Residental Wood Heating
Americans relied on the bountiful forest to give fuel for all their cooking and heating needs. Wood was plentiful and accessible fuel and could be found quite easily. What about heating our homes with firewood? We find that many media and other public information sources that cry out against wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and other methods of heating our homes with wood. They make the argument that heating with firewood is harmful to the atmosphere, and blame the carbon dioxide produced for global warming. The other case that they try to make is, don't use wood or wood-burning stoves to heat your homes with because it causes air pollution and will use up all of our trees that we need to keep the air clean. With both of these arguments, we are dealing with half-truths. I suspect that most people have been confused by media and so-called public information sources. The argument that they fail to talk about is that the number of harmful chemicals that they release when they are burning coal and oil product to produce electricity. These chemicals are not part of the natural carbon cycle that wood burning is, and they are way more dangerous to our health and environment then wood-burning. Consequently, much of the confusion about the appropriateness of heating with wood has occurred because the public hasn't been exposed to the idea of the complete carbon dioxide cycle that trees and wood are a part of. Remember that wood and trees are a renewable source, and can improve our environment if they are properly managed. I am not saying that everyone should be burning wood to heat their homes, but there is a valid reason to establish at least one of your heating options a wood stove or fireplace.
Now we know it's not a sin to burn wood in your fireplace and chimney when it is used in an environmentally and responsible way, let’s talk about some of the things that we can do to increase your enjoyment and the burning efficiency of heating our residential homes with firewood. Most of us already know that when we require to heat our home with a nice fire or just sit by one, we need to build that fire with superb quality wood. Burning wet wood is one of the top barriers to a pleasurable and efficient wood burning fire, and the other thing is a poorly built fireplace or chimney that does not work right. To help you have a good wood fuel supply, here are some things that you can do. Number one, your firewood needs to contain a moisture content of less them 20% for it to burn clean and efficient. This can be achieved by the amount of time that you dry your firewood, and the method you use to stack it up. Properly seasoned firewood is not just cutting down a tree, and throwing the rounds into a pile and let them sit for a year. To properly season your firewood you need cut, split, and stack your firewood in a single file row so that the firewood is exposed to the sun and wind, most firewood can be dried in about 6 to 8 months if it has been properly split and stacked. However, if you reside here in the Seattle area, a year will probably be necessary due to the amount of moisture that is in our air. Proper wood heating will give you many hours of enjoyable comfort as you relax by your fireplace hearth. We have built and supported thousands of chimneys and fireplaces over the last 25 years or so, and we see all kinds of fireplaces, chimney, and wood stoves. You can almost tell from looking at them how they are being used. Here is one of the best tips that I can give you about your fireplace. Use it once in a while. So often I hear we really don't operate it at all, and we don't understand why it’s having problems. One of the most favorable comparisons I can give you is your family car. What would happen to your car if you abandoned it to sit in the driveway for several years and never operated it? Never change the oil? Or never checked the tires? Your fireplace and chimney are much like your car. It needs a little maintenance once in a while. A new masonry fireplace starts at $15,000.00 to build. When you use your fireplace, wood stove, and chimney once in a while the heat from the fire will help the masonry dry out and breath. By using only clean dry season firewood, your fire will burn hot and clean. This will up the efficiency of your wood stove or fireplace. There are several other ways to up the efficiency of your wood burning fireplace, if you would like to get the top efficiency and still burn wood, we can install an insert inside of the firebox of your fireplace. This will up your fireplace efficiency from 10% to over 85% efficiency. Yes, I said 85% efficiency. So, if you think the time is coming when we might need to be a little more ready, from a storm to a natural disaster. It might be an adequate time to think about wood burning heat. Please give us a call if we can give you any more information on heating your home with wood.