Month: October 2019

Outdoor wood storage tips

Outdoor wood storage tips

It is important to have firewood storage as it helps protect your firewoods lifespan but also for your safety too. Fresh firewood can have a high percentage of moisture and burning wet wood can cause creosote to build up as well as being less efficient for your stove.

Storing firewood outside is the best practice as you want your wood to have exposure to adequate airflow.

wood ashYou want to store your wood at least 5 feet away from your home. This is due to bugs will likely start to live in the woodpile. You could invest in a firewood rack, these keep your firewood elevated keeping air circulating around the wood.

An alternative is using a seasoning shed. These are great for drying out wood quicker, it keeps the moisture out and keeps the heat in.

Stacking wood

The best practice is to stack it no higher than 4 feet. If the wood is not fully seasoned stack it bark side down so the moisture can evaporate. If it is fully seasoned stack it bark side up to shield it from rain or snow.

To avoid the wood getting wet you can use firewood covers, a shed.

Keep a small pile of wood inside for easy access however only bring in firewood that you plan to burn that day as unknown bugs could be inside your wood. Don’t forget to use the Firemizer Winter pack! 

For more info click here


How to Help Forests

What is it? 

Deforestation is the act of clearing a wide area of trees or forests. Forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. Furthermore, they provide people with jobs as well by purifying the air and water.

Forests absorb a lot of the carbon dioxide in the air and without them, humans would not exist. Likewise, many animals rely on forests for food and shelter. 

What are the causes?
  • wildfires
  • Farming for oil, soy and palm oil

The main cause of deforestation is agriculture. It is estimated that 18.7 million acres of forest are being destroyed annually, this is equivalent to 27 football fields every minute.

Deforestation is a concern for tropical rainforests as they are home to much of the world’s biodiversity. The amazon is commonly referred to as the earth’s lungs. The amazon spreads over 5.5 million square kilometres. Most importantly, farming and plantations have consequently contributed to the destruction of the amazon. Approximately 20%.


Forests absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Due to this deforestation is responsible for 15% of greenhouse gas emissions. Consequently, greenhouse gas emissions contribute to rising temperatures, changes in weather and extremes in weather.

monkeyAs a result, this affects numerous animal species;

  • leopards
  • elephants
  • panda, chimps
  • gorilla
  • rhinos
  • tigers
  • tree kangaroo.
How to help

Above all, we need to do our bit to help. First of all supporting charities that help compact deforestation like the WWF here are somethings you can do to help.

  • plant a tree
  • Use less paper
  • Reduce meat consumption
  • Raise awareness
  • Buy sustainable wood products
  • Alternative fuel like coffee logs

All About Castle Fireplaces

The History of fireplaces in castles

The Romans Using tubes inside the wall to draw out smoke from bakeries, but real chimneys did not appear in northern Europe until the 12th century. The earliest example dates back to 1185AD in a Yorkshire castle.

wood ashFireplaces evolved very slowly. Chimneys were a later addition to castle walls. The chimneys are on the outside walls as they stick out. 

Domestic fires were located in the middle of the main room or hall. Halls would often have lanterns built into the roof which would let out smoke and sometimes the heat. Over time the purpose of fireplaces changed from necessity to a visual purpose.

In the 1800s new fireplaces consisted of two parts, the surround and the insert.  The surround consisted of the mantelpiece and sides, usually made from wood or marble or granite. Where the fire burns uses a cast iron insert and decorative tiles. Victorian era fireplaces added heat and a cosy ambience.

Rochester Castle in Kent

A medieval castle with thick stone and tiny windows had inefficient fires that made the castle difficult to keep warm. The tapestries weren’t only there for decoration but to help insulate the castle walls. Heating the stones as well as the chamber and directing the smoke from the room allowed for a much more warmer castle.

Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire

In the 16th century heating, the home wasn’t just a necessity but it was about fashion. As the most up to date fireplaces and chimney stacks were a status symbol in Tudor England.  Several large fireplaces were installed when Robert Dudley wanted to impress Queen Elizabeth I.

Framlingham Castle in Suffolk

In the 16th century, intricately carved chimneys were added to the castle which replicated the fashionable royal palaces of the period, but only two of these connect to fireplaces. This was due to the appearance of warmth was even more important than the real thing.

coalWitley Court in Worcestershire

The large heating system took around 30 tonnes of coal a day. The coal came from the family that lived there as they have their fortune in the production of coal. The house used a hot air heating system. They transported all the coal that was bought through on barges from the black country and loaded onto their underground trolley system. Using tracks through the tunnels beneath the court the coal was delivered to the builder room. This powered five hot water boilers and dozens of fireplaces in the court. 

To find out more click here

Fireplace Glossary

Fireplace glossary

Here is the complete Fireplace glossary for all the terms and definitions that you may hear when dealing with your fireplace.

  • Andiron – Either one of two horizontal metal bars resting on short legs intended to support firewood in a hearth
  • Arch – An arched top of the fireplace opening.
  • Ash dump – An opening in a hearth to sweep ashes for later removal from the ash pit.
  • Back (fireback) – The inside, rear wall of the fireplace of masonry or metal that reflects heat into the room.
  • Brick trimmer – A brick arch supporting a hearth or shielding a joist in front of a fireplace.
  • Chimney breast – The part of the chimney which projects into a room to accommodate a fireplace.
  • Crane – Metal arms mounted on pintles which swing and hold pots above a fire.
  • Damper – A metal door to close a flue when a fireplace is not in use.
  • Flue – The passageway in the chimney.
  • Hearth – The floor of a fireplace. The part of a hearth which projects into a room may be called the front or outer hearth.
  • Hearthstone – A large stone or other materials used as the hearth material.
  • Insert – The fireplace insert is a device inserted into existing masonry or prefabricated wood fireplace.
  • Jamb – The side of a fireplace opening.
  • Mantel – Either the shelf above a fireplace or the structure to support the masonry above a fireplace
  • Smoke shelf – A shelf below the smoke chamber and behind the damper. It collects debris and water falling down the flue.
  • Throat (waist) – The narrow area above a fireplace usually where the damper is located.
  • Wing – The sides of a fireplace above the opening near the throat.
  • Firemzer – a metal mat that sits on your grate. You’ll save 38% of your fuel and reduce harmful particulates.

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