This winter, Ashbusters wants you to enjoy the best fires possible. By selecting seasoned firewood to burn and by building your fire properly, you can burn longer lasting fires with less smoke. Seasoned firewood is wood that has been dried for at least six months after being cut. If you have trouble finding seasoned wood, ask us for some recommendations on trusted local firewood dealers. We can also help you build better fires by sharing with you some tips from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) on how to build a top-down burn for fires that will be easy to ignite and will burn slowly. Building this type of fire is easy, with only three steps to follow.
1) START WITH THE LARGEST PIECES OF WOOD
At the bottom of your fireplace or wood stove, start stacking the largest pieces of firewood. You will want to place the ends facing the front and the back so that the air will mix well with the wood. When you put the wood with the ends parallel to the opening of your fireplace or wood stove, the air only will hit the broad sides of the firewood. As mentioned earlier, this wood should be seasoned. If you prefer, you can use harder wood species for the bottom stack.
2) ADD SMALLER PIECES OF WOOD TO THE TOP OF THE PILE
You will want to continue stacking smaller pieces of firewood until the wood reaches half of the height of your fireplace or wood stove. Typically, you will be able to stack on about four to five levels of layers with the smaller pieces of wood.
3) PLACE THE KINDLING AT THE VERY TOP OF THE PILE
You will then stack your kindling, which are the smallest pieces of firewood, on top of the wood pile. Keep stacking until you are placing wood shavings at the very top. You never want to build your top-down burn to be higher than your fireplace or wood stove.
After you have built your top-down burn, the shavings at the top should be small enough to be lit with just a single match. If you have any problems lighting the fire, you can always start with wadded up pieces of newspaper on the top. Since the fire is burning from the top to the bottom, it will ignite each layer as it burns down. This gives you a fire that you will not have to worry about a lot of smoke or about larger pieces of firewood falling on your struggling fire.
Want more tips on burning the best fires? Contact us at Ashbusters for all of your wood-burning needs.