When used correctly, wood stoves can be incredibly rewarding tools. Not only are they good for heating, but they can be used to cook incredibly delicious meals!
Unfortunately, cleaning up and cooling down wood stoves can be a time-intensive process.
With this being said, many people ask how to cool down a wood stove quickly. Let’s take a look at some of the safest methods!
Table of Contents
- How To Cool Down a Wood Stove Quickly
- Safety Precautions To Keep in Mind
How To Cool Down a Wood Stove Quickly
There are several ways to bring a wood stove back to room temperature. Some of the best stove-cooling solutions include smothering the fire with salt, spraying cool water, restriction oxygen flow, and turning on the stove fan.
Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s delve into these tips to help you maintain a safe wood stove temperature.
Another important facet to safely cooling down a wood stove is ensuring it is properly clean and functional. For instance, issues such as leaking or debris buildup can cause issues with stove function!
Toss Salt and Baking Soda Into the Firebox
One of the simplest ways to cool a wood stove safely is to toss a few handfuls of salt and baking soda into the firebox.
Baking soda produces carbon dioxide when exposed to heat, and this gas can “starve” fire of the oxygen it needs. Salt, on the other hand, absorbs heat, so it can trap the flame’s heat, reducing the stove’s overall temperature.
Whether you’re using an indoor or outdoor wood stove, it’s an excellent idea to prepare a mixture of baking and salt long before you light your logs.
Creating this mixture is simple. You’ll need to:
- Grab a container with a lid.
- Fill the container halfway with baking soda.
- Fill the remaining space with salt, leaving about an inch (2.5 cm) of space at the top.
- Put the lid on and ensure it’s secure.
- Shake the container for several minutes to mix the salt and baking soda.
- Keep the container within a few feet of the wood stove to use when needed.
If you notice that your stove’s stovepipe is beginning to warp or temperatures in the room are getting too high, it’s time to get your salt-and-baking-soda mix.
Using this mix is a straightforward process. You’ll just want to:
- Grab handfuls of the mixture, or use a scoop
- Throw the mixture onto the flames or embers
- Shut the firebox door and wait a few minutes
Repeat this two-step process as needed until your wood stove begins to cool down
Spray Cool Water Into the Firebox
One of the quickest ways to cool down a wood stove is to spray a little water inside it. This method is particularly safe and effective when using outdoor stoves, as water generates steam and smoke when applied to burning logs.
Still, if you need to cool an indoor wood-burning stove quickly and you’d like to use this method, you can open doors and windows to reduce the amount of lingering smoke inside your home.
Simply use a spray bottle with a decent range between 2’ and 5’ (0.6 – 1.5 m) to extinguish embers and flames inside your stove’s firebox. After that, you can leave the firebox door ajar to help the stove reach room temperature more quickly.
Adjust the Damper or Airflow Lever
If your wood stove has a stovepipe, there’s an excellent chance it also has a damper or airflow lever, which acts as a door between the firebox and stovepipe.
It allows or restricts carbon monoxide, smoke, and oxygen transfer between the firebox and stovepipe.
Because fire needs oxygen, which is one of the essential components of the Fire Triangle, restricting the damper until it’s almost fully shut can starve the flames inside a firebox, putting out the embers inside and cooling it off more quickly.
That said, you don’t want to shut the damper fully.
Doing so can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide inside the firebox, generating pressure that can damage the wood stove and stovepipe.
Open the Stove Door After the Fire Is Extinguished
Keeping the stove door open while there are flames or hot embers in the firebox is dangerous, as embers can blow or fall out of the chamber.
After extinguishing the flames, you can expedite the cooling process by opening the stove door and allowing cool air inside the firebox and stovepipe.
Make sure to open the damper before opening the firebox door. Leaving the damper closed, or even partially closed, can cause smoke and carbon dioxide to flood out of the stove via the open door.
Naturally, this can be dangerous when working with an indoor wood-burning stove.
Turn On the Stove Fan To Spread the Heat Outward
If your wood stove is equipped with a stove fan, you can turn this fan on to cool down the stove more quickly. Some stove fans are positioned on the stovepipe, but you can also use a standing fan or box fan to cool things down.
Although a fan doesn’t generate cool air, it can push room-temperature or cool outdoor air toward the stove, pushing heat away.
Before using a stove fan, or an external fan, to cool down your wood stove, check that all embers inside the firebox are fully extinguished.
Otherwise, the rush of fresh oxygen could feed the fire, increasing the heat inside the stove.
Safety Precautions To Keep in Mind
Cooling your wood stove rapidly stops rooms from overheating and can prevent the stovepipe from warping or cracking.
The methods outlined in this article can reduce your stove’s internal temperature, and when followed precisely, they’re entirely safe.
That said, it’s crucial to always exercise caution when heating or cooling a wood-burning stove. For these reasons, you’ll want to keep several safety guidelines in mind when quickly cooling down a wood stove.
Some of the most vital safety precautions to follow include:
- Always have a carbon monoxide detector on hand
- Open nearby windows and doors to reduce smoke and gas inhalation
- Ensure that pets and children aren’t nearby
- Keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies
- Never touch the outside of a wood stove with bare hands to determine its temperature
Remember, wood stoves can generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide and smoke.
As you may have seen while camping, fires are great at repelling insects. For the same reasons why they are good repellents, they aren’t so great for our lungs, so we must use caution.
Following these safety precautions can significantly reduce the chances of you or your household being injured during the stove cool-down process.