To use an old wood stove, owners must clean it thoroughly, open the stove door, and ensure that the airflow goes up through the flue. They should insert dry kindling, stack wood pieces, open the flue and the vents, light the starter, and add more wood when needed.
An old wood stove requires cleaning to remove ashes, dirt and debris. Cleaning the stove, flue and masonry thoroughly is a necessary process. Once this is complete, owners can open the door of the stove to make sure the air is going up through the flow in an efficient manner. If it is not, as this tends to happen with old, unused wood stoves, owners can crumple an old newspaper, insert as high as possible into the flue, and then light the paper so that air gets sucked through the paper ball. This reverses airflow in the stove.
To start a fire, owners must put pieces of old newspaper or cardboard in the stove and stack larger pieces of wood over the newspaper until the stove is three-quarters full. Next, they must open the flue and all the vents to maximize airflow before lighting the starter carefully. The airflow must be regulated periodically, and this is done by adjusting the flue and vents.
To keep the fire burning, owners must add more wood as the old batch turns to coals before the fire dies out.