Although they offer the perfect amount of cozy and rustic appeal, wood stoves can be incredibly messy beasts. Not only do they produce the normal levels of soot associated with fires, but they can also produce lots of dust.
Due to these reasons, you may be looking for unique ways to reduce dust from your wood stove.
You’re just in luck, we’ve got five great ways that you can reduce the dust that comes from your wood burning stove!
Table of Contents
- Minimize The Opportunities for Dust to Escape
- Clean Dust and Ash When the Stove Is Still Warm
- Use Creative Tools When Cleaning Your Wood Stove
- Use Wood That Produces Less Ash
- Get Creative With Your Stove’s Blower
Minimize The Opportunities for Dust to Escape
While this ash and dust may be okay outside and can prevent bugs from attacking, you want to prevent this dust from getting in your home by limiting the number of times that you open your wood stove.
If you’re constantly opening your wood stove, especially if it has a floor-level door, you’ll spill out dust that will be hard to clean.
Simply limit the number of times your open and close the door to minimize the amount of dust that falls out.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a wood stove with a lid at the top so that you’re dropping wood down into your stove, which prevents ash from falling out every time you open the door.
The only time you risk dust escaping from your stove is when you open the door from the side or base level to clean out the ash for regular maintenance.
Clean Dust and Ash When the Stove Is Still Warm
One of the most important parts of a wood stove is the circulation of air inside. Heat, fuel, and oxygen are necessary for combustion, and if one of these elements is missing, the fire won’t be able to start or maintain itself.
This is why you need to clean the ash out of the stove in order to allow airflow to occur.
However, wood stoves are designed to allow for natural airflow and ash to escape.
Most wood stoves are equipped with some sort of draft, allowing the air to rush into the stove and then, as it heats up, escape through the chimney and out of your home.
When you open your door and allow cool air from outside the fire to enter, hot air should move out through the chimney.
For this reason, you should clean dust and ash out of your stove when the stove is still warm. Since ash and dust are light enough to be moved by air, allowing the air to naturally clean your stove as warm air escapes reduces the dust that comes into your home.
You may want to try to cool down your stove quickly, so that you can clean it soon after you use it!
However, you want to wait until the embers have cooled and you’re not taking out any active coals, as this could start a fire. Your stove should still be warm, but it shouldn’t be actively burning.
Use Creative Tools When Cleaning Your Wood Stove
While minimizing the amount of dust that escapes by cleaning your stove carefully and when still warm can help you to reduce the dust from your wood stove, sometimes it’s not enough to prevent a lot of ash and dust from escaping.
One unique way to prevent ash and dust from escaping into your house is by using special tools, such as a vacuum to clean your wood stove.
Sticking a vacuum cleaner into your stove and sucking out the ash will make it so that, if the ash moves around, it will be doing so within your wood stove and not throughout your entire house.
Make sure that your vacuum is designed for ash first to avoid problems.
Another great tool that can be used to reduce dust is a wet paper towel.
Using a wet paper towel won’t help when you have a lot of ash and dust, but small amounts can easily be absorbed and prevented from escaping into your home.
Use Wood That Produces Less Ash
Your wood stove may seem to be producing a lot of ash because the wood you’re using is ash heavy. Ash is the byproduct of combustion but is correlated to the amount of carbon in the material you use.
Some types of fuel may produce less ash than others, depending on how much carbon is kept within the fuel source.
Coal, for example, often produces a lot of ash because it’s made with a high degree of carbon.
Hardwoods, such as oak, ash, and maple, are much denser than softwoods like cedar or spruce and as a result, these hardwoods sometimes seem to produce more ash than some of the softwoods.
If you want to reduce the amount of ash your stove produces, make sure to use dried wood to produce less ash.
For example, try to avoid woods where there is a lot of bark still on the log and wood that is too dense.
These dense hardwoods often burn longer and warmer, so sometimes it’s impossible not to use these types of wood. However, being aware of the type of wood you use can reduce the amount of ash.
Get Creative With Your Stove’s Blower
Often, the most common way that ash and dust get into your home from a wood stove is through the use of a blower, which is used like a fan to push air from one area of your home into another.
They are attached to wood stoves to push the hot air inside your fireplace into your house to keep your home warm.
While this is very effective at heating your home, it can also lead to a lot of dust being produced.
Additionally, your stove can produce extra ash and dust if it has a leak in the blower or main compartment.
One way to stop this is to not use the blower and use a fan above your stove instead.
While the fan won’t push the hot air directly out of the stove, it will push the warm air created by the warmth of the metal fireplace around to heat up your home.
It’s important to note that this is significantly less effective than using a blower, but if you can keep your fire warm enough to heat up the stove’s metal, it will warm up your house without risking blowing ash and dust around.