Choose a mixture of seasoned hard such as wood Oak, Burch or Ash, then implement moisture sensor to detect the percentage of moisture retained in the wood. Moisture sensors are available at your local chimney or hardware stores. If you choose not to purchase a moisture sensor you can use the “crack” method by taking two pieces of wood and carefully smacking them together. If seasoned right it will make a cracked sound, if not, it will sound more like a thud. Burning firewood is an area where you can have influence over how well your system performs and how reliable it becomes. Freshly cut wood can contain up to 45% water, while well-seasoned firewood generally has 18-22% moisture content. Well-seasoned firewood allows for a smoother startup, produces more heat, and burns cleaner. The important thing to remember is that the water MUST be gone before the wood will burn. If you allow 6 months to a year of proper maintenance and storage, the sun and wind will do the rest of the work for you. If you try to burn green wood, the heat produced may just combust. These result in less heat delivered to your home, and literally gallons of acidic water deposited into your chimney.
Starting a fire
In order to start a fire you’ll have to do one of the following: install a natural gas log lighter bar in the firebox, purchase fire starters or kindles at your local hardware store, or by a product called timburn—an oil that is absorbed by a reusable ceramic fire starting stone (no mess involved). Must REQUEST from a certified chimney sweep or purchase online here. Before starting a fire you must make sure the following steps are carefully reviewed:
- Make sure your chimney is clean and free of blockages
- Open the damper
- Prime the flue
- Develop an ash bed
- Build an “upside down” fire
When starting a fire it is a good idea to be aware of what is around you, making sure any combustibles such as Christmas stockings, carpet or anything else flammable, are taken down or properly cleared from the firebox. If you are having an issue with smoke coming into your house, you could have a cold chimney! This happens when a chimney is located on the outside edge of the house. You can help correct this condition by rolling up a news paper like a torch, and light the paper with a match/lighter while in the firebox, and then hold it up in the open damper warming the air in the smoke chamber allowing air to start flowing in the flue system. Also, it may help if you open a window to allow more air to come in the house, allowing the chimney to operate more effectively. If you still experience problems after attempting this, I would advise you to contact a professional CSIA certified chimney technician.