If using a wood stove, refuel sufficiently on the mound of charcoal

Publish Date : 2021-03-05


If using a wood stove, refuel sufficiently on the mound of charcoal

An open fire or wood burning stove can make an attractive central feature to your home. Many designs are available in both classic and contemporary styles, suiting homes both old and new. However, many people overlook the importance of using the correct type of fuel and good fire building practices. If you have an open fire or wood stove, the following advice will help you build efficient smoke-free fires every time.

The best fuel for a real fire is hard wood which has been allowed to dry. Kiln-dried logs make excellent fuel, as does split hard wood which has dried out over a couple of years. Splitting a log lets the air get to the wood, enabling it to dry out. Avoid using whole logs, as these will contain moisture and will burn less efficiently whilst producing large amounts of smoke.

Only hard wood should be burnt. Soft wood, such as pine, contains a large quantity of resin and will only burn for a short period. If your fire has glass doors, soft wood will also blacken the glass extremely quickly, as well as blocking the chimney.

Avoid buying bags of firewood from supermarkets, smaller shops and garages. These logs usually haven't been properly dried and seasoned, and so will result in a room full of smoke. They can often contain a mixture of hard and soft wood too, which will produce a fire which quickly burns out.

Beware of using scrap wood that you may have laying around, as this can be unsafe. Whilst it may be tempting to burn wood from old fence panels and broken-down pieces of skirting-board, remember that these will have been treated with acidic chemicals. Not only will this cause a great deal of smoke, they will also damage the metal of the chimney and fire.

To obtain the best level of efficiency from your fire, simply follow these steps;

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Use only hard wood as fuel. Hard wood includes Elm, Apple, Ash, Oak and Silver Birch
Do not use soft wood, or wood which has been treated with chemicals
Ensure the wood you burn is well-seasoned and has been split
Use clean newspaper and dry kindling or firelighters to start the fire
If using a wood stove, refuel sufficiently on the mound of charcoal on the base of the fire
When it is safe to do so, remove the ashes from the stove into a metal container which has a cover. You can then either store this outside or even spread the ashes on the garden.
One last issue to take into account is that the efficiency of your fire will depend on its type. Open fires are not very effective at heating rooms; They can burn through around six logs each night and achieve at best around 20% efficiency. A closed wood burning stove on the other hand can produce a great deal more heat, with efficiency rates of around 80-95%.Avoid buying bags of firewood from supermarkets, smaller shops and garages. These logs usually haven't been properly dried and seasoned, and so will result in a room full of smoke. They can often contain a mixture of hard and soft wood too, which will produce a fire which quickly burns out.

Beware of using scrap wood that you may have laying around, as this can be unsafe. Whilst it may be tempting to burn wood from old fence panels and broken-down pieces of skirting-board, remember that these will have been treated with acidic chemicals. Not only will this cause a great deal of smoke, they will also damage the metal of the chimney and fire.
 



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