Tips for a Safe and Efficient Wood-Burning Fireplace

Tips for a Safe and Efficient Wood-Burning Fireplace

What’s better than cozying up by a crackling fire on a cold winter’s night? If you dream of enjoying a safe and warm fire in the coming months here are some important tips to prepare your fireplace.

 

The best fires are enjoyed in your home with little to no worry of excess smoke, build up or heat loss. When building a fire there is much to consider, from proper installation and ventilation, to wood seasoning and maintenance. Don’t worry if you haven’t touched or thought about your fireplace since it’s last use. There is still time to prepare now for your first fire of the season.

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The type of wood you burn matters

Fresh or green wood is not a good option for starting a fire in your fireplace. Firewood that has been aged or seasoned properly, either dried in a kiln by a firewood supplier or for a year in a wood shed or properly built off of the ground and covered location on your property is essential.

 

The wood should be clean and free of insects or mold. Properly seasoned wood is darker with cracks in the end grains, sounding hollow when smacked against another piece of wood.

 

Also use hardwoods like maple, hickory, oak, ash and birch. This will ensure a longer and hotter burn, with less chance for sap or creosote buildup.

 

Cleaning and preparing your fireplace

After you’ve secured the proper wood to burn this season, take time to prepare your fireplace for those cold nights.  A clean and well-maintained fireplace will burn most efficiently. Begin by checking the flue for any debris that may have gotten caught in there since your last fire. A properly installed chimney and rain cap and mesh will keep your fireplace free of unwanted things throughout the year, as well.

 

Clean the inside of your fireplace and examine the chimney for creosote or soot build up. Get an ash container; this will be used every time you have excess ash from your fire. Place the ash in the container and put outside to keep your home safe.

 

Having your chimney cleaned every year by a professional is a good idea. But don’t lag on your general upkeep and safety steps. By taking the time to do daily, weekly and yearly maintenance you will be able to enjoy your wood-burning fireplace safely and comfortable all season long.

 

Freelance writer, Bri Reagan, contributed this article on behalf of Premier Firewood Company, a firewood delivery company serving New York & Connecticut.