Nothing is More Comforting on a Cold Day Than a Warm Fire
The flickering flames and warmth of a wood-burning fireplace can add charm and romance to your home. For centuries the family hearth has been the heart of every domicile from castle to hut. Many families have counted on their fireplace for cooking food, light, and comfort.
Whether purchasing a house with a fireplace or adding one to your current home, you will be excited to get the fires lit and enjoy. A wood burning fireplace is one of the most sought after features in a new home, and many modern versions have safety and energy efficient features. But before you light a match, make sure you know how to use your fireplace safely and efficiently. Buy the proper wood, operate your fireplace correctly, and you will reap the benefits.
How Do You Buy Firewood?
Buy firewood locally to avoid transporting insects from one environment to another, which can spread diseases to both plants and animals. The simplest way to find a local firewood dealer is to do an Internet search for firewood for sale near me. Know how much room you have for firewood storage. A cord is the U.S. unit of measure for firewood.
- Full Cord (8’x4’x4’): A full cord will usually require outside storage, and the logs will have to be cut to fit most indoor fireplaces.
- Face Cord (4’x4’x16”-24”): These logs will fit in most fireplaces.
Wood from different species of trees is best suited for certain types of fires.
- Softwoods such as pine and fir light easily and burn fast. These woods are great for building campfires. Do not burn softwoods in a fireplace where they could cause a chimney fire.
- Hardwoods such as oak and elm are more expensive. They burn hot and long. Check that hardwood fire logs are high quality by testing their weight.
Look for firewood for sale that is already seasoned. Or buy green wood and plan on letting it dry out for six to twelve months before use.
Open hearth is the traditional type of wood fireplace, and they can be masonry or factory built. Many factory-built fireplaces significantly reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency. Some factory-built fireplaces are EPA approved.
To light a wood fireplace, open the damper and ensure that air is flowing up the flu. Light a match in the fireplace, quickly blow it out and be sure the smoke rises. Put one or two logs on the fireplace grate and place kindling underneath the logs. Light the kindling with newspaper.
Fireplace safety is important. Never burn anything but firewood in a wood fireplace. Treated lumber and paper products can produce toxic gases. Have your chimney swept and your fireplace inspected regularly. Make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Use fireplace tools to handle burning logs. A screen in front of the fireplace will prevent sparks from escaping. And have a chimney cap installed to keep wildlife or debris from clogging the flu.
Benefits of a Wood Fire
A wood fire can be visually soothing, and many love the aroma of burning wood. But a wood fire is not just romantic and cozy; it can have some real benefits to both your wallet and the environment.
- Wood is a cheaper fuel than oil, natural gas or coal.
- Wood is a replenishing energy source. For every tree cut, another can be planted.
- A wood fire can provide warmth, light and a place to cook when the power is out.
- An enclosed wood fireplace can lower your heating bills.
- Burning wood leaves no carbon footprint.
- Cook on your wood burning fire anytime. Try popcorn or s’mores.