Prepare Your Kindling For Winter
If you prepare your kindling and firewood for winter, getting fires started will be easier than ever. Burning tinder is another stage of building wood fires for wood burning fireplaces and stoves, though it doesn’t necessarily require the same kind of upfront planning that’s important to prepare kindling and firewood. Get ready for winter with the following fuel tips.
What is Tinder?
Tinder is the first of three stages in fire-building. The initial spark is caught by the tinder, and the flames are transferred to kindling. Newspaper is the most common type of tinder, but there are many highly flammable materials that can also ignite rapidly and safely get flames going. The following are some suggestions of materials to use for tinder, including some that are especially helpful when building a campfire outdoors but that also work well in fireplaces and wood heating stoves:
- Dryer lint can work well as tinder, but some synthetics that might make up the threads in dryer lint aren’t ideal because they may not ignite easily.
- Survivalists are known to use a handy trick with cotton balls and Vaseline petroleum jelly. Coat cotton balls in Vaseline and store them to be used as tinder. For use in the out-of-doors, you can simply place them in a sandwich bag. Because Vaseline is flammable, this is an excellent kind of tinder.
- Cedar shavings are good tinder. These stringy trees have bark that strips off. When you rub the shavings between your hands, small shavings form, creating great tinder.
- In the great outdoors, items such as moss, tiny twigs, dry leaves and grass can all be used as tinder.
- Pencil shavings can be used as tinder, as well.
How to Prepare Kindling and Logs
Burning kindling is the second phase of fire building. Once the tinder ignites, the kindling will quickly catch fire. This builds up the flames so that logs will begin to burn. Kindling is made with small dry branches, dry sticks, wood split into small sections, and, for added aroma, pinecones can be used.
The important thing about kindling , which can be a challenge, is that it needs to be low-moisture wood. This is the same issue with logs used for firewood. A process of seasoning is necessary for firewood.
Seasoned firewood is another way of saying that the firewood has sufficiently dried out so that the moisture content is less than 20%. When logs are first cut, they are bursting with moisture. They are referred to as “green wood.” The problem with green wood is that it smokes excessively and doesn’t produce sufficient heat to get warm by in cold weather. The energy of fires burning unseasoned wood goes into burning out the moisture, and that’s where the smoke comes from.
Green wood aka unseasoned firewood is not good for your chimney because the excess smokiness creates a lot more creosote residue that sticks to the liner in your chimney flue. Anyone who uses green wood on a regular basis, which is not recommended at all, will end up needing to get their chimney cleaned more frequently to avoid chimney blockage.
Warning: What Not to Do!
It’s important to understand that flammable liquids should absolutely never be used in fireplaces or wood stoves. Outdoor fires are too dangerous when flammable liquids are used, as well. Therefore, they should be avoided at all times during the process of getting a fire started and keeping it burning.
Only seasoned hardwoods and softwoods should be used for kindling and firewood. No treated wood, such as lumber, should be used because of the chemicals they contain, which creates dangerous fumes.
Visit Yankee Doodle for a New Fireplace
When you are ready to get a new fireplace for your home or backyard, Yankee Doodle, Inc. in Wilton CT is the perfect place to visit. The destination showroom at Yankee Doodle features fireplaces and gas heating stoves in operation daily. All in one place, you can see for yourself many styles and options for enjoying a cozy wood fire or a convenient gas-fueled fire. The selection we have is varied enough that there is a style for every home, and our friendly experts can help you choose a heating appliance of the correct size for the space where it will be installed. Visit us in Wilton CT today at 848 Danbury Rd. or call (203) 544-8111 today.