Wood-burning fireplaces serve as a serious asset when temperatures drop. They provide added heat, ambiance, and can help to lower wintertime home-heating bills. There are some ways you can get more from your wood-burning fireplace. In fact, by implementing some best practices for operating your wood-burning appliance, you can actually cut the amount of wood you burn by 30 percent, while enjoying the same or better heat output.

Burn Only Seasoned Firewood

The No. 1 way to get maximum heat and efficiency from your fireplace is to burn only wood that has been properly seasoned, or dried. Properly seasoned firewood lights easier and burns hotter. Firewood must be split into logs and loosely stacked for six to 12 months after it’s cut to reduce moisture content. Once it’s dried, seasoned firewood should be stored off the ground protected from the elements until it’s ready to use.

Build Your Fires the Right Way

There is a proper way to build a fire for optimal heat. Start with kindling and smaller pieces of wood, along with some fire starter, like newspaper. You can place the newspaper on the bottom, top loosely with kindling and then add some small pieces of firewood. You can also build an “upside down” fire by placing the larger pieces of wood on the bottom perpendicular to one another, then top with kindling in the opposite direction. Add larger logs gradually to the fully lit and burning fire. In addition, make sure there is ample space between the logs to allow air to circulate.

Use the Right Accessories

There are accessories you can add to your fireplace to get a more efficient burn. A fire grate or andirons elevate the fire to allow air to circulate around and fuel the fire. A fireback reflects the hot air from your fire back into your living space. In addition, ceramic glass doors absorb and radiate heat outward from your fireplace, returning more of the fire’s heat to your home.

Keep Your Fireplace and Chimney Clean

Your fireplace and chimney should be professionally inspected and cleaned at least once per year. This reduces your risk of a chimney fire, and ensures that your chimney is in good repair and free from debris that could inhibit its operation. An annual inspection also verifies that all fireplace components are functioning properly and that your fireplace burns with maximum efficiency.

If you’re ready to get the most from your wood-burning fireplace this winter, stop by Tri-County Hearth & Patio Center today! We can help you find accessories to increase your fireplace’s efficiency or talk to you about a wood-burning insert that will increase the amount of heat you get from your hearth.