Month: January 2020

5 Reasons Wood Burners Are Good For You

As people are becoming more aware of pollution wood burners are getting a lot of heat [pun not intended] from the media and activist groups. However, there are benefits to wood burners and ways to decrease any potentially harmful particulates.

Drying the air

Wood burners are very good at drying out damp environments which will make your home more pleasant and breathable. By keeping the air in your home free from moisture will prevent mold from forming which could lead to health problems.

Repelling allergens

Log fireplaces can help reduce the number of allergens in the air. These can get caught in the updraft of hot air from the fire. This will carry them out through the chimney or flue.

Providing relaxation

When it is cold and miserable outside there’s nothing better than sitting by a warm fire. A wood burner can really make a house feel more homely. You can also use your fire to cook on adding another element to your wood burner.

Cut down on heating bills

As heating bills rise more people find it hard to heat their homes. Having a wood burner can be very economical by saving you money on your heating bills. While you may have to still use your heating in other rooms having the option to lessen your heating bill while keeping warm is a win-win.

Good for the environment

Wood is carbon-neutral fuel, the amount of carbon dioxide given off when burnt is equal to the amount consumed by other trees which absorbs the carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.

There are other alternative fuels like coffee logs that are made from used coffee beans. Both wood and coffee logs work well with firemizer which will reduce your fuel consumption, reduce particulates and creosote in your flue.

How To Start Cooking Over Your Fireplace

To get the most out of your fire this winter why not try cooking with your fireplace!

A wood-burning fireplace is safe for you to cook in, however, a gas fireplace is not. For a gas fireplace, the logs need to be clean and unobstructed to work properly. Grease or food could fall onto the logs and could potentially cause a fire hazard.

Safety for indoor cooking
  • it is important to have the flue open when you start cooking on your fireplace. Leaving the flue closed will allow a build-up of carbon monoxide which is very dangerous.
  • Keep flammable items away from the fireplace as you’ll be interacting with the fire while cooking.
  • Make sure your fireplace is clean and maintained as cooking in an unclean fireplace can cause smoke risks.

You can cook over a wide temperature from 160 degrees for slow roasting to over 750 degrees for high heat grilling.

Cooking options

Cooking straight onto the embers. You can cook whole onions, eggplant, peppers, yams, potatoes and thick steak-like porterhouse, t-bone or ribeye.

  • arrange two parallel rows of firebricks, broadsides down toward the front of the fireplace, shovel a layer of ember between the two rows, then rest a frying pan, griddle or dutch oven on the bricks. The wood smoke will still infuse the food with a smoke flavour if it is in a pan.
Skewers

sausages or kebabs with metal skewers, don’t forget you can cook s’mores this way too!

Dutch oven

You can easily cook soups or stews on your fireplace. The trick is to get your fireplace going that it produces plenty of hot embers. Then you can place the dutch oven on the embers. Remember to rotate to distribute the heat evenly.

A String

This is still used in southern France, a method called la ficelle (on a string). Meat or poultry is put into a compact packaged and suspended from a hook in the ceiling or mantelpiece. The meat rotates near the heat from the fire.

Tips for cooking with your wood fireplace
  • avoid overly fatty foods like rib-eye steak as they will create a lot of smoke when cooking over the fire.
  • Choose the right wood, well-seasoned woods like applewood will give you a unique flavour that you won’t get from an oven. This is also less likely to give off dangerous sparks.
  • Avoid pine or cedarwood, they burn at low temperatures and can leave resin in your chimney. Don’t use regular logs that may include petroleum wax as these are dangerous to ingest.
  • Test the temperature, the heat distributes unevenly – to prevent this use Firemizer and will allow for an even burn.
  • Place a pan to catch drips

How To Look After Your Wood Burner?

As you’ve probably been getting the most out of your fire this winter, to maximize its efficiency you have to look after your wood burner.

Here are some things to look out for and do to keep your fire going for many winters!

coalCleaning

Giving your fire a thorough clean can be just the thing it needs to bring it back to life. It is also important to get your chimney swept at least once a year as they can tell you about any damage. You should also clean the glass, most modern stoves are fitted with airways systems to keep the glass clean. If yours does not then you can use newspaper dipped in malt vinegar or use wood ash. Don’t use any abrasive materials to clean the glass as this could cause permanent damage.

Check for rust

This may not be a problem for a modern stove however it worth saying. If you do spot any rust you can rub the area with wire wool and then reapply stove paint to get it looking as good as new.

Empty the ash pan

When the hot ashes start to pile up they can come into contact with the lower side of the grate and the heat from the ashes could cause it to become distorted and lose shape.

Clean the baffle/ throat plate

This area on and around the baffle plate is the top spot for soot to gather. This makes your stove less efficient by blocking the flue it also could be dangerous. Clean this once a week depending on how often you use your stove.

Leave the door ajar

When the stove isn’t being used it is best to leave the door slightly open. This allows a flow of air through the system which can help stop corrosion.

Use Firemizer

Using this in your wood, coal or multi-fuel stove can help reduce creosote and harmful particulates. As well as reducing your ash content and reducing the number of times you have to empty the ash pan.

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