In the cold of winter, many people use wood-burning stoves to warm their homes. Whether you buy your wood, or go to a forest and cut it yourself, you will want to maximise your fires for heat to conserve wood and heat your house to the best of your stove's ability. To maximise your stove's heat output, you need to use the right wood and arrange it in the proper way to help with airflow.
Season your wood properly. Set the logs in a well-ventilated area for at least a year from when the tree was cut down. Seasoned wood is brittle and grey on the outside, white on the inside.
Install a stainless steel fireback according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Keep your wood-burning stove clear of ashes. An ash build-up blocks airflow and restricts the amount of oxygen that gets to your fire.
Build your fire in a tepee shape. This tall arrangement exposes wood to the flames for a longer period of time.
Cut your logs to the maximum length that will fit in your fireplace. Experiment with the thickness of the wood until you find one that gives the best combination of heat and burning time in your stove.
Use a minimum of three logs on your fire, but not so many that it restricts the air flow. Practice with this to find an arrangement that produces the most heat in your stove.
Stack the wood loosely to maintain a good airflow in your fire.
Fireplace screens cut down on the heat output, according to Jim Buckley of Buckley Rumford Fireplaces. Remove the screen whenever the fire will be supervised, but make sure to put it back if you leave the room.