Top Decorating Design Ideas for Your Wood Fireplace Mantle

Do you ever give the mantelpiece above your fireplace much thought? It’s the ideal area for creating a decorative space in your home and express your taste. However, how exactly should you decorate it? As fireplace experts, Quadra-Fire has a few innovative ideas on how to bring this space above your wood burning fireplace to life.

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The Health Effects Of Improper Wood Burning Smoke

Cigarette smoke isn’t the only type of smoke that can negatively affect your health. If you’re not using your wood burning stove properly, you could be damaging your health, as well as that of your loved ones, without even realising it. Here’s what you need to know about wood burning fireplaces and how to decrease your risk. You’ll find that with the right fireplace, it’s easy.

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Making The Most Of Your Fireplace This Summer

In winter, your wood burning fireplace is a cozy corner in your home, filled with a crackling fire and luxurious warmth. When the weather warms up, it can become a sooty dead zone, as it’s too hot to light a fire. Instead of letting your fireplace gather dust and go unused during the summer months, here are some ideas of what you can do with the space.

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Common Myths About Wood Burning Fireplaces

Wood burning fireplaces have been around for centuries and are a popular form of heating used all over the world. Due to their popularity, there are many misconceptions about wood burning fireplaces. Here are a few falsehoods debunked.

  • You’ll only use it during winter

Many people believe that getting a wood burning fireplace is a waste of money as they’ll only use it for a quarter of the year. This myth is untrue as many owners of wood burning fireplaces enjoy their warmth in Spring and Autumn as well as on cooler Summer evenings. The heat of the fireplace can be controlled by both the amount and the type of wood that you put into the fireplace, allowing you to find the perfect temperature.

  • They’re unsafe

As with any fireplace, the key to ensuring it is safe is by following these steps. The first step would be to ensure you are purchasing a high-quality fireplace from a reputable wood burning fireplace brand like Quadra-Fire. The second step is to have your fireplace installed by a trustworthy, licensed installer. The third step is to keep up with the maintenance of both your fireplace and chimney. For a safer wood-burning fireplace, choose an insert or freestanding fireplace with a door.

  • Bad air quality

No one wants to have bad quality within their home, and wood burning fires have long been blamed for creating smoky air that can irritate the lungs. While this may have been true in the past, clean burn technology and automatic combustion control allow you to enjoy the warmth and comfort of fireplaces in your home with none of the bad side effects on the air. This new technology has radically reduced the environmental impact of modern fireplaces too.

Wood-burning fireplaces are a charming and useful addition to any home. The modern wood-burning fireplace is becoming a popular choice among Melbourne homeowners. Want to learn more about the wood-burning fireplaces available at Quadra-Fire? Visit our website today!

Are You at Risk of a Chimney Fire?

Chimneys carry smoke from your fireplace out your home but have been known to cause a fire in certain instances. You don’t need to panic though. Once you learn about how your chimney works, you’ll see that with the right maintenance it’s almost impossible for a chimney fire to occur. If you have a chimney and fireplace, these are some things you should bear in mind so that your chimney never puts you at risk.

  • Dirty chimneys are problematic

Being a chimney sweep was once a very popular profession for a reason! Chimneys can get very dirty as hot smoke, and small wooden particles met with cool air entering the chimney from the outside. Condensation occurs, and this causes a build-up of a substance known as creosote. Creosote is usually dark in colour and can be sticky, flaky or even tar-like. The problem with creosote is that it’s very flammable and even a stray ember from your fireplace can cause a chimney fire. To decrease the amount of creosote created, only ever use the recommended type of wood in your fireplace and ensure there are no blockages.

  • Types of fires created

Creosote tends to create either explosive fires or slow burning ones. Both are equally deadly but easy enough to detect as long as you never leave a fire burning while no one is at home. Signs that an explosive chimney fire is about to occur include unnaturally loud cracking noises, a higher than normal amount of smoke and an intense smell. This indicates that a highly flammable fire could be imminent.

As well as dangerous, explosive chimney fires, creosote can also cause small slow burning fires that can go undetected. While these may seem less dangerous, they can cause major damage to your chimney’s structural integrity, which can eventually cause your chimney to crumble. The best way to avoid these fires from occurring in the same way you can avoid chimney fires altogether by getting a professional to clean your chimney.

At Quadra-Fire, we care about fire safety. We provide and install only the very best fireplaces in your home. See our website for more information about our wood-burning fireplaces.

5 Reasons a Fire Won’t Ignite

Having trouble getting your fire to ignite? There are several factors that you need to consider when trying to start a fire. It can take a while to become a master fire starter, but until then make sure you’re not making any of these common errors, which could be the reasons for your fire’s failure.

  • Closed/ partially closed damper

For the best fire results, you need to make sure that your damper is open all the way so that your fire has enough airflow and oxygen to burn. A damper is the valve or plate that stops or regulates the flow of air inside of your fireplace.

  • Wood that’s too wet or green

The best type of wood to burn in a wood-burning stove or fireplace is wood that’s brown and dry. The type of wood you use is imperative to get a good fire going. If the wood is still green (young wood) or too wet, your fire may burn, but it will be extremely smoky. The chimney may be unable to carry out all of the smoke if too much is produced too quickly, and the fire may be smothered.

  • A cold chimney

If you’ve experienced very cold temperatures lately, this could be the reason why you’re battling to light your fire. The incoming cold air in your chimney may be spreading to your fireplace and making it difficult to light. You may also experience excess smoke as the cold air is not allowing the warm, smoky air to pass.

  • Too little tender

It’s very difficult to start a good fire with just big chunks of wood. You also need bits of small flammable twigs, known as tender to help you get your fire going. You can also use newspaper and resinous fatwood to assist in kindling your fire.

  • An old fireplace

If your fireplace is too old, it may not be effective in facilitating the lighting of a fire. Quadra-Fire fireplaces have a four-point burner system that allows for a fast lighting fire. The Precision Start Up feature send air quickly to the heart of the fire.

At Quadra-Fire, we’re passionate about teaching our customers to make the most of their fireplaces and stoves. Visit our website today to learn more about our products.

Why You Should Be Careful About Storing Your Firewood Inside

Creating a roaring fire is not only dependent on an efficient wood burning fireplace, but also on the type of firewood you use. You need to ensure that firewood is stored in an area away from the elements to keep it dry and ready for burning. You can create stylish firewood storage in your home that is an interior design feature in itself, but you need to be careful when storing your firewood inside.

Although it is more convenient than having to venture outdoors in the cold, keeping your firewood inside can actually allow a myriad of insects to make their way into your home.

  • Types of insects that live in firewood

Firewood can play host to a number on insects. Beetles love to live underneath bark or inside the wood where they lay their eggs, and the larvae can live inside the wood up to two years! The beetle larvae create tunnels underneath the bark of a newly cut tree and feed on the moisture and sap of the wood’s cells.

Dry firewood attracts bees and wasps while damp wood attracts termites, bark lice and centipedes to name a few. These insects may infest your home if you store the firewood inside so always dry out your wood as quickly as possible.

  • How to prevent insect infestation in firewood

You can do so by placing the wood in a space with abundant air and keep the firewood above ground and away from any moisture. The ideal time to cut down some wood or purchase it is from late Summer to late Autumn. Then let it season or dry for at least six months before it is scheduled to be used.

Don’t ever use pesticides to try and kill insects that may be living in your wood as it will just burn in your fireplace which isn’t good for the air. If you want to keep your firewood inside, make sure you only bring it in 1-2 days before you plan on burning it. Any longer and you could be letting these critters escape into your home.

Looking for an efficient wood burning fireplace for your home? Quadra-Fire has a range of freestanding and insert wood fireplaces. Browse our range online or contact your local store for more details.

Avoid These 5 Mistakes When Choosing Where To Place Your Wood Burning Fireplace

Cuddling with the one you love in front of the fireplace or sharing stories with your children on a cold winter’s night make a wood burning fireplace a worthy investment. A fireplace has become a cheaper alternative for many Australians who are trying to avoid the rising cost of gas and electricity and also do their part for the environment.

A wood fireplace is a perfect addition to any living room, but here are a few things to consider before breaking ground and making potentially costly mistakes.

  • Ensure it’s the right size for the room

Before purchasing the wood fireplace, the first thing you will have to consider besides aesthetics is the size of the room it will be placed in. If the fireplace is too big for the space you will need to under fuel it to ensure the room doesn’t become overly hot, this affects the efficiency of the fireplace. It is the same for a fireplace that is too small for a room; you will need to over fuel it.

  • Have room for wood storage

Investing in an indoor wood storage compartment sounds like a suitable idea to avoid exposing the wood to moisture and other elements. Wood that has moisture or is left in a damp space can be difficult to set alight. If the wood is seasoned before being brought into the home and you’ve ensured that there are no insects underneath the bark, an indoor storage compartment will be perfect for a convenient supply of wood without having to leave the house.

  • Not using a qualified installer

Because the improper installation, service and maintenance of your wood fireplace can lead to injury or even damage to the property, it is recommended that you get a qualified installer to fit your fireplace for you. A qualified installer will be able to advise you of the best position for your fireplace and will install it according to the manufacturers specifications. It will also mean your home will still be covered by your insurance policy if anything were to happen.

  • Too close to the furniture

It is recommended that there be a distance of at least 100cm between a fireplace and any combustible materials such as curtains, electrical appliances, furniture and cords. This is especially true if you have purchased a free-standing fireplace. The distance will help prevent a combustible material from causing a fire that can swiftly spread throughout the house. And to protect the carpets from flaming sparks if you have an open wood fireplace, placing a masonry or tiled hearth in front of the fireplace will help avoid any dangerous accidents.

  • Regulations

Another reason that a qualified installer is recommended when installing a fireplace is because of local regulations that you might not be aware of. You do not want to infringe upon the rights of your neighbours by installing a fireplace incorrectly which may result in smoke from the flue entering their space. Wood heaters must be mounted and installed in line with the Building Code of Australia and must comply exactly with the manufacturer’s instructions as well as the Australian Standard AS/NZS 2918.

Quadra-Fire has a range of wood burning fire inserts and freestanding fireplaces for your home. For help with selecting the right space for your wood burning fireplace, contact your local store today!

Must-Know Rules for Collecting Firewood

Collecting wood for the fire is not as simple as taking a drive to the nearest forest area and chopping down any tree you fancy. The National Approach to Firewood Collection and Use in Australia was compiled over 17 years ago as a guideline. The document focuses on ensuring ecologically sustainable firewood collection practices for individual and commercial use. Here are the most important rules to remember next time you need to collect firewood for your fireplace.

  1. Be careful when it comes to dead trees

Most individuals and companies prefer to harvest dead trees. This is usually because the wood of these trees is dry, so it burns well and produces minimal smoke. In the past, collecting dead wood was considered a good deed clearing land of debris. However, research has shown that dead trees are crucial to maintain the circle of life.

Dead trees host a multitude of habitats, so harvesting every dead tree will endanger certain animal and insect species. Depleting forests and woodlands of dead trees will also leave some species starving as the wood is an essential food source.

Before cutting down any standing dead trees, inspect them carefully. Look for any signs of birds or insects and check for animal tracks around the tree. If in doubt, leave the tree untouched.

  1. There are specific places where you can legally collect firewood
  • Private land (with authorisation from the owner).
  • Certain plantation forests which can be found on your state’s forestry department website.
  • Roadsides, as authorised by individual councils. Enquire with your council and obtain the necessary permits before commencing collection.
  1. Pay attention to fire danger warnings

This rule applies to all warnings issued by relevant environmental bodies. Don’t compromise your safety by continuing with firewood collection during Code Red alerts.

  1. Use appropriate towing equipment

Dragging firewood on the road instead of using a trailer or heavy-duty vehicle causes damage to infrastructure. Instead, hire or purchase towing equipment to transport your firewood.

  1. Do not damage heritage sites or artefacts

Respect for Australia’s indigenous community should be considered. Make sure that no sacred spaces are interfered with in the quest for wood.

If your fireplace is in need of an update, discover a wide range of wood burning fireplaces and wood fire inserts at Quadra-Fire. Find a distributor of our efficient wood burning fireplaces here.

Why A Slow Combustion Wood Fire Is Better Than an Open Wood Fire

With energy prices slowly rising, everyone is becoming more cost-conscious. A wood burning fireplace is a great way to keep costs down, however, not every wood fireplace is created equal. If you have a wood burning fireplace, how can you be sure it is burning wood efficiently?

A slow combustion wood fire is probably the most effective wood fire on the market and is a lot more efficient than an open wood fire due to advancing technology which improves how the wood burns. Here is why you should you should consider a slow combustion wood fire over an open wood fire.

  1. Cost-Effectiveness

Burning wood for fire doesn’t mean you need to burn a hole in your pocket. Slow burners, on average, use one third less wood than open fires for the same heat.

  1. Excellent Efficiency

Slow combustion wood burners have an excellent efficiency rating because they make optimal use of fuel. Air feeds directly into the coal bed which provides a quick start-up and a complex burn. With an open wood fire, air is readily available meaning your fire will burn quicker. In a slow combustion fireplace, jets of pre-heated air provide oxygen to the area just above the baffle, igniting impurities from the wood and capturing heat that normally escapes up the chimney.

  1. Less Mess and Maintenance

Using less firewood means less ash is produced and it also means less cleaning. Open wood fires also have the potential to spit out ash whereas a slow combustion wood fire has a closed door, keeping all the ash safely inside.

  1. Fewer Carbon Emissions

Wood burners use significantly less fuel, and so creates fewer carbon emissions, which makes them an excellent, environmentally-friendly choice. The airtight design of wood burners minimises the escape of smoke and other polluting emissions, while you have no control over this with an open fire.

  1. Perfect for any room

As freestanding structures, Quadra-Fire’s slow wood burners will fit perfectly into any part of the home. From the classic fireplace to a more contemporary placement in a study or even a bathroom our products are designed to work in any room, and with any decor style.

A slow combustion wood fireplace is the best choice for your home. Discover the range of fireplaces and fire inserts at Quadra-Fire. Find a distributor near you today.