Getting The Most Out of Your Wood Burning Fireplace
With the autumn in full swing, most masonry fireplace owners are considering heating their homes with a roaring fire. You may be ready to follow suit, but are you getting all you can from your fireplace? Is the heat hot enough? Are you losing heat from your fireplace? We can help; here is how to ensure you get the most out of your wood-burning fireplace.
Tips for Getting Optimal Performance from Your Masonry Fireplace.
Choose Hardwoods Over Softwoods
The type of wood you use can significantly impact your fireplace's performance and the fire's duration. Hardwoods such as oak, maple, and hickory burn hotter and last longer than softwoods. They also produce less creosote. Why is that important? Creosote is a highly flammable substance that can start a chimney fire. The more creosote inside your chimney, the greater the chance you will have a fire.
Let Your Firewood Dry Out
Ensure your wood has dried for at least six months to a year. Wet (or green) wood produces less heat, creates more smoke, and leads to creosote buildup.
Stack Logs Loosely
When building a fire, arrange your logs loosely enough to allow air circulation, creating more efficient combustion and a hotter fire.
Use the Top-Down Method
Rather than lighting kindling below logs, stack smaller kindling and tinder on top. As the kindling burns, it will ignite the larger logs below, creating a cleaner and more efficient burn.
Regularly Have Your Fireplace Cleaned
Ash buildup can hinder proper airflow and combustion. Periodically scoop out old ashes to ensure optimal burning conditions. There may be other issues with your fireplace, so it is best to hire a qualified chimney sweep service to inspect and clean your fireplace.
Maintain the Chimney
As with your fireplace, be sure that your chimney is inspected and cleaned annually by a qualified chimney service. A clean chimney provides a better draft and reduces the risk of chimney fires.
Avoid Using Treated Wood
Wood that has been painted, stained, or pressure-treated releases harmful, or even deadly, chemicals when burned. Don't burn anything but natural, untreated wood for a safer and cleaner fire.
Optimize Room Circulation
Use ceiling fans on their lowest setting to help circulate warm air from the fireplace throughout the room; it will help in evenly distributing the heat.
Store Your Wood in a Dry Place
Protect your wood from rain and snow by keeping it dry, preferably off the ground, and covered with something that won't become damp.
While enjoying the warmth and ambiance of your wood-burning fireplace, it's critical never to forget about safety. Always use a protective screen to prevent airborne embers from flying into the room. Keep flammable materials, like curtains, furniture, and rugs, away from the flames in your fireplace. It's also crucial to have a functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detector in the room (about fifteen feet from the fireplace).
Regularly test and change batteries to ensure they're operational. Always ensure that the fire is completely out before going to bed or leaving your house. Remember, a safe fireplace is a pleasure to use, while neglecting safety can lead to catastrophic results.
Call Twin City Can Help You Get the Most from Your Wood Burning Fireplace
To get the most out of your fireplace and chimney, call Edina (952-941-2685) or Woodbury (651-204-0112) or complete our easy contact form to inspect your chimney. Get in touch now to ensure you get the most out of your wood-burning fireplace this fall and winter.