The cooler nights and shorter days are a good reminder that it is almost time to move the fires inside! It’s important to prepare for the heating season before lighting your first fire for the year. The following maintenance items should be done annually:
- Schedule a chimney inspection to ensure that the bricks and mortar in the chimney are in good condition. It is also important to have any creosote build-up cleaned from the chimney to prevent a chimney fire. While annual inspections are needed, a chimney cleaning may not be necessary every year if you burn ONLY BIO BLOCKS. The reason for this, is that BIO BLOCKS burn so hot there is minimal creosote created. Creosote build-up is caused when a fire does not burn hot enough. This happens when wood is not properly seasoned.
- Check your chimney cap. A properly fitted cap will prevent animals from nesting in your chimney.
- Examine your wood stove or fireplace. Do the seals on the door need replaced? If a piece of paper can be pulled out between the stove and the door, then the seal is not tight enough and should be replaced. Check that the floor and the sides of the stove are structurally sound.
- Clean the glass doors. If you have a fireplace screen, check that it does not have holes.
- Make sure that the damper and flue are in good condition.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
In addition to maintaining your fireplace, or stove, deciding what fuel to burn is extremely important! In fact, if you plan on cutting and splitting firewood to burn, that decision should ideally be made 6 – 12 months prior to using it. Firewood requires time to dry. Properly seasoned wood should have a moisture content of 20%.
If you choose to burn BIO BLOCKS, How to Burn BIO BLOCK Firewood Compared to Other Fuel you have the luxury of procrastinating a bit, although availability is better early in the season. Because the blocks are manufactured for you, the only planning necessary is to purchase them before the cold and snow arrive! It is much easier to stack and store BIO BLOCKS when the weather is mild. BIO BLOCKS can be left on the 40 x 48 pallet that they come on, or stacked in a garage, or basement along the wall. They do need to be stored in a dry location.
When the cold, snowy, winter weather arrives, you will be ready for it! By taking time to prepare for the heating season, and stocking up on BIO BLOCKS, you’ll have more time to sit inside by a cozy fire and enjoy the warmth.