Like it or not, winter is just around the corner – and that means adding some heat to your home to keep yourself warm and cozy. Thanks to the increasing cost of oil and gas, many people are turning to real fires rather than turning their central heating on.
Lumberjacks are leading firewood suppliers in Stowmarket, Ipswich, Woodbridge and across Suffolk; here are our top tips for ensuring that you can get your fire up and running as quickly as possible.
Prepare the Fireplace
Your first step when preparing your fireplace should be to clean out the grate and remove any existing ashes. You should also check the damper is working so smoke doesn’t blow into your living room.
If you have a real chimney in your home, you should have it swept at least once a year. If you are using your fireplace regularly then this may need to be done more often than that. This is because sweeping the chimney removes soot and helps avoid the build-up of creosote in the chimney lining.
Creosote is one of the major causes of chimney fires, so it’s definitely something you will want to keep an eye on and keep your chimney as clean as you can. It’s also worth having your chimney sweeper check the overall condition of the stack and ensure that there aren’t any holes in the flue which animals, such as rodents, and birds can squeeze through (or may have done so already).
Choose Your Wood
If you are opting for a wood-based fire, then your choice will be between hardwood or softwood. Hardwood will burn for longer and won’t generate as many sparks (which is important for safety if you have an open hearth), however softwood is better in the fire’s early stages as it makes it much easier to get the flames going.
For more detail on the differences between the two types of firewood, check out our previous blog post here. At Lumberjacks we currently supply hardwood logs; however we also stock kindling and Homefire Twizlers, which helps a lot when it comes to getting your fire started.
Keep Your Wood Dry
Whatever type of wood you decide to use for your fire, ensure it is adequately dry so it will burn well. This is crucial, because wet wood takes much longer to ignite and it also produces more smoke and creosote within the chimney itself which, as mentioned earlier, can cause chimney fires.
At Lumberjacks we stock log stores which will keep your firewood clean, dry and ready to use, whatever the weather.
Starting Your Fire
Once you have done all the preparation work, you should be ready to start your fire. You can ignite it by crumpling up some newspaper and putting it beneath the grate and setting it alight, or by using a fire starter like our Twizlers.
Next, add the kindling either lengthwise or in a criss-cross pattern. Once the flames are established, add the logs (some say in a triangular shape, others say a log cabin effect is more efficient way to burn the wood). Always make sure to keep half an eye on your fire at all times and make sure that, if your leave the room, you put a guard in place.
When you’re ready to put out your fire, it’s always good to sweep out the ash or embers from the grate before you go to bed, as this will save you a job later on.
The Role of Coal
Don’t forget the role of coal in a heathy fire – it can be eco-friendly, particularly if it doesn’t produce any smoke. We have smokeless coal for sale for customers in Hadleigh, Ipswich and across Suffolk (check out our Home Fire and Brazier varieties). It’s smokeless and it also burns much more predictably and consistently than wood.
Lumberjacks – Firewood Suppliers in Stowmarket
If you have any questions about any of our products – and we stock fencing, landscaping and construction materials, garden furniture and sheds as well as firewood, coal and accessories – then you can call us on 01473 461394 or follow this link fill in the online form.