Top Winter Tips for Fireplaces & Wood
Whether it be an outdoor fireplace with friends, or the cosy warmth of a roaring indoor unit, The Firewood Company looks at what wood works best. From fireplace tips, choosing the perfect wood, and understanding kiln-dried options.
When it comes to making the perfect fire, the key is dry wood. But that can be easier said than done. For those of us who do not have sufficient stacking areas, that are weather protected. You can end up searching your pile of wood, for the driest option. During winter, stacking and protecting your wood is very important. Damp wood can be deemed useless in the cold season when you need it the most. Not only does it smolder and smoke heavily, but it will also release much less heat and will be not effective at keeping you and your family warm.
While hardwoods can be stored outside, it is imperative that all softwoods, like pine, should be stored undercover. Softwoods will absorb water easily and you could end up with a stack of wood that is sodden wet. If you do not have a good undercover area, consider using a tarp over your woodpile when the weather is expected to turn. Ensure the cover is on an angle so water will not pool in the top, and once the sun returns remove.
Elevate your wood. Consider using old pallets to keep the wood off the floor, this will help with the drying process and prevent your wood from absorbing moisture from the ground.
Wood takes time to dry, in some cases up to two years! If you are sourcing your wood yourself from fallen trees on your block, it’s important to remember this. Firwood supply companies invest in the time and care it takes to ensure the wood is well seasoned before purchase. If you are dropping trees, particularly softwoods, these need to be split and stacked quickly to avoid becoming wet and useable. When splitting wood always consider the size of your fireplace and split accordingly.
Fireplace Health & Safety
Keeping your fireplace healthy and in good condition will help keep those flames flickering and efficiently heating your home. Check for any cracked or damaged plates, clean fans, and remove ash regularly. Fireplace ropes (that sit around your door) should also be free of damage. A yearly clean from a professional is also advised to check the health of your chimney. Blocked and damaged chimneys can lead to home fires.
It is also advised not to burn anything in your fireplace besides dry wood. Overuse of cardboard and rubbish can quickly block chimneys and lead to fires.
Don’t make your woodpile stack too tight – airflow is vital to keep your wood dry and seasoned. Consider larger pieces on the bottom and smaller pieces on the top. Keeping woodpiles smaller will also help from a safety point of view.
Kiln Dried Wood?
In a perfect world, we would have beautifully stacked woodshed well before the chilly season begins. However, for most of us, the thought of the woodshed and fireplace only enter our minds on that first frosty day of the season.
At The Firewood Company, we are proud to offer our customers kiln-dried options. This is the most superior of dried woods. Having a well-seasoned batch of wood kiln dried will have your fireplace roaring to life. Kiln-dried wood is dried in a giant oven that can be easily controlled to set the temperature and humidity. This method is much quicker than air-drying and allows customers to have access to perfectly dried wood all season long.
For more options on firewood check out our website at www.thefirewoodcompany.co.nz