It is important to understand the principles of combustion. Especially if you own a wood-burning fireplace or stove. Knowing the principles of combustion before buying a wood-burning stove can be helpful. You will want to determine the type of stove to buy to burn wood cleaner. Talk to your professional chimney specialist. Let us talk about the basics of wood burning.
There are three elements of combustion: fuel, oxidizer, and a source of heat. When all three elements are combined in the appropriate atmosphere, they will combust. When you remove any of the three elements, combustion will stop. When you make a wood fire, wood is the fuel, the air is the oxidizer, and the source of heat is the flame.
The evaporation of moisture- Trees are made up of a large part of water. As we know, water and fire do not mix. If your wood is wet, with a large amount of water, you will not have a fire. You must season the wood to combust. To do that, the wood needs to dry out for an extended period, usually 6-9 months. Sometimes longer depending on the type of wood it is. There are many options for drying out the wood. Cutting it and stacking it, storing it in the sun. Using a kiln, or an oven for firing, drying, or burning a substance. Using a kiln will dry out the wood, evaporating the water from the wood for it to burn cleanly. Once you have dried your wood, it is time to move on to Stage Two.
The initial lighting of the fire. When the temperature rises in your fireplace or stove the process creates a mixture. This mixture includes hydrocarbon vapors, carbon monoxide, methane, water vapor, carbon dioxide as well as other vapors. This is the turning point where the temperature continues to rise. As the moisture evaporates from the wood and the heat rises to upwards of 540 degrees the second stage of combustion takes place.
Gasification – In this stage the gases are used to fuel the fire. Now the fire is hot enough that the wood is burning at high temperatures. Upwards to 900 degrees. This is the cleanest stage of burning. The temperatures are hot enough now that any unburned hydrocarbons will burn out.
The Burndown state. The fire will burn out as the wood burns and there is nothing left to burn. The temperature ally decrease. Once the fire has burned out, the next process is smoldering.
The wood has completely combusted and there is only charcoal left. As heat and light react with oxygen, the charcoal will continue to react. The smoldering will stop and all that is left is ash.
A-1 Chimney Specialist LLC has been providing the Tullahoma and Winchester, Tennessee areas with quality chimney care since 2000. We offer chimney sweeping, inspections, chimney crown and masonry repairs, and so much more! No matter what your chimney or fireplace needs, we have the knowledge and experience to help!