A quality firewood is primarily a dry wood. Spring is the best season to do the work of debitage, storage since summer will be able to provide, in principle, the optimal conditions to rid the wood of its natural moisture.
How to choose your firewood
Generally debited at the end of one meter (the unit of volume, the stere corresponds to m3), the wood will dry faster if it is cut (0.50 or 0.33 m) and split (diameter 4 to 5 cm ).
If you intend to split your wood yourself, you should do it early in the spring. You can cut the wood in short lengths and then split it to store it outside during the summer. A lot of water will evaporate, so remember to store it in a well-ventilated area.
In order to know if the wood is dry enough, you can knock two logs against each other and listen if their shock sounds "singing". You can also place a log in a narrow plastic bag in a warm room; if the wood is too wet, mist will form in the bag. In fact, the easiest way to know if the wood is dry, is to identify the presence of slits.
The mountain ash, beech, oak, ash, maple and birch are considered the best woods for open fireplaces. But many people prefer conifers because of the cracks they emit when burning; however, these types of wood require more vigilance since they cause projections of embers that can cause fires. Fruit trees such as apple or pear also burn very well.
How to light your wood fire
There are many ways to light a fire, but be careful what you put in your stove. Do not burn painted or treated wood, or plastics containing chlorine derivatives, such as PVC.
These give off very toxic gases. Do not burn salvaged wood in the sea either. It contains salt that combustion converts to chlorine. However, you can rinse this wood by letting it out weather the weather for several years.
Wood stored outdoors or in a damp room should be placed at room temperature for at least one day before use. Split your log to obtain a diameter of about 4 cm. This size will facilitate the lighting and the draw.
Before lighting a fire, remember to open the air intakes; depending on the model, your stove has one or two. To facilitate the lighting of your fire, make sure to respect these different steps:
- Place two logs at the bottom of your firebox and stack smaller pieces of wood over the fireplace to renew the air. Finish with a beautiful log above.
- Place 2-3 briquettes fire starter or a similar product, just behind the top layer with small pieces of wood and turn it on.
- A good draw Now you can close the door and let the fire grow.
You can also place two large logs on each side. Add crumpled paper in the middle and stack smaller pieces of wood on top. You can add paper if necessary. Check every 10 to 15 minutes that your fire has enough air. If the draft is too low you will need to let in some air, opening the door slightly.
Add the fuel in the open hearth, in small quantities only. If your fire is too bright, a thermal shock may occur in the duct. It is better to have a moderate fire. Avoid letting your fire choke, it generates a lot of pollution. The ideal is a fire that burns well and almost invisible smoke out of the chimney.
(photos / visuals: © Jøtul, except special mention)
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