A Guide to Wood Burning

A Guide to Wood BurningHave you ever struggled with getting a warm fire going in your fireplace? Why not take a little time to improve your wood burning skills? There are a few things you need to know in order to burn efficiently and to produce the kinds of fires you want. Here are some tips from professional chimney sweeps that will have you burning a beautiful, warm fire in no time:

Get the Fire Started

There’s a simple model often used to teach about the three elements necessary for wood-burning fires, and it’s called the “fire triangle” or the “combustion triangle.” The three necessary components to get a fire started are: heat, fuel, and oxygen; this is just a good thing to keep in mind if you have problems starting a fire.

There are various ways to start or rekindle a fire. A tried-and-true method is to set kindling on top of newspaper and use a match or lighter to burn the paper. Never use glossy magazine pages because they can release toxic fumes and create dangerous creosote in your chimney. Another conventional approach is to use two logs as kindling, both of which are finely split, very dry softwoods, such as pine or cedar; light some bunched up newspaper to ignite the logs.

For the kindling fire to catch on, it must get plenty of oxygen. Be sure there are air inlets which can help to produce quick results; a fireplace grate helps with getting air to a fire. In a fireplace, opening the damper will ideally create all the draft that is needed for the fire. Contact our professional chimney sweeps for help determining how to improve the draft in your fireplace.

Note: DO NOT use any type of liquid, such as gasoline, to get a fire started because it is extremely dangerous to do so, in addition to being unnecessary.

Burn the Right Fuel

The type of wood you burn determines the type of fire you will have. Firewood that has not been properly dried out has too much moisture inside, is highly inefficient, creates a smoky fire, and puts off very little heat. Wood that has been properly dried or “seasoned,” on the other hand, will burn cleanly, produce very little smoke, and provide warmth.

There are two basic types of wood you can burn, those being hardwoods and softwoods. Hardwoods have more density and produce hotter, longer-burning fires. Softwoods can also heat homes effectively.

Burn Quickly or Slowly

If the firewood is stacked loosely and arranged in a crisscross pattern with at least three pieces, it will burn more quickly. For a quick, rapidly burning fire that takes the chill out of a house on a mild wintry day, stack small pieces of firewood loosely.

For a slow-burning fire that produces more heat, pack the firewood tightly and use larger pieces.

Enjoying the warmth of fires in your fireplace can be as easy as 1-2-3. For any type of assistance with your fireplace or chimney, don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
formerly Nayaug Chimney Services, LLC
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110
Phone: 860-233-5770

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