10 Tips on heating with firewood

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In the past, the tiled stove in the warm room was the center of winter family life. With rising oil and gas prices, many today reflect on the original way of heating - and enjoy the comforting warmth that a stove or fireplace spreads. Timber from regional forests is also an environmentally friendly fuel.

1. The best wood species for the fireplace

The highest energy content with 2,100 kilowatt hours (kWh) per meter of oak, beech and ash, slightly lower (1,900 kWh) is that of birch and maple. When burning oak wood, make sure you have a good supply of oxygen, as the tannins can otherwise attack the fireplace (sooting). Softwoods have a relatively low calorific value of around 1,500 kWh, and the resin also causes strong sparks.

2. Process trees yourself

Forests need to be regularly lighted so that the best trees have more room to grow. The forest owners usually tag and drop the unwanted specimens and offer them to be used for further processing. Advantage: The whole thing is cheaper than ready-made firewood - and with a lot of exercise in the fresh air for many a welcome balance to the office routine. However, if you want to process your wood in the forest yourself, you usually need a so-called chainsaw license. Appropriate training in dealing with the device often offer the forestry offices themselves, but also some DIY stores and community colleges.

3. Power saws: safety first

Chainsaws pose a high risk of injury. Especially deep cuts on the lower legs are common in reckless users. The kickback of the saw when applying can cause head injuries. The most important safety features include cut protection trousers and boots as well as a helmet with eyes and ear protection. Cut protection pants have upholstery on the front of dense plastic threads. When the chainsaw tears open the cover fabric, the threads in the saw chain get caught and block the drive within seconds.

Electric chainsaw Husqvarna

An electric chain saw emits no exhaust fumes and makes much less noise than a gasoline model. So you do not have to worry about your neighbors

4. Saw firewood: electricity instead of gasoline

Anyone who drops his trees himself needs a good gasoline chainsaw - after all, there is usually no power supply in the forest. To cut the stem sections into oven-proof pieces at home, a powerful electric chain saw is usually used. A very efficient alternative for shredding firewood is the so-called seesaw: The stationary circular saw has a large saw blade with a diameter of usually 70 centimeters. You pile several feet of pieces in a metal holder, the so-called seesaw, and saw off with a cut of the same length logs. Most models, however, work with high voltage.

5. A sawhorse gives good grip

When the logs move while cutting, they easily lose control of the chainsaw and are in danger of injury. Therefore - in addition to the protective clothing - a stable sawhorse is important. Make sure that the wood rests at least three places at different distances. In addition, good models offer the possibility to fix the trunk pieces with a rope or a strap - so you can lay several split meter pieces and bring them to the required length with one cut. A meter scale on the upper crossbars is helpful to estimate the length of the logs without costly re-measurement.

Firewood ax

Those who shred their own firewood saves money - even for the gym

6. Split firewood moist, saw dry

The chopping wood with the ax on a block is indeed a good fitness program, but is out of fashion. Most of the fresh, one meter long logs are split immediately and then stacked to dry. Advantages: Damp wood is much easier to break up than dry - most comfortable with an electric wood splitter, but it also works with a split hammers and sharp wedges. Tip: Always apply the splitting tool to the edge at the thinner end, as this is the least effort. On the other hand, the wood is best cut when dry.

Wooden logs in the wheelbarrow

Standard lengths for logs are 50, 33, 25 and 20 centimeters, which corresponds to one to four cuts per meter piece

7. The right size

If you have a large fireplace, you can burn logs up to 50 centimeters long. In a small cannon oven, however, even half as large pieces hardly fit into it. Basically, thick, long logs are best for heating: they burn more slowly, and the heat energy contained is released over a longer period of time. In addition, crushing does not do much work because you have to split and saw less.Always divide the pieces of the meter into segments of equal length in order to be able to stack the logs in a space-saving manner.

8. This is how firewood dries the fastest

In the winter, beaten and freshly split meter wood is best stored stacked and without cover in the forest, because from April to August, the loss of moisture is much higher than the rehydration by rain. The meter pieces should be piled in east-west direction, so that the stack is well "blown" by the wind. Important: Avoid ground contact by stacking the wood on two parallel rows of logs spaced about 70 cm apart.

Stack firewood

So that the wood burns well later, it should be stored in a dry place

In September, the pieces of wood are taken out of the forest, brought to their required log length at home and stored in a sheltered place until next autumn, for example under a roof ledge - after which you can burn it. If fresh wood is directly processed into logs and dried, it is ready to be cooked after one year. It has the optimum calorific value with less than 20 percent residual moisture - with a wood moisture meter from specialist retailers, this can easily be checked.

9. Store small firewood supply in the house

Many brick chimneys have side shelves in which a small amount of wood can be stored. These storage compartments have not only decorative value, but also a very practical: The logs heat up to room temperature and dry in the warm environment superficially. They then catch faster fire when the chimney fumes and burn from the beginning with high temperature, because evaporation of moisture on the surface does not lose so much heat.

Firewood in wicker basket

A small supply of firewood should be kept in the house ready to make the fire easier to ignite

10. Ashes as a garden dwarf

Wood ash contains mainly calcium, as well as potassium, phosphate and magnesium in larger quantities as well as trace elements and heavy metals. As fertilizer, you should only use ashes from untreated wood from less industrialized regions because even low levels of heavy metals concentrate in the ashes. In the ornamental garden, there is nothing wrong with fertilizing ashes (maximum 0.3 liters per square meter per year), but it is not suitable for rhododendrons and other calcareous plants. In the kitchen you should better do without it completely.

Video Board: 25 wood heating tips From cutting firewood to stove tips.

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