If you are conscious of your carbon footprint, but still want to enjoy a fire during winter, consider the wood you use for your fireplace fuel. A surprising fact is that wood is actually more CO2-friendly when burnt versus when it’s left to rot naturally, and wood is not a scarce resource as it is always being grown and used in other industries.
The best types of wood to use in your fireplace can vary from state to state depending on availability, so ask your firewood supplier for what wood is most suitable for the type of fireplace you own.
Now that you have your wood choices available to you, let’s look at some tips to help you burn your wood effectively:
- Only burn wood that is seasoned or very dry, as wood that is moist (green) does not burn properly. Your fireplace will not be able to reach its peak heat output or high-efficiency rate if you use green wood.
- Don’t burn painted or treated wood, as there are chemicals that should not be burnt on treated wood.
- Make sure your fireplace has unobstructed access to air. Having your chimney or flue swept will help prevent any blockages.
- Watch those levels of smoke! If your fire is smouldering and not holding a fire, your wood may have too much moisture in it, or there is not enough air feeding the fire.
- If you are chopping your own wood, cut down your logs to the required size for your firebox before stacking them to dry out. When stacking your green wood, make sure there is plenty of airflow around the logs, and that they are shielded from the weather so they can season properly.
- When first loading and lighting your fire, check which configuration you should be loading your wood in. Some manufacturers recommend lighting in an east-west configuration, others in a north-south manner. Check your owner’s manual for more information.
- After you’ve lit your fire and have a good base of coals, you can start to add larger pieces of wood and turn down your primary air control to allow for a low, slow burn. Check out this great video for tips on top-down lighting.
For other wood-burning advice or questions about your fireplace, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.