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Tips for a Hotter Fire

Tips for a Hotter Fire

By Leroy Hite, Founder, Cutting Edge Firewood
Photographs courtesy of Cutting Edge Firewood

A blazing fire indoors is a great tonic to beat the cold, gray days of January. But how do you get the most heat from your wood-burning fireplace? We at Cutting Edge Firewood offer these tips to make sure the fireplace keeps you nice and toasty this winter.

Start with high-quality firewood. If you grab a log from the yard, chances are that is has rot, mildew and moisture. Wet wood has to burn the moisture out of it before it generates heat. Also avoid using evergreens for fire logs because they are a soft wood and contain a lot of resin. If you select high-quality, kiln-dried hardwood like oak or hickory, your fire will burn hot from the start.

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Stack your firewood in a log cabin arrangement. Once your firestarter and kindling are burning, place two or three logs down parallel to each other as your base, then place a layer of two or three logs on top of those in the opposite direction. The log cabin stack lets lots of oxygen flow in the fireplace and more oxygen = hotter burn.

Once burning, seek to build a base of glowing coals. As your fire burns, add pieces that are at least an inch thick. These will create coals that generate lots of heat. As you construct your fire, continue to add a few larger pieces to build your coal base and heat output.

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Add a fire back to your fireplace. Made of cast iron, a fire back is made to fit on the back wall of your fireplace. Once it is hot, it will retain and return heat outward towards your room while also shielding the back of your fireplace. You can usually find them at hardware stores and chains.

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