While a big part of these cases was blamed on the cooking stove, regular warming wood-powered stoves are just as dangerous.
So, How Can You Cool Down a Wood Stove Quickly?
First off, it’s important to understand that fire is driven by 3 factors – oxygen, fuel, and heat. The first and obvious thing anyone would do is to reduce the airflow, then try to control the fuel and heat thereafter.
Seven Ways to Cool Off A Wood Stove
The airflow should be reduced slowly or else you’ll end up with a smoky room (more on this later).
Another trick is to not make your stove too hot in the first place.
Your choice of wood can also affect the time you spend to attain the peak temperature as well as the time you need to cut the temperature.
1. Turn Down the Airflow
Wood burns faster and more completely at optimum oxygen supply.
So, the better the airflow, the hotter the flame.
Does it mean you can reduce the airflow quickly?
Absolutely, but not too early. Read on.
My Room Is Smoky, What Should You Do?
That’s expected. When the fire is nice and hot, and you turn the air control down, you end up with smoke coming out of the chimney.
The likely reason for that may have been that you shut the air control too early.
Remember, whenever you load the fire, you must leave it running for 10 – 15 minutes.
This helps you to see bricking on the last lot of wood that you put on before shutting it off.
The Ash Bed Is Too Low
Another probable reason is that your ash bed is too low.
Therefore, when you loaded the last load of wood, it sat there and it just smoldered without getting up to temperature to produce nice clean combustion.
So the best approach is to reduce airflow quickly but only after the stove has run for at least 10 – 15 minutes. Also, the ash bed should not be too low.
What If You Want To Kill The Fire Quickly As Well?
Let’s say you want to achieve two objectives – you want to cool the stove rapidly and put off the fire completely as well.
In that case, you will need to close the stove’s door while you adjust the vents.
Since you want to get rid of the fire completely, just shut the vents entirely.
Otherwise, if you’d prefer cooling the stove rapidly without necessarily putting out the fire completely, turn your air vents slowly as the flames diminish.
2. Open The Stove’s Door
If your stove is not the smoky type (of course, that’s going to depend on an array of factors including your choice of wood), you can open the door to speed up the cooling. Be sure to spread out the logs and embers using a rod.
3. Dampen Your Logs/Embers
Another great (though desperate) way is to sprinkle water lightly (preferably by hand) on your logs.
Pouring a huge amount of water at once may create a mess out of your stove.
4. Try The Baking Soda Method
Chances are you have a packet of baking soda lying idle somewhere in the kitchen.
Create a 50/50 (water/sodium bicarbonate) solution and sprinkle it lightly on the logs/embers.
Baking soda is a renowned DIY fire retardant and helps prevent the logs from reigniting.
Note that baking soda isn’t a particularly great fire retardant, at least not to the standard of commercial fire retardants.
So don’t count on it in more serious situations.
5. Remove Some Fuel
For the fire to keep going, you need to keep feeding sufficient fuel into the stove.
Removing the fuel (wood) progressively will extinguish the fire and cool down the stove at the same rate.
You can remove the entire wood to speed up the cooling process.
Consider accompanying this with any other method on this list.
6. Add A Wet/damp Material
Get yourself a damp piece of cloth and cover the stove with it.
Normally, a stove would be covered with some sort of insulation, like clay or concrete, on the sides.
If your stove is not insulated, cooling it rapidly with a wet rug will be easier since the two will be in direct contact with each other.
You will need to dip the cloth in cold water often to keep it cool.
7. Don’t Get Your Stove Too Hot in The First Place
Sometimes the best way to cool a stove quickly is to avoid getting it too hot in the first place.
For example, water at 140 °F (60 °C) will drop to 32 °F (0 °C) faster than another bottle of water at 212 °F (100 °C) in the same conditions.
Here’s how to prevent the stove from getting too hot:
(a) Dump the hardwood in favor of softwood
Did you know the type of wood has an impact on the temperature and power of the flame?
Hardwoods are dense and burn with a strong long-lasting flame.
Softwoods are a direct opposite – they are less dense and burn with a weak short-lasting flame.
If you are always in a rush to cool down your stove, hardwood wouldn’t be a great choice.
Bear in mind that softwoods deliver less energy compared to hardwoods.
(b) Let your fire get low before replenishing the wood
It is harder to cool down a stove with a roaring fire than another with a gentle flame.
The more wood you pile in the stove, the bigger the fire and the longer it will take to get rid of it and cool the stove.
For that reason, go slow on your wood.
(c) Don’t surround your stove with thermal mass
‘Thermal mass’ has two meanings. Often, it refers to any insulation material you’d add on a stove.
But some sources use it to describe any insulator’s ability to absorb heat, store it, and release it in the air.
Insulation is great but can get in the way if you are trying to cool your stove quickly because it holds back the heat.
(d) Build a small fire
You don’t need to set up a bonfire in your stove to warm yourself, especially if you plan to cool down the stove quickly thereafter.
A stove with a small fire cools faster than one with a gigantic fire.
(e) Blow a few wafts of cold air
The room may stay hot a little longer after you’ve turned off the stove.
This may mean a longer cooling time for the stove.
You can prevent this by turning on the fan to cool the room.
If you feel this will cancel out the heating, opt to blow over the stove with a piece of cloth.
To summarize everything, you need to consider 3 factors when trying to cool down a wood-powered stove: fuel (wood) supply, airflow, and heat.
Softwoods burn with a less dense short-lived flame, so the stoves powered by them take a shorter time to cool.
You can reduce the airflow slowly or at once to cut the oxygen supply.