The Environmental Protection Agency  is offering tips about how to use wood supplies more efficiently and safely. From the office of air quality and standards, Alison Davis says wood needs to be kept dry for at least six months before using it as fuel. A simple way to test if the wood is ready is to knock two pieces together.

Davis says  be sure to have stoves and other burning appliances serviced every year.

Davis adds the extension of federal tax credits are available through the end of this year to help offset the cost of a new, more efficient wood stove.