If you have a wood-burning stove or fireplace insert, you probably know a thing or two about building a wood pile. It’s a time-honored ritual that proud Americans have been doing for hundreds of years. And we’ve learned a few things in that time. So we’re sharing some “life hacks” that can help to make the job a little easier, while yielding better results – and better fires. Oak vs. Pine
Dense woods from broadleaf species, like oak trees, are the best for burning. When compared to lighter conifer woods like pine, oak provides longer-lasting coals, and produces less smoke and sparks. Ash, maple and hickory are also good, dense woods for burning. Chainsaw & Wood Splitter vs. Axe & Wedge
Splitting opens the log and exposes the wood to air, enabling it to dry. Split firewood is also easier to handle and fits into stoves much better than un-split logs. If you harvest your own wood, splitting can take days or hours, depending on the tools you use. Splitting by hand using axes, mauls and wedges is certainly admirable, but it’s time consuming! We’re guessing that you may choose to use your time in other ways. To make your life easier, invest in a chainsaw and motorized wood splitter.16 Inches vs. 20+ Inches
It’s a simple concept, but logs that are too long won’t fit in your stove. Logs that are 16 inches to 18 inches long will usually fit just fine. But logs that are longer than 20 inches likely won’t fit. Save yourself a hassle by measuring your firebox before cutting wood. Crisscross vs. Heap
Wood that’s been piled in a haphazard heap won’t burn well – it just doesn’t dry properly. Take a little extra time to crisscross or stack the layers of wood in a way that leaves space for air between the logs. This will creates better circulation so the wood can dry properly. EPA Certified Stove vs. Non-Certified Stove
If you have an older wood-burning stove and it’s not EPA certified, upgrading to an EPA certified stove will make your life easier. EPA certified stoves are outfitted with 21st Century technology and are worlds more efficient than outdated models. And we’d be remiss not to mention that it’s best to choose a wood-burning stove from a well-established, quality American brand like Harman. One load of wood can burn and produce heat for many hours, meaning you make fewer trips to the wood pile. And because they burn so efficiently, outside air particulate emissions are very low, and there is less ash for you to cleanup. Well worth the investment, you’ll enjoy warmth, ambiance and comfort and warmth for many years. You can find a dealer near you here
From all of us at Harman, enjoy the fire!