| Mar 08, 2007

Feature Article - March 8, 2007

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Feature Article - March 8, 2007

The woodpile's getting low, it's 20 below, and windy...by Wilma Kenny

On Monday March 5, one of the coldest nights this year, over 75 people turned out at a recent Wood Heat Seminar at Sydenham High School . It was coordinated by the Hearth, Patio and BBQ Association of Canada in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment: the presenter was from Perth . For those who missed it, much of the information covered can be found in CMHC’s 60-page booklet, Residential Wood Heating, or at the website www.burnitsmart.org

Not in the book, though, was the recommendation to burn in cycles in order to get maximum heat from the least amount of wood. Not for the faint-hearted, it went like this: fill it full; get it hot; don’t add more till it’s reduced to coals. In steps:

1. Start with a clean chimney!

2. Set the fire as usual, with paper and kindling but fill the stove with wood.


3. Burn it hot and bright until all the wood edges are charred and glowing.

4. Damp it halfway, wait five minutes, then damp it a bit more, but never let it smoulder. There should be very little smoke.

5. Don’t keep adding wood: that just wastes the charcoal, which is the most efficient stage of the burn.

6. Wait until the room begins to cool, before starting over again.

"If you try to have a chimney fire every time, you’ll never have one."

That’s what they said.

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