2017 is here, and so is the full blast of winter. Granted, Snohomish isn’t the coldest city in the country, but it can still get pretty nippy. Now is probably the time of year when you put your fireplace to good use. Of course, be sure to have the chimney cleaned before operation. Once given a greenlight by an inspector, start setting the wood into the firebox. Follow these wood burning tips to ensure efficient use of your firewood.
3 Tips for Burning Wood
1. Only Use Seasoned Firewood
“Seasoned” firewood refers to any wood that has a moisture level below 20%. Avoid using treated or painted wood. Also, avoid throwing items like plywood, particle board, or discarded magazines into the fire. These materials contain toxic chemicals that are released into the air when burned.
2. Let the Wood Dry for at Least a Year
If you prefer gathering and seasoning your own wood, then let the wood cure for about a year before using it. This allows ample time for the wood’s moisture level to drop below 20%. Here’s a simple test to know if the wood has sufficiently dried: take two wood pieces and bang them together. If you hear a sharp crack, then they’re ready. If the sound is dull, then the wood needs more time.
3. Open the Damper all the Way
The fire needs sufficient air to remain lit. Before starting the fire, point a flashlight upward to see if the chimney cap is opened all the way. You may think it’s opened when it’s only partially opened. Additionally, you can also use a bellows or a blow poke to feed oxygen to the fire.
Start the Year with a Chimney Inspection
Here’s a New Year’s resolution: contact Powers Chimney & Masonry to have your flue liner and masonry inspected. By following our wood burning tips, you’ll ensure long-lasting fire to prevent your home from becoming a freezer.
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Chimney Inspection for a Safe Fireplace
Serving the communities of Arlington, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville and all South Snohomish & North King County