It may be tempting to burn anything and everything in a wood burner but there are many items you should not burn. As the name suggests, a wood-burning stove is for burning wood, so avoid using coal as it burns much hotter than wood and could become dangerous. You should also avoid using certain woods such as plywood, particleboard, and painted or pressure-treated woods, plastic items, colored paper, and gift wrapping, all of which release toxic chemicals when they are burned.
What are some of the best woods to burn? It is best to choose dry wood rather than freshly cut wood because it has a much lower moisture content meaning it will burn hotter. For starting the fire, use softwood like pine which will ignite quickly, then, when you have got the fire going, switch to hardwoods like ash, hickory, or pine, cut into smaller logs. These work well at delivering a hotter, cleaner burn.
As with any type of stove or fire, safety is a concern so make sure that the house has been fitted with the appropriate number of smoke detectors for its size and check them once a month to ensure they are working properly. Dispose of wood burner ashes by placing them in a metal container filled with water. Finally, have the wood burner inspected regularly to make sure that creosote is not accumulating in the stovepipe.