5 Factors That Influence Your Fire
1. Wood Type
Different woods do different things. We have broken our woods into three main Categories - Bargain, Flexible, and Supreme. Check out our categories for a description, and to see the woods they offer.
If you are into the technical side you can check out our wood types menu, to learn more about Soft, Medium, and Hard woods.
For optimal burning, you want to utilise a good mix. By mixing woods, you can combine certain attributes to compliment each other. For each of our categories, we have come up with the perfect mix ratios to help you find the heating you are looking for.
2. Wood Size
Small pieces of wood have a larger surface area - volume ratio. This means that the wood has a higher exposure to the flame, and will burn hotter, and quicker than a larger piece. This is why kindling wood is small, and why larger pieces will keep you from needing to stoke the fire as often.
You can utilize the smaller pieces in your load to get your fire started, and to help harder woods get up to a higher heat.
The amount of moisture in your wood can have a large number of negative impacts on your fire. In a nutshell, it wastes some of the heat energy in the wood, its harder to burn, its not as hot, and it's more polluting. Check out our Why Dry Wood is Better page to find out why. At City Firewood Kiln Dried means ultra low moisture content, which is why we guarantee our Kiln Dried wood, because we just know it burns well. We sometimes offer air dried wood which means dried naturally by seasoning the logs. While not as good as kiln dried, we sometimes offer air dried as a special, or during the warmer months.
When burning wood, internal gases are released, which combined with the oxygen in the air, will create fire. For every amount of gas released from the wood, it will need an amount of oxygen to react with it. This means that without enough oxygen, some of the combustible gases won't be burnt, and will escape through the chimney. This is both a waste of gas that could have heated your home, and is polluting to the atmosphere.
Most people will do their best to allow oxygen into the fireplace, however, many people don't realise, that in order to get oxygen into the fire, burnt gases must be able to escape. Without proper ventilation, new air can't flow in, meaning that your fire will suffocate, and will waste useful gases. This means that you must keep your flue clean. Over time, the flue will block up, which will greatly affect the performance of your fireplace, and is often the first place we look to, when people are having trouble burning wood.
Heating wood is what releases that gases within. When a fire is burning, it is a chain reaction in which the hot wood releases flame-able gases, which in turn will burn, and heat the wood to continue releasing gases. This process continues until the wood is all gone. The heat at which the wood releases gas varies with different wood types. Softwoods require less heat, and hardwoods require more. This is why soft woods light easy, and are easy to keep going, and why hardwoods require more work to get the fire going. It is important to understand the type of wood you are burning to ensure you create the right environment for it to burn effectively. For example, if you try to burn Blue-gum like pine, you will not succeed, but if you burn Blue-gum correctly, you will find it to be a superior firewood to pine.