A wood burning stove in a vacationer's cabin is a relaxing scene that many people enjoy over the winter. Unfortunately, some cabins may have been built for image and convenience rather than efficiency. If your cabin isn't as comfortable as you thought it would be and you'd like to improve the performance, consider a few changes that could make your wood stove arrangement a lot more efficient.
Reducing Draft for Better Air Control
The big problem with cabins--especially wood cabins--is the lack of a proper seal along the sides. The wooden walls do a good job of keeping most of the cold air away, but some air will still seep into the building. The chimney can also be a problem if you need to turn off the stove for a while; cold air can enter the chimney and drop temperatures rather quickly.
To combat the chimney problem, install a metal louver inside the fireplace or other exhaust area for the wood stove. When you're not using the fireplace and enough smoke has left the wood, simply close the louver to reduce the entry of cold air from the chimney. Make sure to open the louver before starting the fireplace again, as you could create a choking hazard even from a few minutes of burning a fire with the louver closed.
You may want to have a bigger fireplace insert added to your fireplace and wood stove area. You can install an insert with a blower that sends smoke out of the chimney efficiently and there will be less heat loss due to the protective shroud of the insert.
Standalone Wood Stoves with Chimneys
One mistake that first time cabin visitors make is getting a wood stove intended for outdoor cooking use, or without the chimney installed. Wood stoves are still used in households across the country, especially in poor homes that needed to purchase cheap, left behind wood burning stoves for cooking and warmth.
Many of these stoves are for short-term use and do not burn enough to require a chimney, even though it's a good idea as a safety measure--for some, it simply isn't affordable. For a cabin, a wood stove used for long term heat can become a fast choking hazard.
If you intend on investing in a standalone stove, make sure that you can find chimney piping that fits, as used wood stoves may not come with chimney attachments. If there is no attachment, you'll need to find a metal fabricator or special order the exhaust piping from a wood burning stove professional.
When you're out at a remote cabin for your outdoors trip, it may be too late to get a custom chimney in time. Make sure to contact a heating professional like Alpine Fireplaces with wood burning stoves and other natural hearth options available, and plan ahead to make sure all of your equipment is in place.