Did you know that fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, and space heaters are known for causing more structure fires than hot-water heaters and central heat combined? It was reported that between 2009 and 2013 that 72% of home heating fires were caused by the above-mentioned heat sources. Don't worry because the goal of this information is not to scare you so much that you decide to stash the space heater and close off the fireplace.
Actually, you can keep using them. You just need to keep one thing in mind though, and that thing is safety. Make sure to do whatever is necessary to protect your family, your home and yourself from fire damage and smoke.
Before you actually decide to install a wood-burning stove, take some time to understand how to use it correctly. The following tips can help you safely enjoy your wood-burning stove.
Check the placement of your stove. Your stove should be placed on a sturdy, fire-resistant base. The protective floor covering should extend 18 inches from each side of your stove.
Make sure to leave enough space between your stove and the walls, ceiling, and floor. It is recommended to keep your stove 36 inches away from combustible surfaces. And just in case you are not able to leave enough space in between your stove and the wall, add some kind of a protective covering.
Use only dry and hardwood. Make sure that it has been seasoned for at least six months. Don't burn green wood! Also, never burn trash in your wood-burning stove.
Crack opening a window can help prevent carbon monoxide from building up in your home. Installing a carbon monoxide detector and fire detector in the same room as your stove is always a good idea. Hire a heating repair expert to clean and inspect your chimney on a regular basis.
Make sure that your chimney has some flow before starting the fire. When your fireplace is in use, keep the glass door cracked open. Improve the airflow by crack opening a window. Buy some kind of a fireproof mat and place it in front of your fireplace. Put the ashes in some kind of a metal box and dispose of them outside of your home. And one more thing – take good care of your chimney.
If you have an older space heater, you should definitely consider an upgrade. It is important to stop using your space heater if it has loose, cracked or damaged plugs, connections, and cords. Put your space heater in a safe place and make sure to turn off the heater when you decide to leave the room.
The final, and safest option is to call a heating and air conditioning services team to extend your HVAC system so that the all areas are covered. You will benefit from a climate controlled, usable space year round. Over time, a good HVAC system will pay for itself with the improvements you see in comfort and energy efficiency.