Here are some of the dos & don’ts of wood heating.
a) Only buy units tested and certified for wood burning. A rating plate, typically at the rear of the unit, should bear, for example, a CSA, Warnock Hershey or ULC stamp.
b) Have your heating unit, flue pipe, and, chimney installed professionally by, for example, a WETT (Wood Energy Technical Training) certified contractor.
c) If you are compelled to carry out the installation work yourself, make sure you follow the manufacturers’ instructions very closely along with the appropriate clearances to combustibles (heating unit, flue pipe, and chimney) as well as any/all Code requirements.
d) Inform you insurance company about your planned installation of, or the purchase of a house with, a wood heating unit. If you don’t, coverage may not apply in the event of a fire or chimney fire.
e) Burn only well seasoned woods with no binders, wax fillers, or, chemical additives.
f) Clean and service your heating unit regularly. Have a professional sweep the chimney about every 2 cords, or, more frequently depending on the type and condition of the wood being used.
a) Keep combustible and flammable materials away from the heating unit, flue, and, chimney. Don’t use you wood burning unit as a garbage incinerator.
b) Teach children about safety and wood burning units. Tell them what to do in the event an ember falls out of the unit. Show them how and where they can play safely.
c) Ensure regular maintenance is carried out. Dangerous build-up of creosote in the flue pipes/chimney is the leading cause of chimney fires.
d) Make sure your smoke detector are working properly and tested frequently. The same holds true frequently. The same holds true for Carbon Monoxide detectors. That’s right, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is produced with any fossil fuel burning appliance – wood being one of them.
e) If in doubt about your unit, flue pipes, chimney, or, their installations have it checked by a qualified professional such as a WETT (Wood Energy Technical Trained) certified contractor.
Your professional home inspector is much like your family doctor. They are generalists. Just like your doctor might look at your symptoms and refer you onto a heart specialist, a home inspector will look at various aspects in your home, like a wood burning unit, and refer you onto a qualified professional, such as a WETT (Wood Energy Technical Trained) certified contractor.