Sunday, January 24, 2010

Unstable Firewood Piles, Photo

I move and stack a LOT of firewood, but despite my experience, a pile topple is a scary reality. Be very careful out there, particularly if you have children!!

When stacking your firewood, avoid gnarled, odd shaped and overly short pieces as they can potentially compromise the pile's stability. Don't stack too high either, the taller they are, the harder they fall.

Happy heating!

Pin Oak Firewood Photos

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Ash Ash Everywhere! Some helpful hints

A BIG downside to burning wood for heat is the constant ash pile. A very helpful hint, try to move your ash to the bucket while it's still in coal form. It will emit a little smoke, but otherwise keep ash from being shot in the air from the heat. If you let the coals die down, every scoop will send ash into your air, coating everything in the room!

Another helpful hint, don't dump your ash in a trash can until you're SURE it's completely cold. I've ruined two plastic cans this way, both with gaping burn holes in the bottom.

Have a yard? Potash is high in potassium, good fertilizer for some plants. Do your research though, too much potassium can scorch your plants. You can also use Potash in small amounts with your compost pile.

Happy heating!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Leather Gloves, Buy Some!

Stock up on a few pairs of inexpensive leather gloves. Your local hardware store will have them for $5-$10 a pair. With Winter brings dry air, and painfully dry skin. As you move firewood, collect kindling, break sticks, etc. you will inevitably scratch or scrape your skin. Buy a few pair today, your hands will thank you!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Hidden Costs of Wood Heat

I LOVE wood heat. The warmth, the smell, the energy savings... but there are hidden costs that will eat into your bottom line, as a first time buyer. After you've invested in a wood stove, installation, chimney liner, wood, fireplace tools, fire extinguisher, fire grate, ash bucket, etc. you're done right? Wrong. Apart from the time and effort (hard to quantify) of cleaning out ash on a daily basis and finding a suitable disposal location (I suggest your composite pile), you should budget $100-$150 a year for a chimney cleaner. You can purchase your own tools inexpensively, but I say, let the experts do their job. Chimney-sweep's are typically fast, clean and will eliminate the dangerous creosote that's formed from previous fires. An unclean chimney can not only cause house fires, but they can also impact the airflow thus causing backdrafts and a living room full of smoke! You've been warned!

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Firewood Kindling, Kindling Collection

Unless you plan to keep your wood stove going 24/7, there will be plenty of occasions when you'll re-start a fire from scratch. Start stocking up now on dry sticks and twigs blown down from Summer storms, you will go through them very quickly. The same goes for newspaper. Have a paper birch near-by? Use the sheddings as a great fire starter.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Like to Burn Wood? Join the Arbor Day Foundation

If you like to burn wood, you owe it to yourself to join the Arbor Day Foundation. Membership not only supports the planting of trees, they'll also send you 10 free tree sproutlings as part of your membership! You'll feel good supporting a worthwhile organization and know you're ultimately replenishing the resource you love.

Happy heating!