Prepare Your Kindling Before Winter
Ahh! The fresh aroma of hickory, birch, or oak burning in your fireplace or stove gives your home that warm and cozy feeling that folks in Niagara Falls and throughout Western New York experience during our cold winters. However, it looks like it will be a white Christmas, so while those delicious gingerbread cookies are baking in the oven, you will want to prepare your kindling before winter.
Buy seasoned firewood
There are several excellent sources for purchasing seasoned firewood in the Greater Rochester and Buffalo region. Some local suppliers offer USDA-certified heat-treated firewood that is easy to light and burns cleaner. Some popular species in Erie and Monroe counties include cherry, hickory, and oak. You can also get a hardwood mix or order a preferred custom blend. If you are more like the Paul Bunyan type and prefer chopping fresh wood, store it in a cool, dry place like a garage or shed for at least six to twelve months to season it. The lower moisture content in seasoned or dried hardwood burns cleaner, with less creosote and pollution. It will also burn hotter and last longer, so that you will use less firewood. Burning seasoned firewood in your stove is also safer, reducing fire risk and exposure to poisonous carbon monoxide fumes.
Make Your Kindling
When it comes to kindling, you can buy it at a local retailer or make your own. Making your own is easy, and best of all, it’s free. All you need is a wood log and an axe. With the fireplace standing on its end, split the wood, chopping it into thin pieces.
Other Sources of Kindling
You may have some good sources of kindling in your yard, like small tree branches, bark, or twigs. Instead of throwing them away, you can store them in a cool, dry place, and you will always be prepared before winter.
Lighting the Kindling to Start Your Fire
First, make sure you open the damper. Next, stack logs in your fireplace to build your fire, and add your kindling on top and in the spaces between the wood logs. Then, add some crumpled newspaper on top of the kindling and light it with a matchstick. In a few minutes, you will have a spectacular fire. Then, adjust the damper to control the heat. Just be sure the damper remains open to vent the smoke and exhaust out of your home.
Professional Chimney Inspection and Cleaning in Western New York
If you still need to do so this year, schedule your annual chimney inspection and cleaning before lighting the fireplace or stove this winter.
From chimney inspections, cleaning, and repairs to fireplaces, stoves, and accessories, the Felgemacher Fireplace Shop has everything for your hearth. Call (716) 482-1820 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today!