9 tips for us­ing a wood burner wisely

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature - Source: www.en­er­gy­wise.govt.nz

BURN­ING dry, un­treated wood of the right size and op­er­at­ing your wood burner cor­rectly helps avoid air pol­lu­tion that causes pre­ma­ture death, hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion and res­pi­ra­tory ill­ness.

READ and fol­low the man­u­fac­turer’s op­er­a­tion and safety in­struc­tions. For ex­am­ple, don’t burn coal in a wood burner, un­less the man­u­fac­turer specif­i­cally says you can, oth­er­wise you can dam­age it.

USE safety guards to pro­tect chil­dren and pets.

PLAN ahead and use well-sea­soned, dry fire­wood, ideally stored un­der cover in a well-ven­ti­lated, windy and sunny place for at least a year to dry out be­fore use.

BURN fire­wood of the right size, ideally less than 110mm di­am­e­ter.

USE the right wood at the right time. Lighter woods (of­ten called ‘soft­wood’) like pine are good for kin­dling and get­ting a fire started. Once the fire is well es­tab­lished, denser woods (hard­woods) like gum will burn for longer and give off more heat.

DON’T burn chem­i­cally-treated wood or salt-im­preg­nated wood like drift­wood. These can cor­rode your wood burner and flue, emit toxic gases, and leave toxic residues in the ash and flue.

REG­U­LATE the heat out­put by ad­just­ing the amount of fuel you load, not by damp­en­ing the air con­trol.

KEEP the air set­ting high enough for a clean burn. Too much or too lit­tle air cools the fire which then pro­duces smoke. Place large pieces of wood on a good bed of em­bers and set the burner at a high tem­per­a­ture.

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