Stoves – Safety Tips

English: Wood pellet stove

English: Wood pellet stove (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lincoln family wood fired stove in the kitchon...

Lincoln family wood fired stove in the kitchon of the Springfield Lincoln home, Illinois (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A full cord of wood.

English: A full cord of wood. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Logs for use as firewood, stacked to dry.

Logs for use as firewood, stacked to dry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If wood is plentiful in your area, why not look at firewood as a practical solution to the rising costs of conventional heating.   Heating with wood is a step away from the push button lifestyle we take for granted.   Also, heating with wood is a positive step toward independence and a source of exercise and family bonding.

A Clean Chimney

A dirty chimney will cause a smoking fireplace. A wood stove or fireplace that is used for full time heating should be cleaned after 2 or 3 months.
It’s always nice to enjoy the warmth after you light your fireplace.   You will want to warm the chimney when you light a fire in a home heating system.  Allow the fire as much air as safely possible, this raises the efficiency of the heating unit. A warm chimney prevents back-drafting and the accumulation of creosote.
Some people use cedar kindling for lighting their fire, but small pieces of hardwood are easy to get going, then just add big wood when the chimney is warmed up.

A slow or low air flow fire will not fully burn all the components inside the wood. A large amount of acids, smoke and water vapors will be produced. This will condense in a cool chimney as a black gummy residue.
This firewood safety blog will be continued.

Why use a rack for your cord of wood?

In the search for alternatives to fossil fuels in home heating, a great number of homeowners are discovering the advantages of wood. A storage rack for your firewood is a good investment. Proper storage prevents rot, mold and poorly cured wood. These things all affect the BTU of your firewood. British Thermal Units are the measure of heat produced when burning your wood. Cutting, splitting and stacking the firewood with care lends to proper curing. Having a cord of wood rack will allow you to ensure that your wood is clean, mold free and ready to go.
How to stack your cord of wood.
Stove size pieces of firewood should be stacked as soon as possible. Always stack the firewood off the ground and never directly against a building. You can stack the pieces side by side to save space, but remember that air circulation is what will cure the firewood. Don’t pack the pieces too closely the wood dries out mostly from the ends, but make your stack is strong enough to stand on its own. Stacking the wood log-cabin style increases airflow and will decrease curing time.

With your cord of wood stacked using a rack or storage system you will save, money and time. Having clean, dry, rot free wood, will help to keep your house clean and warm. Dry wood helps keep your chimney clean also. Cured dry wood lights up easy, and continues to burn efficiently. Properly cured firewood burns hotter and cleaner than green wood. Burning “green” wood can lead to creosote deposits in your chimney. Different types of wood are seasoned for different amounts of time.   In general, evergreens cure faster than hardwoods like hickory or oak.

To help cure your cord of firewood, leave the bark on. Cover the stack with clear, heavy plastic sheeting to let the heat of the sun dry the wood but allow air circulation from the sides. It is not necessary to cover the wood unless you get an exceptional amount of rain–the wood dries out mostly from the ends. It takes four months to a year to cure firewood, depending on the type, size and location. Locating your cord of wood rack in the sun will speed up drying time.
To see if firewood is cured, look for checking and splitting on the ends. The bark should also come off easily. If you weigh a piece just after it is split, you can determine when it has lost its 20% weight in water. Weigh it again in a month or so to see how it is seasoning. When it has lost 20% of its weight, it is cured. If in doubt, leave it for a full year.

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4 thoughts on “Stoves – Safety Tips

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