John Gulland, a Mother News Contributing Editor and a Wood Heating Consultant, is an expert in Wood Heating and has recommendations this month in Mother Earth News to save us all time, energy and money. Here is a briefing of his recommendations:
Tips for Lighting a Good Fire
Make sure that the wood is dry enough to burn. To find out before burning, look for checks or cracks that form at the end of the log as the wood dries, look at color (dry will be light), split a piece to check out the insides and bring two pieces together (seasoned wood will sound hollow).
How to Light a Fire
Two Parallel Logs-Place two split logs with newspaper between them. Add small and larger kindling across the top.
Top Down– Minimizes smoke. Place three or four split logs on the firebox floor. Then place six or eight medium size kindling across them. On top of that, place 10 or so pieces of fine kindling. Use four or five sheets of newspaper. Roll each one up and tie a sloppy knot in it. Place the knots on top of the fine kindling and watch the fire burn downward.
Using Fire Starters– You can either buy commercial versions or make them yourself. You can even try candle stubs or cut up a wax fire log. Place the fire-starters within a nest of dry kindling.
Did you know? Smoke from a fire is actually wasted energy. Trap the smoke within your stove for the most efficiency from your fuel.