5 common mistakes when using a wood stove and how to avoid them

5 common mistakes when using a wood stove and how to avoid them


Are you experiencing problems with your wood stove and wondering why it’s not working efficiently? If you’re having problems with your wood stove, chances are you’re making mistakes when using it.

In today’s post, we’ll show you the 5 most common mistakes when using this appliance and how you can avoid them. We’ll give you the best tips for a safe and efficient heating experience.

From carrying too much fuel to using the wrong kindling, we’ll show you how to avoid these mistakes and get the most out of your stove.

Read on to find out how to fix these problems and enjoy a warm and cozy home!

Loading too much fuel

Charging too much fuel may seem like a good idea, but it’s not. This can cause serious problems with your appliance. Plus, you’re wasting fuel and reducing the stove’s efficiency.

In this section, we show you how to measure the right amount of fuel and tips for loading the stove efficiently.

How to measure the right amount of fuel

The key to loading the right amount of fuel is to carefully measure the amount you need. This is done in relation to the dimensions of your appliance.

One way to do this is to use standardized sized logs of wood. This will allow you to get an idea of the amount of fuel needed to light and maintain the flame. However, it is important to note that the size and density of the log also affects the amount of fuel needed.

Standard wood stove environment

It is advisable not to overload the stove and to keep a stock of logs on hand to add more if necessary. Always remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety regulations in your area to avoid safety problems.

Tips for efficient stove loading

Related to the previous section, here are some clear and simple tips to avoid overloading the stove:

  • Use dry, well-aerated logs. Wet or green firewood can take longer to burn and generate unnecessary smoke.
  • Be sure to open the chimney before lighting the fire. This will allow for better air circulation and easier lighting.
  • Place logs in the stove neatly and compactly, this will help keep the fire burning and reduce fuel use.
  • Avoid using chemicals or paper to light the fire as they can be dangerous and unnecessary.
  • Do not add more logs to the stove until the previous ones are fully lit and reduced to embers. Adding cold logs can dampen the fire and delay the ignition process.
  • Use a thermometer to monitor the temperature of the stove. This will allow you to adjust the amount of fuel and air needed to maintain a proper temperature.
  • Be sure to keep the chimney and vents clean, this will help avoid safety problems and ensure better fuel efficiency.

Not cleaning the chimney regularly

Creosote and soot buildup is one of the most common mistakes. These are by-products of wood burning and can build up on the walls. This causes airflow to be obstructed, increasing the risk of fires.

It is important to clean the chimney regularly to avoid these problems and ensure greater safety. We recommend hiring a professional to perform chimney cleaning if you are inexperienced or do not feel confident to do it on your own.

Importance of regular chimney cleaning

Cleaning the chimney regularly is essential to ensure greater safety and efficiency in the use of your wood stove. Some of the reasons why it is important to clean the chimney regularly include:

  • Prevent fires: creosote and soot buildup on chimney walls can increase the risk of fires.
  • Improve efficiency: chimney blockage can hinder airflow and reduce the efficiency of the stove.
  • Reduce smoke: creosote and soot buildup can cause smoke problems and make it difficult for flue gases to escape.
  • Extend the life of the chimney.

How to clean the chimney safely and effectively

There are two types of chimney sweeping to clean the chimney safely and effectively: mechanical and chemical. You can read more about them in our post “How to sweep a chimney“.

It is important to remember that chimney sweeping should not only be performed when you notice visible buildup, but should also be part of regular maintenance to prevent fires and ensure safe and efficient operation of the stove. In addition, it is advisable to keep a record of chimney cleaning dates and methods to ensure that you follow a proper schedule and stay on top of any problems that may arise.

Sweeping the chimney sweep of the wood stove

Frequently opening the stove door

Opening the stove door frequently can cause several problems, including decreased combustion efficiency, increased creosote buildup in the chimney, and a fire hazard. It is important to avoid opening the stove door unnecessarily and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for aeration frequency.

One way to avoid opening the stove door frequently is to make sure the stove is loaded with sufficient fuel before lighting. It is also important to avoid opening the door to remove ash or adjust the flame, as this can affect combustion efficiency.

Not using the stove properly

Another of the most common mistakes is not using the stove properly. By this, we mean its ignition and fire regulation.

How to light the stove properly

You can see an example of ignition and placement of the logs here.

Tips to keep in mind when lighting the stove:

  • Use dry firewood, with a humidity of less than 20% and not resinous.
  • Use logs cut in a triangular shape. They are the shape in which the least bark burns, as it is more difficult to burn.
  • Use a kindling tablet to help the wood burn.
  • Add more kindling a little at a time as the fire burns.
  • Use a lighter or matches to light the wood. Do not use flammable liquids or sprays to light the fire.
  • Once the stove is lit, keep the door closed and regulate the air flow to control the temperature.

Logs cut in triangular shape

Tips for regulating the fire

To regulate the fire properly, follow these tips:

  • Control air flow: use air controls to regulate the amount of oxygen entering the stove.
  • Use properly sized logs.
  • Don’t open the stove door frequently.
  • Use the fire consistently: it is important to light the stove early enough to ensure good combustion and avoid smoke problems.

Using inappropriate fuel

Using inappropriate fuel can lead to problems such as: smoke problems, safety problems, fires or performance problems.

We recommend always using the right kindling and ignition with specific pellets. Never use flammable products, paper or any type of spray.

We hope this post has served as a guide. Take a look at our blog and find solutions and recommendations to help you with your fireplace or wood stove.

Visit our online store for Panadero wood stoves. If you have any questions or need help choosing the right stove, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be happy to help you.

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