A Guide to Residential Wood Heating

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Steel or cast-iron parts in the firebox will be light to dark brown, never black or shiny. 13 Purchasing and Preparing Your Fuel Supply The efficiency and convenience of your wood-heating system depend significantly on the quality of the fuel wood you burn. The four main factors that influence how firewood burns are moisture content, piece size, wood condition and tree species. The moisture content of the wood affects the rate at which it burns and the efficiency of combustion. When trees are cut, the wood moisture content can range between 35 and 60 percent by weight.

Your wood-heating retailer can show you the differences between these chimney types and which one you will need. All factorybuilt chimneys must have the proper chimney cap installed to produce reliable draft, to prevent water from leaking in and to comply with the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Masonry chimneys that are built according to the guidelines found in all building codes may be used with wood-burning appliances. If you are planning to have a masonry chimney built, get a building permit.

Charcoal is a good fuel that burns easily. However, burning charcoal often produces carbon monoxide, a serious indoor air pollutant. ▲ PHASE 3 Charcoal 43 In practice, all three phases of wood combustion usually occur at the same time. The wood gases can flame and the edges of the pieces can glow red as charcoal burns, while water in the core of the piece is still evaporating. The challenge in burning wood effectively is to boil off the water in the wood quickly, while making sure the smoke burns with bright flames before it leaves the firebox.

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