THE CHIMNEY SWEEP
Don Crole Chimney Services
"FEEL GOOD CHOOSE WOOD"
"Understanding Wood Heat"
Avoid loading only one or two pieces of wood on a coal bed most often they will not burn completely because heat is given up faster than it is produced. A minimum of three pieces is needed to form a sheltered pocket of glowing coals which sustains the fire. A loosely-stacked load of wood (in a crisscross arrangement) burns fast; a tightly-packed load of wood burns more slowly.
As the wood is heated in the firebox, this water boi Is off, consuming heat energy in the process. The wetter the wood the more heat energy is consumed That is why wet wood hisses and sizzles while dry wood ignites and burns easily.
When starting a fire, use plenty of crumpled newspaper and kindling. As a guide, fill the fire box completely with loosely crumpled newspaper and hold it down with at least ten pieces of finely-split dry kindling. Softwoods make the best kindling. Find out where the combustion air enters the firebox of your stove, and light the fire there so that the fire gets plenty of air. Open the air inlets fully. When rekindling, rake the live coals toward the combustion air inlet of the firebox. Make a compact pile of charcoal and place the kindling and small piece of wood on and behind it. Open the air inlets fully to produce rapid combustion.
Each firing cycle should provide between four hours and eight hours of heating. Plan the cycles to match your household routine. For example, if someone is home all day, use four cycles: morning, noon, evening, and before bed. If the house is empty during the day, use three cycles: morning, late afternoon, and before bed. Adjust the amount of wood used for each cycle so that only enough coals are left to ignite the next load. Always load at least an hour before bed so you have time to flash the load before turning the air control down for an overnight burn.
When you follow the suggestions for raking of the coalbed, you will find that ashes accumulate at the front of the firebox. After an overnight fire, the remaining live coals are found at the back of the firebox, furthest from the air inlets. The ash at the front of the firebox can be removed without disturbing the coalbed. After a small amount of ash is removed, the coals can be raked and the stove loaded. Most modern appliances operate best when a small amount of ash is removed each morning before the first fire of the day is built.
As the fire progresses and most of the hydrocarbons have vapourized, charcoal
remains. Charcoal is almost 100% carbon and burns with very little flame
or smoke.Charcoal is a good fuel that burns easily and cleanly when enough
oxygen is present.
The hydrocarbon gases and tars that mke upthe smoke are combustable if the temperature is high enough and oxegen is present. When the smoke burns, it makes the bright flames that are characteristic of wood combustion. If the smoke does not burn in the firebox, it may condense in the chimney, forming creosote.