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How to find the perfect firewood for our fireplace

18 November 2012 / 18:11:29  GRReporter
6607 reads

What kind of wood to choose for the fireplace? This is an issue of paramount importance for the proper functioning of the fireplace. What kind of wood is ideal for the cold winter? What everyone should know is that not all types are good for burning. Size, humidity, kind and some other factors determine the role of each firewood.

Basic rules of burning

When buying firewood, it should have dried for at least 4 to 6 months before use. Softwood (pine, fir, etc.) is used for kindling, and hardwood (oak, beech, olive-tree) keeps the fire burning. The difference between them is density. Softer types are not very dense, therefore they contain more oxygen in the gaps and burn much faster. Hardwood needs more time to burn.

Types of wood

The most commonly used types of wood in Greece are oak, olive-tree, beech and pine, depending on the region.

Oak: Oak wood is among customers' favourite because of the beautiful fire it makes while burning. Oak is a deciduous tree and it is very heavy. Its wood is dense, it burns with a small and calm flame and it is more economical than other types - it is ideal for burning.

Beech and pine trees: beech and pine belong to softwood. They are less dense and are quickly and easily lit, giving a strong flame. However, the fire doesn't last long. They are ideal for kindling.

Olive-tree: this wood doesn't throw dangerous sparks when lit, it burns easily, and is good for kindling (but not only).

"Ecological firewood" - a better alternative for the environment, also known as briquettes. The briquettes are made of pressed sawdust, residues from wood processing. Their advantages over traditional woods are that they emit less carbon dioxide while burning, they burn very slowly and the fire lasts up to 12 hours. There are no sparks. Highly caloric, they are easy to store because they take up less space and have a constant burning rate of 1.5 hours per briquette. Since they are very dry, they produce less smoke. Furthermore, they do not contain chemical ingredients. Briquettes are suitable for stoves and fireplaces of closed type. Oak, beech and olive-tree are also suitable for this type of fireplaces. Pine should be avoided, however, because it reaches high temperature quickly and the glass door becomes black.

Ecological firewood № 2 - for those who insist on ecological fire, there are other alternatives - these are stumps of dehydrated meal from beech which is completely environmentally friendly. They are absolutely safe, and do not emit carcinogenic smoke. They are very dry, their main advantage is that they are highly caloric. They do not emit odours while burning as do ordinary woods and can be cut.

Storage

The ideal rule is that the best type of firewood should have been kept for two years and should be completely dry. It should be stored in a covered, ventilated area with a humidity of below 15%.

Tips

1. You should clean the fireplace before each winter season for optimal operation and performance.

2. Attention to the choice of wood. Remember which woods are for kindling, and which are for burning.

3. Always use dry wood.

4. The blaze should not rise into the chimney, to prevent the possibility of a fire.

5. Ask where the wood comes from and make sure that the seller has the necessary permits.

Tags: firewood fireplace oak beech olive-tree briquettes
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