A Guide to Wood Burning

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Have you ever struggled with getting a fire going in your fireplace? There are a few things you need to know in order to burn efficiently and to produce the kinds of fires you want. Here are some tips that will help you get a beautiful, warm fire quickly and easily:

Get the Fire Started

There is a simple model often used to teach about the three elements necessary for wood-burning fires, and it is called the “fire triangle” or the “combustion triangle.” The three necessary components to get a fire started are: heat, fuel, and oxygen; this is just a good thing to keep in mind if you have problems starting a fire.

There are various ways to start or rekindle a fire. A tried-and-true method is to set kindling on top of newspaper and use a match or lighter to burn the paper. Never use glossy magazine pages because they can release toxic fumes.

For the kindling fire to catch on, it must get plenty of oxygen. Be sure there are air inlets which can help to produce quick results; a fireplace grate helps with getting air to a fire. In a fireplace, opening the damper will ideally create all the draft that is needed for the fire.

Do not use any type of liquid, such as gasoline, to get a fire started because it is extremely dangerous to do so, in addition to being unnecessary.

 

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Burn the Right Fuel

The type of wood you burn determines the type of fire you will have. Firewood that has not been properly dried out has too much moisture inside, is highly inefficient, creates a smoky fire, and creates very little heat. Wood that has been properly dried or seasoned, on the other hand, will burn cleanly, produce very little smoke, and provide warmth.

There are two basic types of wood you can burn, those being hardwoods and softwoods. Softwoods can also heat homes effectively, hardwoods however have more density and produce hotter, longer-burning fires. Olive wood for instance is naturally very hard and durable.

Burn Quickly or Slowly

If the firewood is stacked loosely and arranged in a crisscross pattern with at least three pieces, it will burn more quickly. For a quick, rapidly burning fire that takes the chill out of a house on a mild wintry day, stack small pieces of firewood loosely.

For a slow-burning fire that produces more heat, pack the firewood tightly and use larger pieces.

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