If you’ve snooped around my blog a bit, you might be overwhelmed by the number of problems that seem to be capable of occurring.

Wood holders like these lessen the amount of work you have to put into building each fire; by storing firewood near the fireplace you won't make as many trips.
Wood holders like these lessen the amount of work you have to put into building each fire; by storing firewood near the fireplace you won’t make as many trips.

From smoking problems to problems with the chimney itself not being in good working order, many things must be working properly in order to efficiently burn a fire. Why, then, would anyone want to burn a fire in their fireplace?

Burning wood in a fireplace traditionally is known for its inefficiency. You must keep the damper open for about twelve hours and during this time much heat can be lost from the home. A wood stove or wood burning stove insert is another way to burn wood which is less messy and more efficient. There is no doubt, burning wood is far more difficult than switching the settings on your furnace to warm the home up. Hauling the fire wood, building the fire, and feeding the fire so that it will not die out is more work than most people would like. However, once you’ve put in the work the look of a soft flame in your fireplace or woodburning stove is far more romantic than any other method of heating the home and wood is a renewable resource.

One suggested use of the fireplace is to heat simply a zone in your house rather than the whole house. If your family is going to be in the living room and kitchen area for a majority of the day or night then lighting a fireplace that is central to these areas can be a good idea. Zone heating is very effective and by keeping the furnace set at a cooler setting you are still able to live comfortably in your own home while still saving money. There are more people who utilize burning wood in this way, for zone heating, as opposed to completely replacing any furnace or other central heating system.

If you have decided that burning wood is a route you would like to take, you’ll need to be sure to burn the proper type of wood. I

Investing in a nice fireplace toolset can further ease the pain of actually burning firewood by making it less difficult to keep the fire burning.
Investing in a nice fireplace toolset can further ease the pain of actually burning firewood by making it less difficult to keep the fire burning.

recommend burning hardwood such as oak or walnut although you cannot really go wrong with any wood that is really seasoned. I have to say “really” seasoned because wood that hasn’t been thoroughly seasoned will smolder instead of burning and not put out the heat that you are  looking for. Wood takes years to season. This is the time where the wood dries out, making it perfect to burn.

Experiment with different hardwoods and see which fits your standards to be burned. You will come to find that different hardwoods burn more easily than others and some hardwoods have an aroma when burned that may be more appealing to you.

Clay Lamb

Clay Lamb is a Cincinnati Chimney Sweep contractor and the executive producer of the YouTube channel, podcast, and blog Ask the Chimney Sweep. He is also an award-winning educator and public speaker in the chimney and fireplace industry.

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Clay Lamb

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