Are you looking to save a little money this winter by using fire wood? Heating your home with fire wood instead of oil can be a great way to cut down your energy bills as well as help out the environment.
Since burning wood does not require the environmentally hazardous extraction and refining processes that oil requires, you can take comfort knowing that you are choosing a more sustainable energy source. Plus, wood costs a lot less and has a more stable price, so you won’t have to deal with the obscene price hikes that oils sees.
However, it is very important to follow the proper handling, storage and safety procedures for fire wood. If you plan on heating your house with fire wood this winter, read below to see our important safety tips.
You can either cut down the trees and split the fire wood yourself, or purchase already cut logs or even portions of split wood. “Split” wood usually refers to wood that has been cut up so that you can easily place it in the stove. It is usually sold in “quarts,” which is about four feet by four feet.
That’s quite a lot of wood! You will need a cool, dry place to store the wood until you’re ready to burn it. Some people opt to keep the wood outside and covered with a tarp to keep the moisture out, while others store wood in the basement or the garage.
Either way, you will need to try to find a way to store the wood so it doesn’t get damp and rot. Rotting wood will never burn well, and your plan to save money over the winter will be ruined. Therefore, store wood in a neat stack with small spaces in between so that the air can get in and dry the individual pieces out. You’ll also want to devote some extra time to stacking the wood so that it doesn’t fall down. If the pile tips over, rot can still set in and destroy your hard work. It also looks unsightly!
Keeping the Stove Safe
Additionally, you’ll want to find a way to keep your stove or burning unit safe. Never store the fire wood too close to the stove because if a stray spark catches the dry pile of wood, your home can easily go up in flames. Instead, store the pile of wood in a separate room or even outside.
Additionally, you’ll need to make sure the stove is carefully separated from small children and pets. Put up a fence around the stove, made of metal or other non-flammable material so that no one can accidentally get too close to the stove and suffer a burn. This fence will also keep flammable material, such as stray paper or other such substance, from drifting onto the hot stove.
If you’re planning on burning fire wood, make sure your house is also equipped with working smoke detectors and a clean, functional chimney. If needed, schedule a chimney cleaning by a professional in order to remove any debris from the chimney, which can also be a fire hazard. Test your smoke detectors regularly to ensure that they are working properly, and also consider installing a home security system that will notify the fire department at the first sign of trouble. While saving money with fire wood is good, it always pays to remember safety first!