Burning firewood.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by lengel, Sep 2, 2008.

  1. lengel

    lengel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am new to heating my house with firewood and am reading conflicting things on the internet. From your experience, would you tell me what you know about the following? I have a brick fireplace.

    How long would you season hardwood before burning it? I'm reading everything from six months to a year minimum.

    Would you burn wood that you found on the ground if it wasn't rotten? I read somewhere that wood on the ground that wasn't covered was as "wet" as just cut wood even if it's been there for a year. Would you burn that wood? We have a hickory tree that was cut down last year but never split and I'm worried that I shouldn't split and burn it now. The sections are from the base of the tree so they're pretty wide.

    I plan to heat our living room with the fireplace this year and don't want to start a creosote fire or something. We burned some for a couple of months last winter but before that the fireplace hadn't been used for thirty years because the chimney was in such bad repair. It's in good shape now and sealed but I still have concerns about residue buildup.


    Thank you.
     
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    We've heated our house for over 30 years with a wood stove. We season our wood for a year before we burn it, if it's cut green. If it's from a tree that has been dead for awhile (more than one year) we burn it that same season.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    We burn anything we can get our hands on! [​IMG] I like to mix my green wood with dry wood, for a longer lasting fire and for banking up our stove until morning. Your pine, especially green ,will create the most creosote build-up.

    Make sure to have plenty of dry kindling on hand! [​IMG]
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Burning green wood also adds to the build up in your chimney.
     
  5. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    You can clean your chimney with a special brush and a rope to pull it through the chimney.

    Fireplaces are not very efficient for heating. But they still radiate that nice warmth to the room.

    The greener the wood the more chances you would have of creosote build up. You can cut the wood on the ground and split it and see what it looks like but I think it will probably be too green. You will know, it will look wet if it is
    too green.

    I would say 6 months if the wood has been stacked. You could buy some plank wood, that would be dry. Thats the stuff that comes from a lumber yard that is the outside of the trees. The stuff they cant use. And its an economical price.

    A good test if you throw another log on the fire and it starts sizzling a lot then its too green. [​IMG]

    Hope this helps somewhat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2008
  6. lengel

    lengel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. There is wood everywhere on our property and we bought some "semi-seasoned" split wood as well. I'm just looking at all of it and wondering what I should burn. Sounds like I can burn the hickory tree and the rest can be a mix so that the fire is hot enough to prevent creosote buildup.

    You know that oil prices are bad when we plan four months in advance to heat the house!
     
  7. lengel

    lengel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sizzling as a test, yes, that helps. I'll try the lumber yards as well but I'm pretty sure they're being picked clean. I wasn't able to find anyone selling seasoned wood in our area. They seem to be out. The guy we bought the semi-seasoned from was very clear about it's state. He'll keep selling though because people are desperate.
     
  8. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    do you have glass doors on your fireplace? if not, you will be sending the heat from the rest of your home up the chimney. you might try to close the doors around the living room to keep the heat from the rest of the home from leaving...

    damp wood is really hard to burn - it steams, smokes and stinks up the area. if you stack your wood off the ground, maybe 6+ inches, it will help keep it dry -- also, put a tarp over your pile.

    burning in a fireplace gives a great sense of "home" and looks beautiful. if you are burning to supplement your heating source, you might want to get glass doors. we used fireplace the first winter in our home with glass doors - the room was warm but the rest of the home cooled off a bit. the second and third winters we switched and used a fireplace insert. that really heated up the living area but messed up the thermostat so the rest of the house was too cool. BUT we saved $1,000 on our oil bill. this year we are installing an outside woodburning furnace. this will heat the whole home, keep the soot and dust down, keep the bugs from waking from hibernation that are in the wood brought in, and keep the dirt from the wood at the wood shed. our oil furnace uses 275 gallons of oil - at $4.28/gallon it would cost us $1,100+ to fill it up and we need to fill it 3x per winter. time to use all the dead ash on our land!!! and save us a boatload of $$$

    good luck...
     
  9. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here's a thought to get wood: contact tree trimming companies in your area. if they are trimming dead trees they have to pay to dump the debris and you would be saving them a portion of their dump fees. if you don't mind picking through their logs, branches, etc. you might be able to get them to deliver some dead stuff to you -- or you might offer to pick some up.

    also, wood pallets at job sites are good for burning. watch for them behind hardware stores, at new home construction sites (dumpsters are open to picking), etc. we have salvaged lots of wood for projects we have worked on over the past few years from construction sites - until all the home building stopped in Michigan...

    anyway - it doesn't hurt to think outside of the box when trying to get wood to burn.
     
  10. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, when we lived in the mountains of San Diego County, we heated with one pot bellied stove. The house was electric and I was darned if we were going to use that!
    In each bedroom we had heated water beds, made bedtime snuggly - of course the 3 Irish Setters didn't hurt.
    Our problem, heat control, sometimes we got the rooms connected to the family room with the stove so hot that we had to open the windowns and sliding glass doors to an outdoor temp in the 30's LOL, we never did get very good at that type of heating!
    [​IMG]
     

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