The economy is having problems. The cost of living is almost more than the average family can handle. During the winter months, your budget is stretched even further with the costs of heating your home. Escalating electric and gas prices have people looking for alternatives to staying warm. Enter the cozy wood fire. No longer simply for ambiance, fireplaces and wood stoves are becoming the main source of heat again for many people looking to save money while keeping a warm home. As an added bonus, if the power goes out in a storm and you are burning wood, you still have heat, light and a way to cook. Wisconsin Firewood can help clear the confusion.
Deciding which type of wood to burn can be a bit confusing. You should make yourself familiar with a few basics. First, make sure you are burning seasoned wood. This simply means cut wood that has had at least a year or two to dry, releasing moisture and sap. How you stack your firewood is important. Let’s look at kinds of wood. In the hard wood category you have oak, maple and ash just to name a few. In the soft wood category there are pine and cedar among others. These are just the most popular.
Hard wood will hold a flame longer, giving you more heat and reducing the need to reload as often, thus stretching your money. Soft woods have their place in your wood fire as well. Mixing soft woods with your hard woods will help greatly when starting a fire. For example, mixing a bit of pine with oak will aid the oak by burning hotter and quicker, creating a draft and an excellent coal bed. Pine will emit more soot and creosote however, so you should limit its use in a wood stove.
Any fire needs good kindling to get the best start. This is where your soft woods shine. Start with plenty of tinder which can be any burnable from last night’s pizza box to old newspapers. Split soft wood into sticks two to three fingers wide, place a good layer on top of your choice of tinder. On top of the kindling place a couple of smaller logs of soft wood followed by hard making sure to leave plenty of space between logs for air circulation. Light the tinder and relax.
If you are burning wood as your primary source of heat, banking the fire at night is an important step to ensure the fire does not die at night leaving you cold. A mix of two or three sticks of soft wood and the rest hard will give you a nice slow burn overnight greeting you with a toasty bed of coals the next morning.
Burning a wood fire is a wonderful choice when trying to save money. It is a natural option and a renewable source of heating fuel as well. It also brings that certain atmosphere to your home that only a cheerful, crackling fire can. Call us at 414-769-WOOD (9663) for more information.