Posted on December 10, 2018
A cosy blanket, fluffy slippers and the smell of woodsmoke in the air – winter is here and it’s the very best time of year for kicking back and relaxing in front of the open fire on a chilly night.
Gone are the days when everyone and his dog owned an open fire or log stove as a matter of course; in recent times they’ve become something of a luxury item and (we’re very happy to report) are making a huge comeback as a lifestyle essential.
There are three very important things to know about producing your own wood-fuelled heat; what to burn, how to burn it, and how to store it when you’re not burning it.
Firstly, and arguably most importantly, when you buy firewood or logs you must make sure that they are well seasoned. This prevents your chimney, and the environment, getting clogged up with all that extra creosote generated by burning green wood.
The type of wood you choose to burn is all down to personal preference and what is available to you but try to look out for a sustainable local supplier to keep the delivery miles low. Softwood ignites quickly and with a hotter, briefer flame than hardwood, which tends to take longer to burn – keeping the fire going hotter for longer.
Tip: An easy way to identify if your wood is well-seasoned is by checking the end grain. If the log ends have little cracks in, then the wood is ready for the stove and should burn cleanly with minimal hissing.
Building a fire is an ancient skill which has kept humans alive for thousands of years. It should be second nature, right? Well no. Many of us grew up with gas or electric fires with no real logs in sight, so some may need a little extra help in this department.
After checking that the chimney is drawing and the fireplace or stove is nice and clean, you’re ready to lay your fire.
- First, place your firelighter or tinder in the grate, half a dozen pieces of crumpled up newspaper will do.
- Next, set the kindling. Place small pieces of dry wood (softwood is good for this) over the tinder. The smaller pieces of kindling you use the better the fire will be. Remember to leave gaps in between for air to circulate!
- Now to set more wood. Once you have a good bed of kindling over your firelighter or tinder start to add larger pieces of seasoned firewood, your fuel. With an open fire one or two criss-crossed layers of wood should do to start with.
- Ignition! Light the firelighter or tinder and stand back to appreciate your efforts. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to shut the damper of your fireplace or air controls on your stove, let the fire breathe for a few minutes.
Now sit back, relax and enjoy.
When you’re not burning the logs you’ll need somewhere to keep them – The Posh Shed Company’s range of stores have been designed to be a stylish and functional addition to the garden.
When deciding on where to put your store try not to site it between sheds, or down alley ways, where the logs will be sheltered from the weather, as this will hamper the seasoning of the logs.
The ideal spot will be South-facing in a place that catches the prevailing wind, somewhere not too far from the house, unless you enjoy slippered trips to the bottom of the garden for more wood in the middle of the night!