In our last post, Mr. Smokestack talked about what NOT to do with your fireplace during the holiday season, and we gave you some tips on fireplace safety during the holidays. In this post, we want to tell you what to do to ensure a beautiful, roaring wood fire during your holidays at home. Since wood-burning can have a bad reputation due to pollution and high emissions, Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service found some tips from Earth911, an online environmental news and green living resource, that can help you get the best out of your fireplace this holiday season in an environmentally-friendly way. We would like to share these tips with you to inform you of energy-efficient and safe wood-burning procedures.
Buy Locally and Store Your Wood Properly.
We have told you previously about the importance of seasoned firewood. This type of firewood has been dried for at least six months. If you buy your firewood supply early or chop your own wood, you will want to store it where it will stay dry. Best stacked off the ground, you will want to stack the logs split-side down and cover the wood with a tarp. You should keep the sides of the tarp open to allow air to circulate, which helps the seasoning process. If you buy your firewood, you should request seasoned firewood from a local, trusted firewood dealer. Buying locally is the law in some states as moving firewood can lead to pest infestations.
Know How to Start a Strong-Burning Fire with Less Wood.
You really can create more warmth with less wood with three simple steps:
- Use dry kindling to start the fire and then add a few pieces of wood. To get the fire roaring, open all of the air controls to give the fire plenty of air.
- Before you add more wood, allow the fire to heat up the flue or chimney.
- Maintain space between logs as you add firewood, and tend to your fire so that it does not smolder.
Circulate the Heat from Your Fire.
You probably know that the warmth of your fire tends to stay in the area right around your fireplace. Circulating that air throughout your house with a blower or fan can make a huge difference in heating your home. If you have a ceiling fan in the same room as your fireplace, the easiest thing you can do is set the fan to run counterclockwise at low speed, which redirects the warm air from the ceiling down into the living area.
Take Care of Your Fireplace.
Schedule your annual chimney sweeping and inspection with Mr. Smokestack before the holiday season arrives. You should always have your chimney cleaned before lighting the first fire of the year. Also, know when it is time to update your old fireplace. We carry a variety of EPA-certified wood fireplace inserts that will ensure you are burning wood more cleanly.