First time fireplace user has question!

msbrooksSeptember 21, 2005

I just bought an old house with a fireplace, I know I will have to have it inspected before using it, my question is (and I feel silly asking which is why I am asking here! ahaha)...

Can I buy wood for my fires NOW even though its several months before I'll actually need it? Will the wood still be Ok to burn?

Also... do different woods burn better or have a better aroma than others? (FYI: for wood's sake, I am in East Tennessee).

Also, is it best to leave the glass door closed or open when a fire is lit? (seems open would give more heat but would be more dangerous).

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pdg777

I'm hardly an expert but here are the instructions that the chimney sweep gave me for my pre-fab wood burning fireplace. Other experts PLEASE feel free to correct. For type of wood at the bottom, I know from reading posts here that others more knowledgeable STRONGLY recommend that manufactured logs NOT be used.

flue should be open all the way when fire first started, then turn down one notch, if no smoke comes out, turn down one more notch. don't turn down further because smoke will come out
2. vent down the bottom should be open all the way while fire is burning; cut both vents off after burning.

3.Turn fan on (on wall) after fire started to get heat.

4. Wood - can use the duraflame because theyhave lighter fluid and burn better. or get seasoned oak

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 10:39AM
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Xanndra

Please refer to the recent thread entitled "# of cords for winter".

And no, Duraflame type logs should never be used in place of cordwood. They should only be used as firestarters. They gunk up the fireplaces very quickly and they don't burn hot enough to draw the smoke properly up the chimney.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 11:15AM
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Switching2Wood

Here are my 2 cents . . .

Just my opinion.

1. Don't burn wood in a standard, open fireplace. It is a waste of wood and it heavily pollutes our planet.

2. Searh "Wood BTU" online and you'll get dozens of pages with BTU estimates by tree species. They vary widely. In essense, you can burn ANY wood. But, you'll get more heat and time out of denser wood. So, in order best to worst . . .
Oak/Ash/Sugar Maple/Red Maple/Poplar/Cottonwood/Pine, with pine having half as much energy as oak.

Finally, burning wet wood is bad. It doesn't burn well, and it pollutes a lot. You must get seasoned wood, or get it fresh and season it yourself. As X says, other threads cover this. Also, many web sites have info.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 1:08PM
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tommyw

If you buy wood now to use in the next few months, be sure you buy fully seasoned wood. The wood I will be burning this season was cut and stacked a year ago. Also ... you may want to look into a fireplace insert. They are much more energy efficient and burn less wood with more heat output then a standard fireplace even with folding glass doors.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 4:07PM
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pdg777

Switching2wood, what is a "standard, open fireplace?" And when you said don't burn wood in it, I assume you mean, just don't use it?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 5:11PM
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Switching2Wood

Switching2wood, what is a "standard, open fireplace?"

It is what you picture when somebody says a "fireplace." It's made out of masonry, usually has a rectangular opening, a metal damper, and then a 9x13 flue going up over the roof.

And when you said don't burn wood in it, I assume you mean, just don't use it?

Sure you should use it. It's great for stockings at Christmas. It's also a great place to jam one of those inflatable ballons to stop your heat from getting pulled out in winter.

OKI think this world is in a lot of trouble. I think buring natural gas and oil are two of the big reasons why. I therefore have decided to heat exclusively with wood and wood products.

I think burning wood in an open fire is wasteful and polluting. I agree it's beautiful. So are a lot of things that are wasteful - like christmas lights all over your house. So . . .

I recommend a modern EPA insert or wood stove. Helps you, helps everybody.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2005 at 7:41PM
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christopherh

Switching2wood said:
I think this world is in a lot of trouble. I think buring natural gas and oil are two of the big reasons why. I therefore have decided to heat exclusively with wood and wood products.

***************************
Then why are the polar caps on Mars melting? And the extreme enviros here want all wood fires banned. Wood emits evil Carbon Dioxide when burned, no matter if the appliance is EPA certified or not.

As someone that has been burning trees for a number of years I say go ahead and use the fireplace all you want. But you'll find out it isn't going to be the main heat source for your home. You may find that it'll actualy lose heat. I call that negative efficency. If you want to use the hearth for more than decoration put in a woodburning insert. But for now, go ahead and enjoy the fireplace.
As far as wood goes, the longer it sits, the better it burns. It becomes "seasoned" as the moisture evaporates. If you find wood that is grey in color, throw it in the fireplace! It's ready to go!
As far as aromas go, apple is a great wood to burn.
And speaking of aromas, the smell of woodsmoke in the air on a Vermont winter evening is just plain comforting.

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 7:42AM
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Switching2Wood

"Then why are the polar caps on Mars melting?"
Who cares.

And the extreme enviros here want all wood fires banned.
If it's sustainable, why would they?

Wood emits evil Carbon Dioxide when burned, no matter if the appliance is EPA certified or not.
Of course you are right. But trees, when they grow, assimilate CO2 from the air. If we burn only what we can grow, then the net CO2 going to the atmosphere is zero.

Hey look, I'm not trying to pick any fights here. I am trying to offer a perspective that maybe somebody hasn't heard before. That's all.

Today, September 2005, you can drive any car you want, burn as much gas as you want, and burn wood for the ambience.

We have those luxuries.

Christopher H - would you agree that it would be a bad thing for you and me if every person on this planet burned wood in an open fireplace through the winter?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2005 at 1:40PM
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christopherh

Christopher H - would you agree that it would be a bad thing for you and me if every person on this planet burned wood in an open fireplace through the winter?

AS short as 100 years ago everyone did. And we're still here. But most people lived in smaller homes. Not these McMansions of 3000+ sq ft. And burning more oil to heat them. Which emits more hydrocarbons. Which wood as you know does not. So we're in complete agreement about wood.I've been burning trees for over 20 years. And I love my new stove. And yes it's EPA rated. But to tell someone not to use a fireplace is just plain wrong. The original poster won't do any damage to Tennessee with the fireplace if she burns it. That's all.
And my comment about Mars was that it too is experiencing global warming. So Earth's global warming is not man's fault.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2005 at 7:50AM
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Hinterlander

This is starting to sound like the Lawn and Garden Tractor forum. Those guys are nuts.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2005 at 9:31PM
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Switching2Wood

Christopher -
You wrote - But to tell someone not to use a fireplace is just plain wrong.

I didn't tell her any such thing. I simply offered her another perspective.

As for global warming, I am no environut, but I do have a science background. And this is the conclusion I've drawn so far . . .

I'm not convinced that human greenhouse gas production is going to damage the environment significantly, but I think it needs more study. If someone told me there was a bomb in my basement, I'd darn well check it out!

Anyway, peace to you my friend. I just got and insert and I'm really looking forward to burning wood. That, we have in common.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 2:26AM
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christopherh

I'm not convinced that human greenhouse gas production is going to damage the environment significantly, but I think it needs more study.
************
We are in complete agrement here. I do not believe that the CO2 from burning wood is going to destroy the planet. But many kooks do. And fireplace woodsmoke doesn't go that high into the atmosphere to cause damage. So we are on the exact same page.
My point is that we are experiencing global warming, and we can do nothing about it as we now see on other planets. This lends a lot of credibility to the theory that the SUN is causing it. As it has many times before. Because we in Vermont and you in Connecticut at one time were under sheets of ice sometimes a mile thick. And I still ask: What caused the massive "global warming" that melted those glaciers 10,000 years ago? It wasn't my Ford Expedition or MSBROOKS fireplace.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 7:05AM
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flagirl69

Oh..lawdy(while she rolls her eyes).I was hoping for some info on safety ,as well..not a sermon.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2013 at 6:47AM
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eclecticcottage

Shesh. Hearth.com has good info if you get tired of the banter here.

Anyway-if you're buying wood now, get a moisture meter and check what you're buying 99.9999% of "seasoned" wood being sold is NOT.

Some wood can season in a year, 2 is better and oak is min. 3 years. We CSS (cut split stack) our own so we know it's really seasoned.

You want seasoned wood. Wet wood won't burn well, will burn too cool and smoulder which leads to creosote buildup and the possibility of chimney fires.

If you're burning with the doors open, you want a screen to keep the embers from popping out and causing fires.

I would avoid cottonwood and willow, they stink while burning. Cherry supposedly smells nice, I like pine in an open campfire. We use a secondary burn EPA stove so there's really no smoke smell inside or outside so wood type doesn't matter much.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 10:46PM
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msbrooks

Why is flagirl69 even bringing up an old post from 8 years ago - that makes me seriously ROLL MY EYES.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:44AM
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eclecticcottage

I didn't even see the date! I assume you're set now with burning, lol.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 5:02PM
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