If you feel like you’re not yet master of your own wood fireplace, here’s a crash course on how to advance your skill set by creating and sustaining longer-lasting fires with greater heat generation.
Wood Stove vs. Fireplace
It’s easier to get a fire started in a conventional fireplace, but easier to keep one going in a wood stove. That’s because the stone or metal your wood stove is made of keeps the fire cooler than a fireplace can, and cooler translates to longer lasting.
Everybody knows you can use old mail, newspapers, rolled up paper towels, and the like as kindling to help get your fire started…not to mention loose, dry twigs. But here’s another great fire starter you might not be aware of: loading up an empty toilet paper or paper towel carboard tube with dryer lint. They catch quickly and burn longer than other kindling.
Don’t stack your dried wood logs on top of each other…that’s bad for airflow, and a good fire needs plenty of air to keep itself going. Instead, place them cross-wise against each other for greater height and greater airflow, and you’ll enjoy the results infinitely more. The proper placement of your kindling is both below and on top of the wood stack. Next, place thin branches on top of the pile. These will catch fire first, but burn long enough so that the logs have time to catch fire.
For longer lasting fires, remove all ashes from your fireplace or wood stove from the previous fire. Also, it never hurts to check to ensure your flue is open. And speaking of airflow, outdoor temperatures of 40 degrees and under are best for sustained wood fires. The colder it is outdoors the better the up-flow of air.
Still, even with the best of wood fires, you need more than that to keep your home and family warm throughout the winter season. That’s why we invite you to contact Optimum Air now for our furnace cleaning and inspection service. It’s the best way going to keep your heating system in top working order while minimizing your monthly utility costs.