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Wrong Firewood: A Mistake You Might be Committing When Lighting a Fireplace

May 1, 2019

There is nothing quite like having a fireplace. The aesthetics of a fireplace, with a roaring flame or a gentle smoulder, has become one of the stereotypical images of comfort and homeliness. There is an entire aesthetic practice to lighting a fireplace, with specialised tools and various types of fuel and means of burning different kinds of firewood.

Aside from the stereotypical brick-and-mortar fireplace, there are also freestanding iron stoves and old-fashioned heaters. If there is anything that people can’t quite seem to get right when it comes to fireplaces, it is often the type firewood that they burn.

For those who are unfamiliar with fireplaces, or who have only recently begun to employ it, there is this general presumption that all woods can be burned effectively, and that any wood will provide much-needed warmth and illumination as well as any others. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

A lot of things can go wrong when you are not burning the right kind of firewood. Aside from losing money over the fact that certain types of wood burns too fast, or won’t burn hot enough to provide sufficient heat. There is also the issue of some woods having toxic or noxious properties that you ought to avoid.

Here are some tips to help discern what not to burn in your fireplace:

• Soft wood – although soft woods like pine make for wonderful kindling, it is not an ideal fuel. Soft woods are known to impart a certain pine-like or fresh, astringent scent when burnt, but they burn far too quickly to be able to make for good firewood.

• Oleander – oleander is a toxic plant with fumes, wood, sap, and shrubs that can be dangerous. As such, it should never be used as firewood.

• Plants with ‘poison’ in their name – poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, even if the trunk and branches are large enough to burn like kindling, these plants are referred to as such due to their dangerous properties. While touching them can cause severe allergic reactions, so to can burning them. The heat can cause the wood to release irritants that are saturated into the wood and then into the immediate surroundings via smoke.

Whenever you are burning firewood, always use those woods that are non-toxic, and which have a long historical record of general usage, such as red gum firewood.

For quality kindling, charcoal, and good firewood for heating your home or for cooking purposes, visit John Tiras – Melbourne’s premier wholesaler of quality charcoal and firewood.

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