How to properly use firewood for heating

WOOD

Use only untreated natural wood as well as wood briquettes without bonding adhesives.

It is important that the wood is dry. Dry is called wood, which has been in a dry and airy place for at least 2 years.
Why should not wet wood be used?

Wood moisture reduces their heat of incineration. Most of the heat is consumed to evaporate the water, and the remainder may be insufficient to provide the necessary heating.
Water vapor reduces the combustion temperature and promotes the formation of soot that builds up and forms a solid black layer on the walls of the combustion chamber, glass ceramics, kettles and the chimney.
The pollution of the environment is increasing because the gases leave the chimney unburnt.

Wood preparation

The wood is kept chopped and stacked. After drying in summer, under the influence of sunlight and warm air, their humidity has to drop below 20%. The dry piece of wood is cracked at its edges. The thickness of the wood should be between 5 and 15 cm.
The best way of storing, in which the woods are ventilated and dries quickly, is to arrange them in layers.

Never cover the wood with nylon. This does not allow it to dry. If stored in a confined space, it should be well ventilated.

Firing

The purpose of the ignition is to heat the walls of the combustion chamber, the chimneys and the pipes to create conditions for a steady fire, without having to open the door several times to adjust it.

Before firing, clean the ash from the grate.
Open the primary air and flue gas flaps completely.
Place two pieces of wood in the combustion chamber, parallel to one another, on both sides of the grate.
Crush the newspaper, place it in the front of the grate between the trees. Do not use glossy or impregnated paper.
Place small dry sticks on the paper. Preferably, they are easily burnt softwood. Arrange the sticks so that the burning fire does not collapse and stifle. Put a few thinly chopped pieces of wood over the newspaper and sticks.
Light the paper. When the paper gets hot, close the combustion chamber door.
Leave the flap of the primary air fully open until the flame encompasses the entire combustion chamber.

The goal is to fire the fireplace with a single match, without excessive fuss and multiple addition of paper and ignitions.

Burning wood

This is a complex process that can be divided into 3 stages.

Evaporation of water.

Water occupies up to half the weight of freshly cut wood. After proper drying, the water content falls below 20 percent. When this water is heated in the combustion chamber, it evaporates, absorbing some of the heat released by the combustion. The damper the wood, the more energy is absorbed. That’s why the damp woods squeak and scratch while the dry ones light up and burn easily.

The wood smokes.

Smoke is a cloud of flammable gases.
Their ignition occurs at a sufficiently high temperature and the presence of combustion air. The gases burn with bright flames. When no ignition occurs, the smoke either condenses on the pipes and the chimney in the form of resinous deposits or is thrown out, polluting the environment. Non-burnt smoke does not make use of most of the energy contained in the wood.

Burning the coals.

Once the flame develops and the water and resinous substances evaporate from the wood, the coals remain. Charcoals contain almost 100% carbon and burn with small red flames. Coals are a good fuel and burn easily if enough air is supplied.
Of the total heat energy contained in the wood, roughly half is emitted by the combustion of the gases and half by the combustion of carbon.

In fact, these three stages are running at the same time – at the edges, the wood can shine red hot, while the core water is still vaporizing. The requirement for efficient combustion is to quickly evaporate the water and burn the gases with a bright flame before leaving the combustion chamber.

Charging with wood

Do not expect the heat emitted by the fire to be constant over time. The wood burns best in cycles. Cycle is the time from the ignition of the charred wood to their transformation into a new layer of zest. Each cycle can provide heating for several hours depending on how much wood and how it is loaded.

Never add only one or two trees. Larger numbers are needed to form a layer of heat that keeps heat and keeps burning.

Small cracked wood, crossed, burns faster, because the incoming air has the ability to reach all the pieces at once. Such an arrangement is appropriate in case of the need for intensive heat radiation.
Bring the coals to the front of the grate and place at least 3 trees on it – freely crossed. Open the primary air opening until bright, luminous flames appear. Then the air flow can be reduced, but not so much that the flames are extinguished.

The larger pieces, arranged in parallel and tight, burn more slowly and are suitable for continuous fire.
To achieve long-lasting fire, add the coals to the grate and load compactly larger woods. Thick wood trim prevents the penetration of air and flames between them and keeps the inside of the chamber for later burning.
Open the primary air completely. When the outermost woods burn, reduce the air to the desired incineration intensity.

Signs of proper combustion

Burning has to take place with the presence of flames until the wood is turned into fire. The aim is to prevent smoldering and smoking. Smoke is not a normal product when burning wood but is a result of bad burning.
If there are refractory bricks in the fireplace, they should be colored brownish rather than black.
With dried wood and sufficient primary air, instant ignition should be achieved at each new recharge.
Glass ceramics on the door (if any) should remain clean.
Exhaust from the top of the chimney should be transparent or white. Gray smoke indicates that there is smoldering and bad burning.

Do not burn waste

Have you tried to burn household waste in your fireplace? Have you thought that they disappear without a trace?
Burning garbage leads to unpredictable consequences, as unlike dry wood, garbage contains different substances that react when burned together. For example, household waste contains different colored papers and plastics. When you burn them, you do not destroy them, just change their chemical composition by adding a whole cocktail of poisons to the flue gas. The result is the same in the burning of every kind of garbage, only the type of poisons changes.
One of the products in the burning of paper and plastic is dioxin – a highly toxic chemical that does not degrade and falls into the tissues of animals and humans.
All fireplaces and stoves manufactured are designed and tested to handle dry wood without adhesives and paints. It is allowed to use a regular newspaper only when initially ignited.

Do not burn:

waste;
glued or painted wood;
plywood or particle board;
wooden sleepers.

Burning wood and ecological balance in nature

Plants are capable of receiving and chemically preserving solar energy. The necessary substances for their growth are carbon dioxide, which is taken by the atmosphere through the leaves and water taken from the soil through the roots. Under the action of sunlight, carbon dioxide decomposes to carbon and oxygen. The water sucked through the roots in turn decomposes to hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen and carbon are absorbed into the growth of the tree, and oxygen is released into the atmosphere.
Burning wood in no way disturbs the ecological balance in nature.
When properly burning wood, no more CO2 is released than the tree has taken from the atmosphere during its growth. And if the wood is left to rot, they would emit the same amount of CO2. For this reason burning wood, unlike fossil fuels, has no relation to the greenhouse effect.

Oil, natural gas, and coal are fossil fuels, and when they burn, carbon accumulates in the earth’s womb and enters the atmosphere. Increased carbon dioxide concentrations are associated with global warming and climate change as observed in recent years. Using wood means less burned fossil fuels, lower CO2 concentration in the atmosphere and a cleaner environment.