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A wood-burning stove can be an excellent way to heat a room or home (depending on its size). If you have moved into a new home that has a wood burner, you must know how to take care of it so that it is both safe and efficient to use. To help with this, here are a few suggestions:

As the name implies, a wood-burning stove is for burning wood. When choosing firewood for your stove select dry wood with low moisture content. This will burn a lot hotter than freshly cut wood. Some types of wood ignite quicker than others and are good to use when starting your fire. These woods are softwoods like pine. After you have started the fire you can use hardwoods like ash, oak, or hickory. Burning the wood in smaller pieces will also give you a hotter, cleaner burn.

You should avoid burning coal in your wood-burning stove. Because coal burns much hotter than wood does, this could pose a fire risk. Never burn items that produce toxic chemicals. Such items include painted or pressure-treated wood, plastic, plywood, gift wrapping paper and colored paper, and particleboard.

A few other reminders. When disposing of ashes from your wood stove it is a good idea to keep them in a water-filled, metal container. Creosote can build up in the stovepipe which can become dangerous so you might want to have a professional inspection for this. Lastly, make sure that you have a sufficient number of smoke alarms in the home and check them every month to ensure they are working.

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