The Ultimate Wood Stove Quiz

The Ultimate Wood Stove Quiz
Image: iStockphoto/Dave Raboin

About This Quiz

It is a well-known fact that fireplaces are not energy-efficient heating sources, even though everyone enjoys the warmth and beauty of a crackling wood fire. Modern wood stoves may be your answer to an energy-efficient wood fire with all the benefits of a traditional fireplace.
Most everyone loves a roaring fireplace, but what is a fact that makes one less attractive?
All older fireplaces are a fire hazard.
Fireplaces suck heat out of the home when they burn.
Fireplaces require constant cleaning and maintenance.

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What could be a good solution to a fireplace?
a gas heater
a modern wood stove
A modern wood stove can give you the same warmth and ambience as a fireplace without compromising energy efficiency. There are many models with windows so you can see the fire and there are even models that fit into fireplace openings.
an electric fireplace

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What is a unique feature of a modern wood stove versus a fireplace that could still be considered a drawback?
Modern wood stoves burn wood more efficiently than a fireplace, but are not as clean as gas.
Modern wood stoves burn wood much more efficiently than a fireplace does, but they are not as clean as a gas fireplace. Modern wood stoves can actually heat your home, but a wood fireplace will not provide energy-efficient heat.
Modern wood stoves produce far less pollution than a fireplace, but not as much as a furnace.
Modern wood stoves are designed for everyday use, so they use more wood than a fireplace.

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What should you do if you are considering a wood stove installation?
You should consult with a wood heating professional before you make any decisions.
Before making any decisions, you should consult with a wood heating professional. A professional can inspect your home and chimney before making recommendations on what stove is the best choice for your home.
You should choose between a wood stove and a pellet stove first.
You should research modern wood stove installation as much as possible.

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If you have an existing stove in your home and want to use it, what should you do before firing it up?
You should replace it with a modern stove.
Why worry if it has been there for a long time already?
Have it checked to make sure it meets current safety standards.
Have it checked. You should have your stove checked on a regular basis no mater how old it is and many fire departments offer a free or low cost inspection. If your stove is an older inefficient model, now may be the time to replace it with a modern unit.

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Can two stoves or a fireplace and a stove share the same chimney?
Yes, you can share chimneys between two units.
Never share chimneys between two heating units.
For safety reasons every stove or fireplace is required to have its own chimney. Sharing a chimney can draw dangerous carbon monoxide and smoke into your home.
It's okay to share a chimney provided you purchase a certified splitter.

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What is a key consideration to placing a wood stove in your home when you want to achieve the greatest efficiency?
Location of an existing chimney is a prime consideration.
It really depends on what you wish to achieve with a wood stove.
Having an existing chimney or an existing fireplace is a convenience when trying to decide on location for a wood stove. However, there are several options for adding a chimney, so the most important factor is what you wish to achieve with a new wood stove.
A wood stove is best located in front of an existing fireplace.

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To what does the term "stove clearance" refer?
Stove clearance is the name given to a permit that you require in order to install a wood stove.
Stove clearance is the amount of space required to allow space to open the stove door for loading or cleaning.
Stove clearance is the minimum safe distance between a stove and surrounding walls and floors.
Stove clearance is the minimum allowable clearance between a wood stove and the surrounding walls and floor. Clearances vary by country, city or municipality and a stove professional should be aware of the requirements in your area.

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If you are trying to size a wood stove for your home, what should you keep in mind?
The size of stove that you need depends on the room size it is intended to heat.
You will need to size a stove so it is suitable for the size of the room that you want to heat. If you buy a stove that is too big, it will overheat; if your stove is too small, you will likely fire it up too high, which is dangerous.
Always buy a stove that is rated to heat a room one size higher than the room where it will be installed.
You need to consider if the standard size of wood available in your area will fit into the stove without splitting.

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What is one logical way to reduce clearances for wood stove installations?
You can buy a smaller stove.
You can place the stove at a 45-degree angle in a corner.
You can add non-combustible material like brick to a wall.
If you are renovating or building a new home, you can consider putting a brick wall in the area where your stove will be located. Minimum clearances are reduced when a stove is located next to non-combustible walls.

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What other clearance do you have to consider besides wood stove clearance?
floor clearance
ceiling clearance
stovepipe clearance
It is very important to have proper clearance between any uninsulated exposed stovepipes, as pipes should have equal clearance to that given a stove. An unprotected stovepipe should be placed so that people and pets cannot come into contact with its hot surfaces.

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How much non-combustible floor pad does a wood stove require in front of the loading door in both Canada and the United States?
minimum of 18 inches or 46 centimeters
According to Wood Heat Organization, the minimum required non-combustible floor padding for North America is a minimum of 18 inches or 46 centimeters in front of a stove. The law also requires at least 8 inches or 20.5 cm of non-combustible floor pad on each side of a stove.
minimum of 20 inches or 51 centimeters
minimum of 22 inches or 56 centimeters

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What does the Wood Heat Organization recommend that you do with your non-combustible floor pad?
Construct a non-combustible floor pad with ceramic tile.
Install your non-combustible floor over existing flooring.
Always make your non-combustible floor pad flush with any surrounding floor.
The Wood Heat Organization recommends that you always make your non-combustible floor pad flush with surrounding floor or carpeting. The last thing that anyone desires is a trip hazard in front of a hot stove.

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What is a standard requirement for mounting a wall shield in order to reduce stove clearances?
spacers 2 inches from a wall surface
spacers 1 inch from a wall surface
Although your areas building codes will establish clearances and distance from the wall a shield must be mounted, it is standard to require 1-inch spacers between the wall and a shield.
spacers .75 of an inch from a wall surface

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What is a most important safety rule that applies to any heating installation?
Have all heating installations inspected every year by a professional.
All heating installations must be performed by a trained specialist.
Always keep rags, combustible liquids and cleaning agent well away from any source of combustion.
Inspection and professional installation are both important, but no matter how good an installation is you need to ensure safe storage of combustible material. All combustibles must be stored in proper containers in a well-ventilated area well away from any heating appliances or other sources of combustion.

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What is a common mistake that people make when installing a wood stove in an existing fireplace opening?
not enough clearance
stove too big for space
an old oversized chimney without a liner
Older chimneys are sized too big for today’s modern wood stoves. Large chimneys draw too much air compared to the fire size in your stove, so they waste wood and can cause dangerous creosote buildup.

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When talking about wood stove problems, what is whuffing?
when a stove vibrates on the hearth
Whuffing is a dangerous phenomenon unique to wood stoves when they are over-fired with large fires that demand more oxygen than the stove’s drafting system allows. Fires that cause whuffing are so dangerous that they can even pop open stove door windows violently or shake the stovepipe loose.
when a stove blows smoke out around the door
when the stovepipe rattles and shakes

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In addition to making sure that you only burn dry wood and normal fires in your stove, what other safety step should you take?
Never leave a wood stove with an unattended fire burning.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors following fire department recommendations.
The most important safety step you can take after installing a stove properly is to make sure you have fire and carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home. Most fire departments can assist you with recommendations on the number and location of detectors along with free or low cost inspections.
Install a childproof safety rail around your stove following manufactures instructions.

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What is an important first warning sign of possible problems with a stove that is certified and is properly installed?
If you have problems starting a fire in your stove, have your stove and chimney checked.
If your fire smolders and will not burn normally, you need to get everything checked.
Have your stove and chimney checked any time you smell or see smoke.
Every answer here is an indication of some kind of problem, but you should not smell smoke in your home when using a certified wood stove. Smelling smoke is your very first sign of real problems that need to be checked by a professional, such as a certified chimney sweep.

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What is the most obvious indication that you likely have a chimney fire due to creosote buildup?
The most obvious sign of a chimney fire is a loud roar in the walls, especially on floors above a wood stove.
A chimney fire is a dangerous fire inside a chimney caused by creosote buildup due to burning smoldering fires or green wood. A loud roar inside the wall is the most obvious sign of a chimney fire, in which case you should evacuate the home and call 911 immediately.
The most obvious sign of a chimney fire is flames shooting out of the top of the chimney.
The most obvious sign of a chimney fire is smoke coming through the wall around the ceiling.

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iStockphoto/Dave Raboin

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