stoves, and ours is wood only. Using wood that is properly dried to a low enough moisture content is key to making sure we don’t get build up in our flu. No paper or wet wood or anything else goes into the stove.
  2. Stacking and storing wood is a big consideration if you use your stove everyday, and is a big part of the enjoyment. You’ll need some space for storage.
Wood storage shed getting filled up. Animated GIF.
Wood storage is half the fun.

The winter is long and cold here in Scotland but now that we have the stove, I’m kind of looking forward to it.

Kindling wood burning in a wood stove. Animated GIF.

2 responses

  1. I just tried out my wood stove this week too. Mine is a bit different. It is sometimes referred to as a Russian stove. Above the firebox it has a long snaking tunnel, which traps the heat in. For my stove, it is recommended to lay the wood vertically, let the fire go for 30-90 minutes, until all the flames are gone, and then close it completely, and it stays warm for up to 12 hours. It works really well.

    I hadn’t seen ones that pull the air in from the top. That is pretty interesting. Heating with wood is awesome!

  2. Our wood stove is the one thing I miss from our previous house. It just feels so cosy. Enjoy!

Comments welcome!

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