A great way to heat a room or house is with a wood-burning stove. It goes without saying of course that to keep a wood burner working efficiently and safely, care and maintenance are required, so here are some suggestions:
While it is true that you can technically burn anything, that doesn’t mean you should, and a wood-burning stove is no exception. Do not use painted or pressure-treated wood in a wood-burning stove. You should also avoid burning particleboard, plywood, gift wrapping, and other types of colored paper. These items can release hazardous fumes when they are burned which would be toxic for those living in the house. A wood burner is intended for burning wood, so it is not advisable to use other types of fuel like coal.
What kinds of wood are suitable for a wood-burning stove? Dried wood is better to use than freshly cut as it will burn hotter and contains less water. To get the fire started, softwood such as pine is good to use because it ignites quickly, then you may want to switch to hardwoods like ash or hickory which will burn hotter and cleaner.
Get your wood-burning stove inspected regularly to make sure it is still safe to use. Creosote has a tendency to build up in the stovepipe and, if it is not taken care of, could become a health and safety problem.