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Safe, Efficient Ways To Fuel & Maintain a Wood Fireplace This Winter

by Michael Boyle on October 15, 2022

The race is on this winter to save on heating and fueling our homes, and this cost-saving exercise should include our fireplaces and stoves.

Discover the many new products that can help you get more out of your hearth in our blog below.


But First, Maintain And Clean your Fireplace

Before considering the fuel options, it’s wise to ensure that your fireplace works as efficiently as possible.

Use a Chimney Cap and Chimney Damper

Install a chimney to prevent clogging and bits of snow, hail, or ice from entering your fireplace.

A chimney damper also protects the chimney from dampness, sealing it up when it is not in use. This also prevents hot air inside the home from escaping up the chimney.


Efficient Fuel Options for a Wood Fireplace

Better Wood Fuel Options

If you are looking to burn wood logs, make sure you’ve ensured the following:

  • Use Hardwoods. Did you know species such as hickory, white oak, beech, sugar maple, and white ash burn the longest?
  • Used Burn Dry/Kiln-Dried Cured wood for a clean burning, easy-to-light wood that will create an even-burning fire.
  • Do not burn any found wood that is Wet, Green, Rotten or Mouldy wood.


Be Wary of Scrap Wood

You may be tempted to save money using scrap wood such as bits of crates, lumber, construction scraps, painted wood, or other treated wood. Unfortunately, a form of produced wood such as MDF or plywood will not be fit for burning.

This isn’t a safe or most efficient option for an efficient wood fireplace. 

Scrap woods may release chemicals that they have been treated with previously - your home air quality will be compromised if you have family members with respiratory conditions.

Store Your Firewood Appropriately

If you are using your wood, season it and store it appropriately.

Did you know that wood with a moisture content close to 20% gets progressively harder to burn on a fireplace? So if you are cutting firewood yourself during a wet time of the year, be wary.

Spend time ensuring the wood is dried before it can be used in your fireplace.

  • Seasoned wood can be dried out naturally, sheltered and stored with sufficient airflow, but this may take 1-2 years.
    • Cut it into manageable logs, ideally 25cm - a foot long, for easy storage
    • Store your wood on a dry platform raised from the ground to facilitate water runoff.
    • Ensure an awning and plastic cover protect the storage area from rain or dampness.
    • Make sure there is good air circulation around the wood to facilitate drying. For example, ensure you create an opening on at least one side of the stored wood pile. This allows wind and sun to dry out the wood naturally.
  • Kiln-dried wood speeds up the process but may cost more to achieve.


Consider Peat Briquettes

Although Peat Briquettes may be harder to come by these days, these are still a popular, efficient, smokeless way to sustain your fire. Briquettes are ideal for both open fires and stoves.


Don’t use more than 1 Log Starter at a time.

A quick tip, you only need to use one log starter in each fire and use it at the beginning to get the fire going. Once started, do not use more than one.

Nevertheless, it takes all the fuss out of lighting a fire, saving you time!

Look for a reliable fire log made in Ireland.

Efficient Fuel Alternatives to Wood

If you are looking for alternatives to consuming wood, here are some new products on the market. Take a look below.


Heat Logs 

Heat logs are usually created by compressing hardwood sawdust or other organic fuel material into logs. It is a cleaner alternative to firewood.

They have a natural log appearance that looks great in a fire and are usually made in a uniform size and shape, making them easy to store