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The temperatures are quickly dropping, which means it’s the perfect time to start using your fireplace. A cozy fire is a great way to warm up on a cold day, plus it adds a bit of ambiance to your living room. If you have a wood-burning fireplace at home, you’ll need to stockpile fire-building materials like kindling before the winter starts.
Preparing kindling takes a bit of extra work, but it ensures you’re set up for plenty of warm fires in your wood burning stove or fireplace throughout the winter. Here’s what you’ll need to do to prepare your kindling for the upcoming winter months.
There are many different types of kindling you can use to start a fire. If you don’t want to chop your own kindling, you can also purchase firestarter kits at local home improvement stores that contain kindling. This may be an easier and more efficient option for those who don’t have the time or space to prepare kindling on their own.
However, preparing your own kindling at home can help you save money, especially if you already have a large supply of seasoned wood. Building your own stockpile can also be more efficient if you plan on lighting fires regularly throughout the winter. In addition to small pieces of wood, you can also use loose twigs and branches as kindling.
Just like your logs, your kindling should be made of dry, seasoned wood. Fresh, green wood that contains moisture burns unevenly and lets out large volumes of creosote. Creosote is a natural byproduct of wood-burning fires, but it can serve as a fire hazard in large quantities.
You may be able to purchase wood from local suppliers that has already been dried and seasoned. However, you can also dry wood out yourself by storing it in a place where it is exposed to sun and wind. You will need to cover the wood if it rains or snows to prevent precipitation from getting inside. The drying and seasoning process takes at least six months to complete
Once your wood has been dried and seasoned, you can cut it into smaller pieces for kindling. Kindling should consist of small sticks that ignite easily, which then cause the larger logs to catch fire.
To cut larger logs into kindling, you’ll need a reliable hatchet or splitting axe with a sturdy handle and sharp blade. Ideally, you’ll want to cut the kindling directly on a larger log, so you won’t dull the blade when you cut into it.
When choosing wood for kindling, avoid pieces that have large knots or whorls. You’ll need to cut the logs several times before they become an appropriate size for kindling.
Having a large kindling stockpile ensures that you’ll always be ready to light a fire. Before you start lighting your winter fire, be sure to make sure your fireplace is clean and safe to use.
A1 Chimney offers professional chimney inspections, cleanings, and repairs throughout southern middle Tennessee or the Tennessee Valley. Contact us at 931-967-3595 in Tennessee or 256-285-4895 in Alabama to schedule an appointment.