With our world getting increasingly modern, we’re starting to long for simpler things. As many of us grow up and enhance our earning power, we begin to yearn for the comforts of childhood, things we saw our parents and grandparents doing. It explains why we’re gaining interest in DIY, artisanal food, or wood fireplaces. We can order pizza in seconds, but instead we want to spend weeks (or at least a Sunday afternoon) assembling a pizza oven on the back yard. This partially explains the resurgence of wood stoves.
Thing is though – because we can – we opt to leave out some of the more negative aspects of our nostalgic appliances. For example, we love to watch the roaring fire, but the pre-process is a bother. We don’t want to season wood or kindle a fire, so we get quick-start technology that ignites wooden pellets with a one-touch spark, and seal off the smoke behind a hi-tech glass panel that reminds us of those other screens we love so much. At the same time, we invest a lot in little and not-so-little improvements.
Easy fuel options
Let’s look at that wood stove, and what we can do to maximise our experience with it. We’ve mentioned the wood in passing. Make your life easier by signing up for a wood delivery service. Good hardwood needs a year or more to season, so get a pre-seasoned stack brought to your stove every week or month. It will have well-chosen, fully dried logs that burn longer, emitting less smoke and releasing fewer sparks. Ensure your supplier uses sustainable practices like reforestation and calibrated logging.
You might also opt for the wooden pellets mentioned earlier. They’re densely packed for a longer burn that has less smoke, and they can be cut into the right size for your stove. It can seem stylish and convenient to buy a stove with its own fuel storage space, but that’s only a good idea if you’re sure that your wood is pest-free, and if it won’t stay there long enough to attract new resident flies, spiders, rodents, or termites. Stacking wood indoors longer than a week is an open invitation to these unwanted house guests.
Buy something with Greenstart
You probably have a rough idea of the science behind push-button ignition, but Greenstart is a bit more intricate, and is worth the budget. Buy a wood stove that has this patented technology built into it. Basically, when you press the bottom high pressure air is pushed into the burning chamber at 760°C and it lights up the wood. The igniter then goes off and high pressure hot air continues to flow into the kiln, burning the wood right through.
These intense temperatures make sure all the carbon in the wood burns, which means no smoke and no unburnt carbon dioxide emissions. Once the fire is roaring – which takes about 15 minutes – the hot air stops blowing in. When your fire starts dying down, just open the door, add wood, and close it. The blowers will automatically resume the hot air supply, rekindling the flames in ten minutes or less.
Pick the right design
Not all wood stoves are equal. Some are designed for kitchen use, so they have stove top burners, ovens, and food warmers. Others are for the bedroom or main living area, so they’re freestanding with a large viewing pane. Dimensions range too so choose something that can warm your whole space while using fuel efficiently. If it’s too big, you’ll waste fuel.
You can also ramp up the style factor by upgrading your stove using wood-burning accessories. Many wood stoves have a glass door reinforced with a cast iron frame to seal in the air and sparks as well as the heat. However, you can beautify those decorative features by having patterns etched onto the glass, or picking a brass finish for the frame. Black paint and pewter plating are also available as framing finishes.
Buy some accessories
You can install a fan for better heat distribution. Fans can be freestanding or convection styled, and can be one-speed or multi-speed. They can help you heat a larger room, and are especially useful if you want to use a flue-and-vent system to spread heat to the rest of the house. Fans are functional accessories, but you can get decorative add-ons too. They matter, because your furnace draws as much attention as your TV.
Freestanding fireplaces and stoves can be ordered with decorative legs and pedestals in cast iron, black steel, pewter, iron, or brass. Depending on the material used and the desired effect, these legs can be carved, sculpted, or cast from a mould. Either way, they are designed for stability, low floor-scuffing, and easy cleaning.