I have lots of pine logs from trees I had to cut down last year. I
know pine isn't optimal burning wood, but I got lots. If it has sat
for a year in 16" rounds, is it ok to split and burn in a
fireplace/insert for heat in the winter? I have heard mixed about it
plugging up the chimney...any experience/knowledge about this?
Lots of folks burn lots of pine including me! :) It won't "plug up" a
chimney unless you were to let a pitch buildup continue for a very long
time. You do need to be more careful w/ pine to make sure excessive
pitch buildup doesn't occur and I would recommend an experienced
cleaner every year if you burn the fire a significant amount over a
winter. If you can also get a supply of hardwood, it works better to
mix the pine in as you get tha advantage of the longer-burning
hardwoods and reduce the rate of pitch buildup plus less risk of a
really large flame likely to begin a flue fire. I used a stove insert
in TN w/ a mixture of hardwoods and yellow pine culled as you propose
and by controlling the inlet damper never had an issue of flareup that
is possible in an open fireplace. In the western mountainous regions
there are many areas with essentially no hardwoods and fireplaces are
stoked routinely w/ various pines.
Fireplace chimneys need to be clean periodically
no matter what type of wood is burned. In the
northwest, many people use pine, usually a mix of
pine, Douglas fir, real fir and spruce. Nothing
wrong with burning pine, just need to clean the
chimney before too much stuff builds up.
Burned properly (complete secondary combustion) it's no problem. Of
course, this depends very much on the particular appliance and the
Many pines have high moisture content on the stump. Meaning: season and
dry it as thoroughly as possible. And ... it'll finish drying much
faster after buzzing & splitting.
Compared to hardwoods, you should find yourself feeding smaller batches
On 14 Aug 2006 08:15:03 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Being an east coaster, I was ignorant to burning pine. I was working
as a chimney sweep in Colorado for my inlaws, a weird vaction for me.
A person mentioned splitting pine by hand. I asked, why use pine
since it was bad for fireplaces I heard. I got the weirdest look, and
a reply, "that's the only wood we have in this part of the country to
burn". I now wanted to know how I had such a misperception, and asked
to be educated. The home owner showed me, four piles of stacked wood.
He explained each year he stacked a new pile, and used his oldest
pile. So wood drys out for 3 years.
It was an education for me, and I didn't look like a boob for the next
tom @ www.BlankHelp.com
How does drying wood for several years get rid of the creosote? It takes a high
temperature to burn creosote; at lower temps, it just evaporates and condenses
on cooler surfaces (like the chimney). Do folks out west tend to have better
(i.e. higher temperature) fireplaces/stoves than easterners? Hotter, faster
flow chimneys? Catalytic combustors to burn creosote? A lot of optimism?
Green wood burn cooler, gases condense on the chimney and there you go.
That is also true of the hardwoods.
No, they just ignore all the old wives tales about creosote problems,
clean their chimneys at least once per season and sleep nice and warm.
If you don't burn 'dirty', i.e., with the dampers closed, there is no
Solar is like fuel efficient cars. The only time anyone pays attention is when
fuel costs go up. If fuel costs go down, everyone assumes they'll never go up
again and interest wanes. In the end, solar is only used by a small number of
Architects are part of the problem - they consider solar to be a fringe
technology and won't consider it for mainstream design (there are a few
exceptions, but those are like the enthusiasts, few and far between).
Real estate agents are the worst. Solar has a long payback period and most of
the cost is up front. I can't count how often I've heard a R.E. agent say
something like "On the average, people sell their houses every five years. Why
would you buy a heating system that takes over ten years to pay back?" And of
course, their sales pitches guarantee that efficiency has no resale value -
that's reserved for the gold-plated bathroom fixtures and exotic backsplashes in
Very true, just that with the cost of solar heating, is a limiting
factor. The labor!
First thing I was told you need to increase conservation in a home
before taking stepts to 'solarize' your home. I have frients with
still only R18-20 in their attic, so the move to conserve heat first
hasn't dawned on them.
tom @ www.BlankHelp.com
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