Milwaukee Firewood Suppliers Share A Hot Tip For A More Efficient Fire

Building a Better Fireplace Fire

It seems as though everyone and his brother have their own technique for building a fire in the fireplace. For those convinced their way is the best, nothing from a crew of Milwaukee firewood suppliers is going to change their minds. But if you’re open to trying something new, we think you’ll be stunned at how something as simple as a different arrangement of logs can generate considerably more heat from your fireplace.

Old-school Fire Building And Why It's Not So Hot

The usual approach to a fireplace fire is to stack three or four logs on your fireplace grate, stuff some newspaper or other tinder in between them and get a fire going in the space in-between the logs. It's the way most of us were taught to build a fire. Trouble is, most of the heat generated by the fire is blocked by a log in front of the fire. You end up wondering why you went through all the trouble to build a fire in the first place.

Our Milwaukee Firewood Suppliers Want To Keep You Warm(er) This Winter

Some years back, we came across an entirely different approach to building a fire, one which we found results in much better fires. Instead, of stacking logs in the conventional manner, start by putting a small pile of kindling in the center of your grate. Next, lay a split section of log across either end of the kindling so an end of each log is facing toward your room. The rear ends of the logs should be a little closer together, so the logs form a slight “V” shape, with the wide part of the “V” facing out toward your room. These logs should touch the back of your fireplace. Then, place one or two sections of logs across the tops of the side logs. Push them all the way back so they, too, are right up against the wall of your fireplace and resting against each other.

What you have now should look a bit like a primitive oven, open in front, covered on the sides and partially covered on top. With no logs between your room and the fire, more of the heat generated by the fire will radiate outward into your room. This configuration also allows fresh air to be readily drawn up through the grate. The draft created by this flow of air helps your fire burn better, with less need for fanning the flames.

As the logs on top burn through, they will fall down into the center of your fire and form a bed of glowing embers. Since the logs on the side do not burn through as quickly (they will mostly be scorched on the rearward facing ends), you can simply add more logs on top of them to replace those which have burned through. When your side logs do finally burn through, just arrange them in the center “fire pit” and add new side and top logs.

Planning to have a fire soon? Give this technique a try and see for yourself how well it works. If you like the results, share this article with your friends. With everyone watching their heating budget these days, any little tip on getting the most out of their firewood supply will certainly be appreciated.

A Great Fire Starts With Great Wood

Here’s another tip: No matter how you arrange the logs in your fireplace, the first step in making a great fire is to have dry, seasoned wood—ideally, hardwood. We can certainly help with that! Russ’s Tree Service is proud to supply some of the best kiln-dried firewood in Milwaukee, delivered right to your property or available for pickup at our Muskego location.

Seasoned wood with a low moisture content (around 20% to 25%) ignites better, burns slower and hotter, and generates less smoke. On average, one kiln-dried log generates as much heat as three unseasoned logs. Sure, kiln-dried wood costs a little more, but the cheaper unseasoned firewood ends up costing you more. If you’ve ever been camping and tried to start a fire with soggy firewood, you know what a difference dry wood makes.

In case you’re wondering, most of our firewood is locally sourced from jobsites where we remove storm damaged trees and large branches which have broken off. If the wood is of good quality, we split it into logs and dry it for use as firewood. If it is not suitable for firewood, we shred it into woodchips for use in landscaping.

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A Word of Caution on Firewood

Many times we come across homeowners who ask if we can just cut up a tree which has fallen in their yard so they can use it for firewood. While we offer this option, we strongly caution that firewood must be properly stored and seasoned before burning in an indoor fireplace. Using unseasoned (green) firewood is a sure way to coat your chimney with creosote deposits, which can ignite and start a fire. Wood with a high moisture content also tends to smoke up a room, which effectively ruins any notion of a cozy evening by the fire.

If you have logs on your property you intend to use for firewood, they should be stored off the ground and covered on top by a tarp. You want to keep rain out, but also allow air to circulate. It can take as long as a year for freshly cut wood to thoroughly dry when stored outdoors, and during this time it is subject to infestation by all manner of pests. Not exactly ideal when you want to bring it indoors and place in your log caddy on the hearth.

Why take chances with unseasoned, bug-infested firewood? Our kiln-dried firewood is ready to use the day it’s delivered and, trust us, any insects living in it have already been thoroughly toasted by our drying process. We offer Milwaukee area firewood delivery by the cord or any fraction thereof--enough to get your through the weekend or through the whole winter. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call.

Contact our Milwaukee firewood delivery experts today for more information and a price quote.