Friday, November 13, 2009

On Burning Wood

Ah, the smell of burning wood. It is the aroma of winter in most of our state. With new technology in the past few decades, woodstoves have become more decorative and more efficient.
The days of the old barrel or sheetmetal stove has given way to the modern internal damper and catalytic converter with external make up air and little tiny fireboxes.
I have to smile when I see a finely stacked woodpile with very finely split dried wood. Most wood in these wood piles are what I would use for kindling. Why do so many people split their wood so small?
For almost forty years, I have been burning wood. I rarely split wood any smaller than what will fit in the firebox. The bigger the firebox the better. Unless you are using a wood cookstove, which is extremely rare these days, you don't need to split the wood so small. Try to resist splitting small round logs at all. They will hold a fire much longer if not split
Also, try mixing in a little green wood. If you fire up your stove for fifteen or twenty minutes each day to get the stove pipe nice and hot you won't need to worry about creosote.
If you get worried about creosote, drop a tow chain down the chimney and swirl it around for a minute or so, this will knock any loose creosote off the inside of the chimney.
Also, take the chimney cap off at the beginning of winter, this will allow better flow for the smoke and keep creosote from gathering on the cap itself.
More about burning wood on future blogs.

To rejoice in another's prosperity, is to give content to your own lot: to mitigate another's grief, is to alleviate or dispel your own. Thomas Edwards

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