What You Need to Know About Wood Heat
Wood fires can be romantic. They conjure pictures of families gathered around the hearth during the holidays, sipping hot cocoa. As the weather begins to get colder, many families start to think about getting their fireplaces ready and wood stacked up for winter.
But wood fires also pose potential hazards, and left unchecked, can result in dangerous situations. Knowing how to properly operate a wood heat source is essential to keep you and your family safe during the colder Gainesville days and nights.
At Stellar Services, we value safety, which is why we’ve created this guide on how to properly use a wood heat source. If you have questions or need help servicing a wood heat source, contact us and we would be happy to help!
Wood Heat 101
Heating your home with wood can be a cheaper, greener alternative to electric heat, especially in Florida where we get fewer colder days. Using a renewable energy source like wood can be a responsible way to heat your home, but there are things you need to know about wood heat. Make sure that you understand how to operate your furnace or fireplace efficiently and safely before winter sets in.
How to Use Your Furnace
Furnace heat is great but it can be dangerous and inefficient if you don’t know what you are doing. Consider these tips before lighting a fire in your home:
- Don’t burn non-wood or treated wood materials. Plastics, foil, particle board, plywood, or painted wood can all release toxic chemicals that can be harmful to you and your family.
- Smoke is a sign of inefficiency. If your fires are producing lots of smoke, you are losing heat and possibly introducing air pollutants into your home
- Make sure your fire has plenty of air. The air intake on your furnace should be clear to ensure that your fire burns hot and efficiently.
- Don’t overload your fire box. Putting too much wood in all at once can prevent you from generating enough heat.
- Make sure your wood is dry. Dry wood burns cleaner and hotter.
- Use hardwood in colder weather. Softwoods like pine do not burn as hot and burn out faster than hardwood like oak.
- Designer logs do not produce a lot of heat. Fake logs are only really designed for ambiance and not for heat.
- Consider where you want your furnace placed. Place your furnace in your home where you would want to be warmest.
Understanding where to place your wood furnace takes careful thought and planning. Having a professional inspect your home and install your furnace is the best way to ensure that you properly heat your home.
How to Get Your Fire Started
You don’t have to be a boy scout or girl scout to get a fire started. Having a few tips can save you the frustration of not being able to get a fire going quickly:
- Make sure your wood is dry.
- Build the fire so that it won’t collapse and smother itself. Placing your kindling and newspaper between two logs can help.
- Add wood slowly at first.
- Starters can be your best friend. While designer logs may not put off a lot of heat, they can be a great way to get your fire going.
There is plenty of science and research that has gone into building the perfect fire. Experiment to find which methods work best for you. Building a roaring fire can be both rewarding and fun, with practice you can become a pro!
Concerns About Wood Heat
While wood is a great alternative to electric, you want to make sure you consider some of the concerns that come with a wood furnace before installing one in your home.
Fireplaces are one of the most common fire risks in the United States today. While this may seem like an obvious statement, homeowners who leave fires unattended or don’t schedule regular maintenance can expose themselves to dangerous risks. Make sure you have your chimney inspected every winter and never leave an open fire unattended.
Wood smoke releases similar chemicals to other air pollutants and can be a concern if it is filling your home. Modern furnaces are built to stricter EPA standards and can cut down on air particulate build up which will keep your chimney cleaner.
The best way to improve your air quality is understanding how to build better fires. Hotter, brighter fires produce little or no smoke and heat your home efficiently. If you are worried about your air quality, Stellar Services is here to help. We can test your air and suggest filters to clean your air.
Call Stellar Services for Help With Your Wood Furnace
Whether you already have a fireplace or wood furnace, or you are considering one for this winter, Stellar Services are here as your Florida heating experts. We can recommend the best wood furnaces and recommend the best place to install a furnace in your home. Making sure that a furnace is installed properly will help keep your house warmer and give you peace of mind that your home is safe. Call us today at (352) 290-4919 or contact us online!